Hero

A hero is a concept that may be found in classical literature. It is the main or revered character in heroic epic poetry celebrated through ancient legends of a people, often striving for military conquest and living by a continually flawed personal honor code.[1] The definition of a hero has changed throughout time. Merriam Webster dictionary defines a hero as "a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities."[2] Examples of heroes range from mythological figures, such as Gilgamesh, Achilles and Iphigenia, to historical figures, such as Joan of Arc, Giuseppe Garibaldi or Sophie Scholl, modern heroes like Alvin York, Audie Murphy and Chuck Yeager, and fictional superheroes, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

A hero is a real person or a main fictional character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, bravery, or strength; the original hero type of classical epics did such things for the sake of glory and honor. On the other hand are post-classical and modern heroes, who perform great deeds or selfless acts for the common good instead of the classical goal of wealth, pride, and fame. The antonym of a hero is a villain. Other terms associated with the concept of a hero, may include "good guy" or "white hat". Sometimes in contemporary use, a differentiation is made to ascribe gender associations that remove women from inclusion among those bearing the epithet of hero, using heroine instead.

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1866)
Giuseppe Garibaldi is considered an Italian national hero for his role in the Italian unification, and is known as the "Hero of the Two Worlds" because of his military enterprises in South America and Europe.
Joan of Arc miniature graded
Joan of Arc is considered a medieval Christian hero of France for her role in the Hundred Years' War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint

Etymology

Krönung des Tugendhelden
Krönung des Tugendhelden by Peter Paul Rubens

The word hero comes from the Greek ἥρως (hērōs), "hero" (literally "protector" or "defender"),[3] particularly one such as Heracles with divine ancestry or later given divine honors.[4] Before the decipherment of Linear B the original form of the word was assumed to be *ἥρωϝ-, hērōw-, but the Mycenaean compound ti-ri-se-ro-e demonstrates the absence of -w-. Hero as a name appears in pre-Homeric Greek mythology, wherein Hero was a priestess of the goddess, Aphrodite, in a myth that has been referred to often in literature.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Proto-Indo-European root is *ser meaning "to protect". According to Eric Partridge in Origins, the Greek word hērōs "is akin to" the Latin seruāre, meaning to safeguard. Partridge concludes, "The basic sense of both Hera and hero would therefore be 'protector'." R. S. P. Beekes rejects an Indo-European derivation and asserts that the word has a Pre-Greek origin.[5] Hera was a Greek goddess with many attributes, including protection and her worship appears to have similar proto-Indo-European origins.

Antiquity

Perseo in Villa San Marco Stabiae
Perseus and the head of Medusa in a Roman fresco at Stabiae. Unlike medieval and modern heroes, classical heroes did great deeds out of esteem and fame rather than out of any concern for the good of people

A classical hero is considered to be a "warrior who lives and dies in the pursuit of honor" and asserts their greatness by "the brilliancy and efficiency with which they kill".[6] Each classical hero's life focuses on fighting, which occurs in war or during an epic quest. Classical heroes are commonly semi-divine and extraordinarily gifted, such as Achilles, evolving into heroic characters through their perilous circumstances.[1] While these heroes are incredibly resourceful and skilled, they are often foolhardy, court disaster, risk their followers' lives for trivial matters, and behave arrogantly in a childlike manner.[1] During classical times, people regarded heroes with the highest esteem and utmost importance, explaining their prominence within epic literature.[7] The appearance of these mortal figures marks a revolution of audiences and writers turning away from immortal gods to mortal mankind, whose heroic moments of glory survive in the memory of their descendants, extending their legacy.[1]

Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War, which is known primarily through Homer's The Iliad. Hector acted as leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defense of Troy, "killing 31,000 Greek fighters," offers Hyginus.[8] Hector was known not only for his courage, but also for his noble and courtly nature. Indeed, Homer places Hector as peace-loving, thoughtful, as well as bold, a good son, husband and father, and without darker motives. However, his familial values conflict greatly with his heroic aspirations in The Iliad, as he cannot be both the protector of Troy and a father to his child.[6] Hector is ultimately betrayed by the deities when Athena appears disguised as his ally Deiphobus and convinces him challenge Achilles, leading to his death at the hands of a superior warrior.[9]

The Rage of Achilles, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Italian Rococo painter
An 18th century depiction of The Rage of Achilles, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Achilles was a Greek hero who was considered the most formidable military fighter in the entire Trojan War and the central character of The Iliad. He was the child of Thetis and Peleus, making him a demi-god. He wielded superhuman strength on the battlefield and was blessed with a close relationship to the deities. Achilles famously refused to fight after his dishonoring at the hands of Agamemnon, and only returned to the war due to unadulterated rage after Hector killed his close friend Patroclus.[9] Achilles was known for uncontrollable rage that defined many of his bloodthirsty actions, such as defiling Hector's corpse by dragging it around the city of Troy. Achilles plays a tragic role in The Iliad brought about by constant de-humanization throughout the epic, having his menis (wrath) overpower his philos (love).[6]

Heroes in myth often had close, but conflicted relationships with the deities. Thus Heracles's name means "the glory of Hera", even though he was tormented all his life by Hera, the Queen of the Greek deities. Perhaps the most striking example is the Athenian king Erechtheus, whom Poseidon killed for choosing Athena rather than him as the city's patron deity. When the Athenians worshiped Erechtheus on the Acropolis, they invoked him as Poseidon Erechtheus.

Fate, or destiny, plays a massive role in the stories of classical heroes. The classical hero's heroic significance stems from battlefield conquests, an inherently dangerous action.[6] The deities in Greek Mythology, when interacting with the heroes, often foreshadow the hero's eventual death on the battlefield. Countless heroes and deities go to great lengths to alter their pre-destined fates, but with no success, as none, neither human or immortal can change their prescribed outcomes by the three powerful Fates.[10] The most characteristic example of this is found in Oedipus Rex. After learning that his son, Oedipus, will end up killing him, the King of Thebes, Laius, takes huge steps to assure his son's death by removing him from the kingdom. But, Oedipus slays his father without an afterthought when he was unknown to him and he encounters him in a dispute on the road many years later. The lack of recognition enabled Oedipus to slay his father, ironically further binding his father to his fate.[10]

Stories of heroism may serve as moral examples. However, classical heroes often didn't embody the Christian notion of an upstanding, perfectly moral hero.[11] For example, Achilles's character-issues of hateful rage lead to merciless slaughter and his overwhelming pride lead to him only joining the Trojan War because he didn't want his soldiers to win all of the glory. Classical heroes, regardless of their morality, were placed in religion. In classical antiquity, cults that venerated deified heroes such as Heracles, Perseus, and Achilles played an important role in Ancient Greek religion.[12] These ancient Greek hero cults worshipped heroes from oral epic tradition, with these heroes often bestowing blessings, especially healing ones, on individuals.[12]

Myth and monomyth

JourneytotheWest
The four heroes from the 16th-century Chinese novel, Journey to the West

The concept of the "Mythic Hero Archetype" was first developed by Lord Raglan in his 1936 book, The Hero, A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama. It is a set of 22 common traits that he said were shared by many heroes in various cultures, myths, and religions throughout history and around the world. Raglan argued that the higher the score, the more likely the figure is mythical.[13]

The concept of a story archetype of the standard monomythical "hero's quest" that was reputed to be pervasive across all cultures, is somewhat controversial. Expounded mainly by Joseph Campbell in his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it illustrates several uniting themes of hero stories that hold similar ideas of what a hero represents, despite vastly different cultures and beliefs. The monomyth or Hero's Journey consists of three separate stages including the Departure, Initiation, and Return. Within these stages there are several archetypes that the hero of either gender may follow, including the call to adventure (which they may initially refuse), supernatural aid, proceeding down a road of trials, achieving a realization about themselves (or an apotheosis), and attaining the freedom to live through their quest or journey. Campbell offered examples of stories with similar themes such as Krishna, Buddha, Apollonius of Tyana, and Jesus.[14] One of the themes he explores is the androgynous hero, who combines male and female traits, such as Bodhisattva: "The first wonder to be noted here is the androgynous character of the Bodhisattva: masculine Avalokiteshvara, feminine Kwan Yin."[14] In his 1968 book, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, Campbell writes, "It is clear that, whether accurate or not as to biographical detail, the moving legend of the Crucified and Risen Christ was fit to bring a new warmth, immediacy, and humanity, to the old motifs of the beloved Tammuz, Adonis, and Osiris cycles."[15]

Slavic fairy tales

Vladimir Propp, in his analysis of Russian fairy tales, concluded that a fairy tale had only eight dramatis personæ, of which one was the hero,[16]:p. 80 and his analysis has been widely applied to non-Russian folklore. The actions that fall into such a hero's sphere include:

  1. Departure on a quest
  2. Reacting to the test of a donor
  3. Marrying a princess (or similar figure)

Propp distinguished between seekers and victim-heroes. A villain could initiate the issue by kidnapping the hero or driving him out; these were victim-heroes. On the other hand, an antagonist could rob the hero, or kidnap someone close to him, or, without the villain's intervention, the hero could realize that he lacked something and set out to find it; these heroes are seekers. Victims may appear in tales with seeker heroes, but the tale does not follow them both.[16]:36

Historical studies

No history can be written without consideration of the lengthy list of recipients of national medals for bravery, populated by firefighters, policemen and policewomen, ambulance medics, and ordinary have-a-go heroes.[17] These persons risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others: for example, the Canadian Cross of Valour (C.V.) "recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril";[18] examples of recipients are Mary Dohey and David Gordon Cheverie.

The philosopher Hegel gave a central role to the "hero", personalized by Napoleon, as the incarnation of a particular culture's Volksgeist, and thus of the general Zeitgeist. Thomas Carlyle's 1841 work, On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History, also accorded a key function to heroes and great men in history. Carlyle centered history on the biography of a few central individuals such as Oliver Cromwell or Frederick the Great. His heroes were political and military figures, the founders or topplers of states. His history of great men included geniuses good and, perhaps for the first time in historical study, evil.

Explicit defenses of Carlyle's position were rare in the second part of the 20th century. Most in the philosophy of history school contend that the motive forces in history may best be described only with a wider lens than the one that Carlyle used for his portraits. For example, Karl Marx argued that history was determined by the massive social forces at play in "class struggles", not by the individuals by whom these forces are played out. After Marx, Herbert Spencer wrote at the end of the 19th century: "You must admit that the genesis of the great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown...[b]efore he can remake his society, his society must make him."[19] Michel Foucault argued in his analysis of societal communication and debate that history was mainly the "science of the sovereign", until its inversion by the "historical and political popular discourse".

Mandela Bust at Southbank
Bust of Nelson Mandela erected on London's South Bank by the Greater London Council administration of Ken Livingstone in 1985
Raoul Wallenberg
The Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest during World War II.[20][21]

Modern examples of the typical hero are, Minnie Vautrin, Norman Bethune, Alan Turing, Raoul Wallenberg, Chiune Sugihara, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Oswaldo Paya, Oscar Biscet, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Annales School, led by Lucien Febvre, Marc Bloch, and Fernand Braudel, would contest the exaggeration of the role of individual subjects in history. Indeed, Braudel distinguished various time scales, one accorded to the life of an individual, another accorded to the life of a few human generations, and the last one to civilizations, in which geography, economics, and demography play a role considerably more decisive than that of individual subjects.

Among noticeable events in the studies of the role of the hero and great man in history one should mention Sydney Hook's book (1943) The Hero in History.[22] In the second half of the twentieth century such male-focused theory has been contested, among others by feminists writers such as Judith Fetterley in The Resisting Reader (1977)[23] and literary theorist Nancy K. Miller, The Heroine's Text: Readings in the French and English Novel, 1722–1782.[24]

In the epoch of globalization an individual may change the development of the country and of the whole world, so this gives reasons to some scholars to suggest returning to the problem of the role of the hero in history from the viewpoint of modern historical knowledge and using up-to-date methods of historical analysis.[25]

Within the frameworks of developing counterfactual history, attempts are made to examine some hypothetical scenarios of historical development. The hero attracts much attention because most of those scenarios are based on the suppositions: what would have happened if this or that historical individual had or had not been alive.[26]

Gender differences

Although the term "heroine" exists in recent use, "hero" is the predominantly used term nowadays, even though its neutrality may be put into question by some. The definitions of the heroine often refer back to the one of the hero, but sometimes insinuate that their deeds are of less value, or were obtained only thanks to their love of God, country, or a man. Therefore, implying that an external explanation for the supposedly extraordinary nature of her deeds is needed to justify them. The warrior women is considered unholy, unnatural. These figures tend to be dismissed because they don't fit in the feminine values they are supposed to represent.

Following this logic, acts of heroism by women are seen as acceptable, during specific time, such as when men are at war and during times of crisis, but they are otherwise often seen as suspicious. Moreover, women are often not individualized, but praised as a group for heroic deeds. Women in the military were often subordinated to tasks less likely to be praised than armed combat and rather, are praised for their courage as a general force, the behavior of nurses during wartime are a good example of this phenomenon.

Reflecting the same perspective, if their story gets told at all, they are made to fit in the acceptable script. Their story is told in a way as to match the expectations of femininity ex: maternal love, compassion, fidelity, resistance, defense, etc. So the set of strengths in which, historically, a heroine could express her value, are overall not the same and perceived as less valuable than their masculine counterpart.[27]

In general, the cultural repertoire of heroic stories requires different qualities for each gender. The contrast of the ideal narrative line pits the autonomous ego-enhancing hero single-handedly and single-heartedly progressing toward a goal versus the long-suffering, selfless, socially embedded heroine, being moved in many directions, lacking the tenacious loyalty demanded of a quest.[28]

Often, if women heroes get mentioned in history, the way their story is told also differs from their male counterparts. Generally, they are portrayed as young and beautiful, their actions are limited to a short time period in opposition to the possibility of a long heroic career portrayed for male heroes, underlying feelings that led to their heroic acts are underlined, overall less details about their life are kept, and emphasis is put upon their tragic death.

It has been asserted that heroes and heroines are part of a social construct, their history is told and changes throughout history to serve different purposes of memory, propaganda according to diverse social, political, or religious evolution.[29]

Modern fiction

Batman and Robin 1966
Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) in the 1966–1968 television series, Batman

The word "hero" (or "heroine" in modern times), is sometimes used to describe the protagonist or the romantic interest of a story, a usage which may conflict with the superhuman expectations of heroism.[30] A good example is Anna Karenina, the lead character in the novel of the same title by Leo Tolstoy. In modern literature the hero is more and more a problematic concept. In 1848, for example, William Makepeace Thackeray gave Vanity Fair the subtitle, A Novel without a Hero, and imagined a world in which no sympathetic character was to be found.[31] Vanity Fair is a satirical representation of the absence of truly moral heroes in the modern world.[32] The story focuses on the characters, Emmy Sedley and Becky Sharpe (the latter as the clearly defined anti-hero), with the plot focused on the eventual marriage of these two characters to rich men, revealing character flaws as the story progresses. Even the most sympathetic characters, such as Captain Dobbin, are susceptible to weakness, as he is often narcissistic and melancholy.

The larger-than-life hero is a more common feature of fantasy (particularly in comic-books and epic fantasy) than more realist works.[30] However, these larger-than life figures remain prevalent in society. The superhero genre is a multibillion-dollar industry that includes comic books, movies, toys, and video games. Superheroes usually possess extraordinary talents and powers that no living human could ever possess. The superhero stories often pit a super villain against the hero, with the hero fighting the crime caused by the super villain. Examples of long-running superheroes include Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Spider-Man.

Psychology

Social psychology has begun paying attention to heroes and heroism. Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo point out differences between heroism and altruism, and they offer evidence that observer perceptions of unjustified risk play a role above and beyond risk type in determining the ascription of heroic status.[33]

An evolutionary psychology explanation for heroic risk-taking is that it is a costly signal demonstrating the ability of the hero. It may be seen as one form of altruism for which there are several other evolutionary explanations as well.[34]

Roma Chatterji has suggested that the hero or more generally protagonist is first and foremost a symbolic representation of the person who is experiencing the story while reading, listening, or watching;[35] thus the relevance of the hero to the individual relies a great deal on how much similarity there is between them and the character. Chatterji suggested that one reason for the hero-as-self interpretation of stories and myths is the human inability to view the world from any perspective but a personal one.

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker argues that human civilization is ultimately an elaborate, symbolic defense mechanism against the knowledge of our mortality, which in turn acts as the emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival mechanism. Becker explains that a basic duality in human life exists between the physical world of objects and a symbolic world of human meaning. Thus, since humanity has a dualistic nature consisting of a physical self and a symbolic self, he asserts that humans are able to transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism, by focusing attention mainly on the symbolic selve. This symbolic self-focus takes the form of an individual's "immortality project" (or "causa sui project"), which is essentially a symbolic belief-system that ensures that one is believed superior to physical reality. By successfully living under the terms of the immortality project, people feel they can become heroic and, henceforth, part of something eternal; something that will never die as compared to their physical body. This he asserts, in turn, gives people the feeling that their lives have meaning, a purpose, and are significant in the grand scheme of things. Another theme running throughout the book is that humanity's traditional "hero-systems", such as religion, are no longer convincing in the age of reason. Science attempts to serve as an immortality project, something that Becker believes it can never do, because it is unable to provide agreeable, absolute meanings to human life. The book states that we need new convincing "illusions" that enable people to feel heroic in ways that are agreeable. Becker, however, does not provide any definitive answer, mainly because he believes that there is no perfect solution. Instead, he hopes that gradual realization of humanity's innate motivations, namely death, may help to bring about a better world. Terror Management Theory has generated evidence supporting this perspective.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". academic.eb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-06.
  2. ^ "Definition of HERO". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.
  4. ^ ἥρως Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  5. ^ R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 526.
  6. ^ a b c d Schein, Seth (1984). The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad. University of California Press. p. 58.
  7. ^ Levin, Saul (1984). "Love and the Hero of the Iliad". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 80: 43–50. doi:10.2307/283510. JSTOR 283510.
  8. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 115.
  9. ^ a b Homer. The Iliad. Trans. Robert Fagles (1990). NY: Penguin Books. Chapter 14
  10. ^ a b "Articles and musing on the concept of Fate for the ancient Greeks" (PDF). Auburn University.
  11. ^ "Four Conceptions of the Heroic". www.fellowshipofreason.com. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
  12. ^ a b Graf, Fritz. (2006) "Hero Cult." Brills New Pauly. Retrieved from http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/brill-s-new-pauly/hero-cult-e511460?s.num=1&s.f.s2_parent=s.f.book.brill-s-new-pauly&s.q=hero.
  13. ^ Lord Raglan. The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama by Lord Raglan, Dover Publications, 1936
  14. ^ a b Joseph Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces Princeton University Press, 2004 [1949], 140, ISBN 0-691-11924-4
  15. ^ Joseph Campbell. The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology Penguin, reprinted, ISBN 0-14-004306-3
  16. ^ a b Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folk Tale, ISBN 0-292-78376-0
  17. ^ smh.com.au: "Everyday heroes", 26 Dec 2002
  18. ^ gg.ca: "Decorations for Bravery Ceremony", 2 Feb 2010
  19. ^ Spencer, Herbert. The Study of Sociology, Appleton, 1896, p. 34.
  20. ^ "The Library of Congress: Bill Summary & Status 112th Congress (2011–2012) H.R. 3001". 2012-07-26.
  21. ^ "Holocaust Hero Honored on Postage Stamp". United States Postal Service. 1996.
  22. ^ Hook, S. 1955 [1943]. The Hero in History. A Study in Limitation and Possibility. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
  23. ^ Fetterley, Judith (1977). The Resisting Reader. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
  24. ^ Miller, Nancy K. (1980). The Heroine's Text: Readings in the French and English Novel, 1722–1782. New York: Columbia University Press.
  25. ^ Grinin, Leonid 2010. The Role of an Individual in History: A Reconsideration. Social Evolution & History, Vol. 9 No. 2 (pp. 95–136) [1]
  26. ^ Thompson. W. The Lead Economy Sequence in World Politics (From Sung China to the United States): Selected Counterfactuals. Journal of Globalization Studies. Vol. 1, num. 1. 2010. pp. 6–28 [2]
  27. ^ Cassagnes Brouquet, Sophie; Dubesset, Mathilde (2009), "La fabrique des héroïnes", Clio. Histoire' Femmes et Sociétés (in French), 30 (30): 718
  28. ^ M. Gergen, Mary; N. Davis, Sara (2013), Toward a New Psychology of Gender: A Reader, Routledge, p. 640
  29. ^ Dermenjian, Geneviève; Guilhaumou, Jacques; Lapied, Martine (2004). Le panthéon des femmes : figures et représentations des héroines (in French). Paris : Éd. Publisud. p. 236.
  30. ^ a b L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p. 5 ISBN 0-87054-076-9
  31. ^ Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, p. 34, ISBN 0-691-01298-9
  32. ^ Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Vanity Fair Theme of Morality and Ethics. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.shmoop.com/vanity-fair-thackeray/morality-ethics-theme.html
  33. ^ Franco, Z.; Blau, K.; Zimbardo, P. (2011). "Heroism: A conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism". Review of General Psychology. 5 (2): 99–113. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.366.8315. doi:10.1037/a0022672.
  34. ^ Pat Barcaly. The evolution of charitable behaviour and the power of reputation. In Roberts, S. C. (2011). Roberts, S. Craig (ed.). Applied Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586073.001.0001. ISBN 9780199586073.
  35. ^ Chatterji, Roma (January 1986). "The Voyage of the Hero: The Self and the Other in One Narrative Tradition of Purulia". Contributions to Indian Sociology. 19 (19): 95–114. doi:10.1177/006996685019001007.

Further reading

External links

Antihero

An antihero or antiheroine is a main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities and attributes such as idealism, courage and morality. Although antiheroes may sometimes perform actions that are morally correct, it is not always for the right reasons, often acting primarily out of self-interest or in ways that defy conventional ethical codes.

Big Hero 6 (film)

Big Hero 6 is a 2014 American 3D computer animated superhero film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Loosely based on the superhero team of the same name by Marvel Comics, the film is the 54th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, the film tells the story of Hiro Hamada, a young robotics prodigy who forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain. The film features the voices of Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell and Maya Rudolph.

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel Comics characters, whose parent company was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2009. Walt Disney Animation Studios created new software technology to produce the film's animated visuals.Big Hero 6 premiered at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival on October 23, 2014, and at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival on October 31; it was theatrically released in the Disney Digital 3-D and RealD 3D formats in the United States on November 7, 2014. The film was met with both critical and commercial success, grossing over $657.8 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing animated film of 2014. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie. It also received nominations for the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film. Big Hero 6 was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 24, 2015.

A television series, which continues the story of the film, debuted on November 20, 2017 on Disney Channel and Disney XD.

Darth Vader

Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. He is a primary antagonist in the original trilogy, but, as Anakin Skywalker, is the main protagonist of the prequel trilogy. Star Wars creator George Lucas has collectively referred to the first six episodic films of the franchise as "the tragedy of Darth Vader."Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, Anakin Skywalker is lured to the dark side of the Force by Palpatine, who is secretly a Sith Lord. After fighting a lightsaber battle with his former mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi in which he is dismembered, Vader is transformed into a cyborg. He then serves the Galactic Empire as Darth Vader until he redeems himself by saving his son, Luke Skywalker, from Palpatine, sacrificing his own life in the process. He is also the father of Princess Leia, the secret husband of Padmé Amidala, and grandfather of Kylo Ren, the main villain of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

The character has been portrayed by numerous actors. His cinematic appearances span the first six Star Wars films, as well as Rogue One, and he is referenced in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. He also appears in television series (most substantially The Clone Wars) and numerous iterations of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, including video games, novels, and comic books.

Darth Vader has become one of the most iconic villains in popular culture, and has been listed among the greatest villains and fictional characters ever. The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history on 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, behind Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates. His role as a tragic hero in the prequel trilogy was met with positive reviews.

Epic poetry

An epic poem, epic, epos, or epopee is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the moral universe that their descendants, the poet and his audience, must understand to understand themselves as a people or nation.Another type of epic poetry is epyllion (plural: epyllia), which is a brief narrative poem with a romantic or mythological theme. The term, which means "little epic", came into use in the nineteenth century. It refers primarily to the erudite, shorter hexameter poems of the Hellenistic period and the similar works composed at Rome from the age of the neoterics; to a lesser degree, the term includes some poems of the English Renaissance, particularly those influenced by Ovid. The most famous example of classical epyllion is perhaps Catullus 64.

Guitar Hero

The Guitar Hero series (sometimes referred to as the Hero series) is a series of music rhythm games first published in 2005 by RedOctane and Harmonix, and distributed by Activision, in which players use a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing lead, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar across numerous rock music songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover versions of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.

In 2005, RedOctane, a company specializing in the manufacture of unique game controllers, was inspired to create Guitar Hero based on RedOctane's experience creating hardware for Konami's Guitar Freaks arcade game. They enlisted Harmonix, who previously developed several music video games, for development assistance. The first game in the series was made on a budget of $1 million. The series became extremely successful, leading to the acquisition of RedOctane by Activision in 2007. Harmonix was acquired by MTV Games and went on to create the Rock Band series of music games in the same vein as Guitar Hero. Activision brought Neversoft (primarily known for their Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games) on board for future development duties. Additional companies, such as Budcat Creations and Vicarious Visions have assisted in the adaptation of the games for other systems.

The series currently has ten major releases (seven Guitar Hero games, two DJ Hero games and Band Hero) and five expansions on gaming consoles. There are spin-offs for Windows and Macintosh systems, mobile phones, the Nintendo DS (the Guitar Hero: On Tour series), and an arcade game. The Guitar Hero franchise was a primary brand during the emergence of the popularity of rhythm games as a cultural phenomenon in North America. Such games have been utilized as a learning and development tool for medical purposes. The first game in the series was considered by several journalists to be one of the most influential video games of the first decade of the 21st century. The series has sold more than 25 million units worldwide, earning US$2 billion at retail, claimed by Activision to be the 3rd largest game franchise after the Mario and Madden NFL franchises; the third main title of the series, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is also claimed by Activision to be the first single video game title to exceed $1 billion in sales.

Despite early success, the series, along with the overall rhythm game genre, suffered from poor sales starting in 2009. Company spokesman Eric Hollreiser said consumer research suggested continued solid demand for the series. Still, by early 2011, Activision stated that the series was on hiatus for 2011, while a seventh main title in the series was under development; this title was later cancelled due to the poor quality of the emerging product. Activision later shut down sales of the series' downloadable content, although users who purchased material from it previously may still play what they bought.

In 2015, Activision announced the first new title to the series in 5 years, Guitar Hero Live, released in October 2015. The title is considered a reboot of the series, with development being performed by FreeStyleGames, who had developed the DJ Hero games previously. As of December 1, 2018, Activision disabled the GHTV servers for Guitar Hero Live, reducing playable content from approximately 500 songs to 42 on disc tracks.

Heracles

Heracles ( HERR-ə-kleez; Greek: Ἡρακλῆς, Hēraklês, Glory/Pride of Hēra, "Hera"), born Alcaeus (Ἀλκαῖος, Alkaios) () or Alcides (Ἀλκείδης, Alkeidēs) () was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was a great-grandson and half-brother (as they are both sired by the god Zeus) of Perseus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae (Ἡρακλεῖδαι), and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.

Hercules

Hercules () is a Roman hero and god. He was the Roman equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures.

The Romans adapted the Greek hero's iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules. In later Western art and literature and in popular culture, Hercules is more commonly used than Heracles as the name of the hero. Hercules was a multifaceted figure with contradictory characteristics, which enabled later artists and writers to pick and choose how to represent him. This article provides an introduction to representations of Hercules in the later tradition.

Hero's journey

In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales and lore that involves a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.The study of hero myth narratives started in 1871 with anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor's observations of common patterns in plots of heroes' journeys. Later on, others introduced various theories on hero myth narratives such as Otto Rank and his Freudian psychoanalytic approach to myth, Lord Raglan's unification of myth and rituals, and eventually hero myth pattern studies were popularized by Joseph Campbell, who was influenced by Carl Jung's view of myth. In his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell described the basic narrative pattern as follows:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Campbell and other scholars, such as Erich Neumann, describe narratives of Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Christ in terms of the monomyth. While others, such as Otto Rank and Lord Raglan, describe hero narrative patterns in terms of Freudian psychoanalysis and ritualistic senses. Critics argue that the concept is too broad or general to be of much usefulness in comparative mythology. Others say that the hero's journey is only a part of the monomyth; the other part is a sort of different form, or color, of the hero's journey.

Hero MotoCorp

Hero Motocorp Ltd., formerly Hero Honda, is an Indian motorcycle and scooter manufacturer based in New Delhi, India. The company is the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world, and also in India, where it has a market share of about 46% in the two-wheeler category. The 2006 Forbes list of the 200 World's Most Respected Companies has Hero Honda Motors ranked at #108. On 31 March 2013, the market capitalisation of the company was ₹30,800 crore (US$4.5 billion).Hero Honda started its operations in 1984 as a joint venture between Hero Cycles (sometimes called Hero Group, not to be confused with the Hero Group food company of Switzerland) of India and Honda of Japan. In 2010, when Honda decided to move out of the joint venture, Hero Group bought the shares held by Honda.

In June 2012, Hero MotoCorp approved a proposal to merge the investment arm of its parent Hero Investment Pvt. Ltd. with the automaker. This decision came 18 months after its split from Hero Honda."Hero" is the brand name used by the Munjal brothers for their flagship company, Hero Cycles Ltd. A joint venture between the Hero Group and Honda Motor Company was established in 1984 as the Hero Honda Motors Limited at Dharuhera, India. Munjal family and Honda group both owned 26% stake in the Company.

During the 1980s, the company introduced motorcycles that were popular in India for their fuel economy and low cost. A popular advertising campaign based on the slogan 'Fill it – Shut it – Forget it' that emphasised the motorcycle's fuel efficiency helped the company grow at a double-digit pace since inception. In 2001, the company became the second largest two-wheeler manufacturing company in India and globally. It maintains global industry leadership to date. The technology in the bikes of Hero Motocorp (earlier Hero Honda) for almost 26 years (1984–2010) has come from the Japanese counterpart Honda.

Hero of the Soviet Union

The title Hero of the Soviet Union (Russian: Герой Советского Союза, romanized: Geroy Sovietskogo Soyuza) was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.

Maren Morris

Maren Larae Morris (born April 10, 1990) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She has released four studio albums. Her 2015 extended play, Maren Morris, charted on two Billboard charts. Her major label debut album, Hero, reached number five on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Top Country Albums chart.

Her debut single, "My Church", peaked at number one on the Country Digital Songs chart in 2016 and reached the top five on the US Hot Country Songs chart and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance. Her third single, "I Could Use a Love Song", was her first to reach number one on the US Country Airplay chart. She provided vocals for "The Middle", a pop collaboration with Zedd and Grey, released in January 2018, which reached number five in the United States and received three nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards. Morris' second album, Girl, was released on March 8, 2019, through Columbia Nashville, and was preceded by the lead single and title track.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, and, as of February 2019, 22 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called Quirks) in a world where they have become commonplace, but who still dreams of becoming a hero himself. He is scouted by Japan's greatest hero, who shares his quirk with Izuku after recognizing his potential, and later enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April 3 to June 26, 2016, followed by a second season from April 1 to September 30, 2017, then a third season from April 7 to September 29, 2018, with a fourth season set to premiere in October, 2019. An animated film titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was released on August 3, 2018. A second animated film is in production and there are plans for a live-action film by Legendary Entertainment.

The series has been licensed for English-language release by Viz Media and began serialization in their weekly digital manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2015.

One-Punch Man

One-Punch Man (Japanese: ワンパンマン, Hepburn: Wanpanman) is an ongoing Japanese shōnen manga created by ONE which began publication in early 2009. The series quickly went viral, surpassing 7.9 million hits in June 2012. The Japanese shortened name Wanpanman is a play on the long-running children's character Anpanman, wanpan being a contraction of wanpanchi ("one punch"). One-Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a superhero who has grown bored by the absence of challenge in his fight against evil and seeks to find a worthy opponent.

A digital manga remake of the series, illustrated by Yusuke Murata, began publication on Shueisha's Tonari no Young Jump website in 2012. The chapters are periodically collected and printed into tankōbon volumes, with nineteen volumes released as of April 4, 2019. Viz Media has licensed the remake for English serialization in its Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine.An anime television adaptation by Madhouse aired in Japan between October and December 2015. It was dubbed in English during the summer of 2016, and later that year a planned second season was announced. On September 25, 2017, it was announced that they would be changing both its production company and director. The second season premiered in April 2019.

Superhero

A superhero (sometimes rendered super-hero or super hero or Super) is a type of heroic stock character, usually possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and usually battling super-villains. A female superhero is sometimes called a super-heroine (also rendered super-heroine or super heroine), although the word superhero is also commonly used for females. Superhero fiction is the genre of fiction that is centered on such characters, especially in American comic book and films since the 1930s.

By most definitions, characters do not require actual

superhuman powers or phenomena to be deemed superheroes: some (for example Batman) derive their status from the technology they create and use. While the Dictionary.com definition of "superhero" is "a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person". Terms such as masked crime fighters, costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to characters such as the Spirit, who may not be explicitly referred to as superheroes but nevertheless share similar traits.

Some superheroes use their powers to counter daily crime while also combating threats against humanity from supervillains, who are their criminal counterparts. Often at least one of these supervillains will be the superhero's archenemy. Some long-running superheroes and superheroines such as Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, Green Lantern, the Flash, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man and the X-Men have a rogues gallery of many villains.

Superhero film

A superhero film, superhero movie or superhero motion picture is a film that is focused on the actions of one or more superheroes: individuals who usually possess superhuman abilities relative to a normal person and are dedicated to protecting the public. These films typically feature action, adventure, fantasy or science fiction elements, with the first film of a particular character often including a focus on the origin of their special powers and their first confrontation with their most famous supervillain or archenemy.

Most superhero films are based on superhero comics. By contrast, several films such as the RoboCop series, The Meteor Man, Unbreakable film series, The Incredibles, Hancock and They Call Me Jeeg are original for the screen, while The Green Hornet is based primarily on the original radio series and its 1960s television adaptation, both Underdog and The Powerpuff Girls are based on animated television series, and Japanese tokusatsu and anime superhero films are based on manga and television shows.

After a long series of flops, since the 2000s the film genre reversed its fortunes and grew to become a dominant mainstream film genre worldwide. The most notable and successful superhero films since the year 2000 are 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Pixar's The Incredibles series, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, the films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe starting with Iron Man and the films set in the DC Extended Universe starting with Man of Steel. This commercial dominance has largely been accompanied by generally enthusiastic critical support for many of these films, which includes major Academy Awards. Reflecting the fantasy subgenre's noted narrative flexibility in its original comic book publishing format, the film subgenre has been commercially successful in a wide variety of genres such as action, horror, fantasy, comedy etc.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is a fantasy action-adventure video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The series' gameplay incorporates action-adventure and elements of action RPG games.

The series centers on Link, the elf-like player character and chief protagonist. Link is often given the task of rescuing Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule from Ganon, an evil warlord turned demon who is the principal antagonist of the series; however, other settings and antagonists have appeared in several games. The plots commonly involve a relic known as the Triforce, a set of three golden triangles representing the virtues of Courage, Wisdom and Power that together are omnipotent. The protagonist in each game is usually not the same incarnation of Link, but a few exceptions exist.

Since the original Legend of Zelda was released in 1986, the series has expanded to include 19 entries on all of Nintendo's major game consoles, as well as a number of spin-offs. An American animated TV series based on the games aired in 1989 and individual manga adaptations commissioned by Nintendo have been produced in Japan since 1997. The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo's most prominent and successful franchises; many of its games are considered to be among the greatest video games of all time.

Tokusatsu

Tokusatsu (Japanese: 特撮, "special filming") is a Japanese term for live-action film or television drama that makes heavy use of special effects. Tokusatsu entertainment often deals with science fiction, fantasy or horror, but films and television shows in other genres can sometimes count as tokusatsu as well. The most popular types of tokusatsu include kaiju monster films like the Godzilla and Gamera film series; superhero TV serials such as the Kamen Rider and Metal Hero series; and mecha dramas like Giant Robo. Some tokusatsu television programs combine several of these subgenres, for example the Ultraman and Super Sentai series.

Tokusatsu is one of the most popular forms of Japanese entertainment, but despite the popularity of films and television programs based on tokusatsu properties such as Godzilla or Super Sentai, most tokusatsu films and television programs are not widely known outside Asia.

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