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Heroism Concept and Its Causes Essay

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Updated: Jan 12th, 2022

A hero can be defined as a person who can show courage and the will for sacrifice despite facing challenges or various weaknesses. Heroism is therefore an act of being able to face challenges by showing courage which makes one successful in the end. Characteristics of a hero include bravery, perseverance, courage, dedication, selflessness, determination, sacrifice, and courage among others. Bravery is the most important characteristic. One has to be brave to stand up for a cause. A person has to be courageous to fight a situation no matter how hard it is. One has to show determination to push for something no matter how weak they are. On the other hand, selflessness comes up whereby a person does not necessarily have to receive the benefits of their rewards. Valour is whereby the individual has the strength of spirit that enables him to encounter danger with firmness. On dedication, the person has to give oneself fully for the fight. An individual also has to sacrifice some of the things that are dear to him to achieve his goal. A hero also has to be humble and stand with others and not above them.

Causes of heroism include empathy, courage, respect for human life compassion, physical and moral courage, self-esteem, confidence in the ability to prevail, impulsive and risk-taking behavior, spirituality, and sensation seeking. All these may motivate a person to pursue a cause despite the dangers that their actions may involve.

The concept of heroism in ancient Greek is different from the ideologies we have about heroes today. A heroin ancient Greek was supposed to be someone religious; mainly a dead person who had received cult honors and came back to bring prosperity in the society in form of the fertility of animals and plants. First, a hero had to suffer during his lifetime and die significantly. After the death, the person was to receive immortalization in songs and cults. Just like the modern world view of heroism, in ancient Greek, a hero had to struggle against fear of death to be able to achieve a perfect death. The perfect moment of a hero’s death was then recorded in a song known as kleos. These were songs of fame and glory to give them festivals and worship as a way of compensating for his death (Burkert 1985). These forms of honors were given to the dead hero since society could not completely compensate for what he had done for them. However, the honors did not cease; they were performed seasonally in remembrance of the hero and to show him that his spirit will forever live in the society. Historically, heroes were great warriors.

The modern fiction of heroism is more of a fantasy feature. This is because a hero is an ordinary person who in extraordinary circumstances despite all the odds manages to save the life of people or stop something from happening. This can be seen in most movies and stories. A hero must exhibit characteristics like superhuman strength which will make them endure all the suffering and pain (Campbell 1949). There must be evil or danger that the hero is fighting against and in the end, concurs and that is what makes a hero.

The Hero Effect can be good or dangerous since there is nothing you can do to stop it. It is always something that a person possesses. Being present to experience someone’s greatness can help to create sense in a person. A person can see the strength he/she possesses hence will develop courage after developing the thought that he is ready to attack life with great power and passion. This means that heroes can positively or negatively affect people. A person can gain power, strength, and courage for being close to a hero’s heroism. People can develop strength from heroes especially when they leave in the same environment with the hero which shows the effects of heroism. Someone who is attempting great things in life beyond their status quo whereby they take impossible odds and have a great attitude amidst everything can succeed if he leaves with a hero. His presence will give the person the strength he needs to succeed. The presence of a hero can make a person foster in risky environments, become passionate and develop a spirit of conquering. This means that heroes whether they are loud or quiet will always tend to produce the Hero Effect in the surroundings they are in; they make other people heroes. Anyone who acts heroically can create a Hero Effect on other people.

Some of the benefits of heroism are that it creates fame and respect. In the past and even in the society we are leaving in today, heroes are respected by everyone. They are shown love everywhere they go. Someone who has done an extraordinary thing in society always becomes famous since everyone desires to know who saved them or how courageous enough the hero was to pass a particular test. For example, in the modern world, someone who has battled a particular disease like cancer can be considered a hero. Usually, they are broadcasted in the media to the public to act as an example; someone who is worth being like. They become an inspiration to the sick people suffering from the same disease to have faith and courage to fight the disease (Allison 2010).

There are also dangers of heroism. Heroes are always expected to be great and be readily available to help at all times. Society usually expects so much from them. Any form of failure will be a great disappointment to society. Heroes are expected to be courageous and stay strong all the time. This always puts pressure on the life of a hero making his life hard. Mostly, such heroes may include those who attained heroism after saving people’s life or winning a tough task. The fame that comes with heroism can be disturbing at times. Heroes are always followed by the press and that denies them the chance to have a quiet peaceful private life. All the information concerning their lives is known by the public. Most of the time, they always have crowds of people around them who want to take a picture or sign a paper for them.

In conclusion, heroism involves having courage, more moral and mental strength to persevere, venture and withstand fear, difficulty, and danger. Heroes always have firmness of mind and that is why they always have a hero effect in them. Courage and compassion can motivate a person to pursue a cause despite the dangers that their actions may involve making them heroes at the end of the task. Heroism creates fame but at the same time can be very dangerous to the hero himself.


Allison, S. (2010). Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them. Virginia: .

Burkert, W. (1985). The dead, heroes and chthonic gods. : .

Campbell, J. (1949). . Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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