Zero to Hero, Hero to Zero: In Search of the Classical Hero

Zero to Hero, Hero to Zero: In Search of the Classical Hero by Lydia Langerwerf and Cressida Ryan, Lydia Langerwerf, Cressida Ryan

ISBN10: 1443823910
ISBN13: 978-1443823913
Author: Lydia Langerwerf and Cressida Ryan, Lydia Langerwerf, Cressida Ryan
Title: Zero to Hero, Hero to Zero: In Search of the Classical Hero
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing; New Edition edition (October 1, 2010)
Language: English
Size ePub: 1486 kb
Size PDF: 1274 kb
Rating: 4.6/5
Votes: 279
Pages:
Subcategory: Ancient Civilizations

Zero to Hero, Hero to Zero: In Search of the Classical Hero by Lydia Langerwerf and Cressida Ryan, Lydia Langerwerf, Cressida Ryan



Hercules is a hero; we were all brought up to appreciate the supposedly basic idea of the ancient hero. But what about him makes him a hero? This book aims to challenge some of the standard expectations as to what constitutes a hero, through considering the phenomenon of heroism from a range of viewpoints. In this book we invite you to walk around the monumental notions of the hero and heroism and endeavour to reach out and touch them on all sides. The chapters in this volume testify to the difficulty in answering the question 'what is a hero?' and in attempting their answers engage with a variety of themes. They demonstrate not just the variety of qualities in which the protagonists of classical literature can be deemed heroic, but also the tendency of aspects of heroism to turn sour once identified. It seems that the moment we recognise heroic features we are forced to question them. The commonplace 'The only good hero is a dead hero' summarises the extent to which this book centres on heroic death, or the concept of the anti-hero. Portraying protagonists' heroic qualities in an ambiguous light focuses the reader's attention on the problem of realising the ideals of heroism in historic actuality. Various chapters ask the rhetorical question of whether we should expect, and, more importantly, desire historical actors to behave like mythical heroes. To what extent can a hero ever be integrated into normal society? What difference might there be between a tragic hero and an epic one, and what might this have to do with the conventional Roman opposition of facta and dicta? Covering Euripides to Monty Python, Roman soldiers to the modern military, this volume invites the reader to think about the changing notion of the hero and recognise heroic qualities throughout western culture.

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