The Evolution of Heroism Heroism is an abstract concept. It 's something that has evolved for 1000 's of years. The Iliad, Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight perfectly show how human concepts of heroism, character and religious themes have developed to present day understandings and views on heroism. The Iliad is the oldest of the three stories. It is set in 300b.c Troy and focuses on the conflict between the Trojans and the Greeks. One of the main characters in The Iliad is Achilles.