Is Perseus An Epic Hero

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Since the beginning of time, people have looked to a figure of power that would help them in their time of need. In Edith Hamilton’s Mythology: Edith Hamilton, there are stories upon stories that tell about righteous and wicked gods, goddesses, and epic heroes. When discussing epic heroes, it’s usually the same two figures that come up, Perseus and Theseus. Arguably, between the two, Theseus is the better epic hero because he is ethical and morally upright and because his life ends tragically. Now when it comes to what an epic hero is, there are many traits and characteristics, some of those being: having significance and glory, going on a quest to establish greatness, and facing enormous tasks of adversity. In the Greek culture, the significance of a hero is very important because they had someone great to look up to. When a hero begins…show more content…
Theseus was known to take the phrase “an eye for an eye” to heart and was seen as a judge of the people. Before Theseus became a great hero, he traveled from land to land coming face-to-face with many evil-doers, “His idea of dealing justice was simple, but effective: what each had done to others, Theseus did to them” (Hamilton 210). For this reason, it proves that Theseus is the better epic hero. Whereas Perseus’s morals are somewhat foggy, Theseus’s are crystal clear. Be that as it may, even Theseus can’t escape the tragic fated ending for every great epic hero. Incidentally, Theseus had a fatal flaw that eventually is what led to his regretful demise, “All of the cares of state, however, and all the deeds of knighterrantry to defend the wronged and helpless, could not restrain Theseus’ love of danger for the sake of danger” (217). With that, this quote reaffirms Theseus as the better epic hero. Unlike Perseus–whose story ended happily–Theseus’s life came to a bloody end, therefore an epic hero cannot be an epic hero if they do not fall victim to their own
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