The Characteristics of the Greek Hero What makes a hero in Greek Mythology? Having one immortal parent Being born into royalty Having an unusual conception or birth Being favored by the gods Being the subject of a prophesy Being abandoned at birth or while very young Performing an amazing feat at a young age Going on a quest Traveling to the underworld Marrying a princess Having a flaw or fault which leads to his downfall. Dying an ignoble death as a result of his flaw. Relationship with the Gods… Often a Greek Hero is known as a Demi-God. He is the son of a God, most often Zeus or Poseidon, though Aphrodite and Thetis have two of the most famous. He will be favored. Gods will grant him greater strength, wisdom, courage, etc… than other men. Often he will receive gifts from the Gods as well as guidance. Flawed often fatal… Though Greek Heroes are larger than life, they will always be cut down to size. They will be flawed in some significant way which will most often lead to their death or their loved ones. Achilles-Rage, lack of humanity Theseus-Selfishness, carelessness. Odysseus-Ego Heroes greatest challenge will be in facing their own mortality. Most of the greatest heroes must visit the underworld during their lifetimes. Epithets… Epithets were a big part of Greek Literature, especially the most famous examples, the Homeric Epics. Def: a descriptive adjective or phrase that is repeatedly used with—or in place of—a noun or proper name. Modern Example: “The man of steel”—Superman “The Dark Knight”—Batman Greek Example: “Wine dark sea”—The Odyssey Achilles: (Honors) Look at pg. 121 #5. What Epithet would you choose for Achilles? Agamemnon? Nestor? What makes Achilles a hero? What do you think of him?