A hero has a purpose, he lives to achieve that purpose to defend what he thinks is right. He is greatly motivated and really stands by his beliefs and core values. He would even give his own life just to protect these beliefs. He is determined to overcome whatever obstacles he may come across.
This bravery comes from a drive to do what he believes is right and just. According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, he is “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities” and adds, “He is one who shows great courage. We come across different kinds of heroes in each story we read. Each hero character is unique, but somehow people relate to that character and become one with it. As the hero is the center of each story, one also sees himself as a hero in his own life story. Hamlet is a vengeful hero. He had a clear mission and that was to avenge his father’s death.
He was determined to seek justice and searched for ways to stand by his belief. His very strong drive to prove Claudius was guilty led to a series of unfortunate events that resulted to death.Yes, he achieved purpose, his vengeance, but to what good? A great tragedy resulted from his acts; people were hurt and they ultimately died. Along the way, trust was also destroyed, the lies grew out of proportion and each character had an agenda. The lies and betrayal worsened as the story matured, more pain was caused.
King Arthur, on the other hand was a wise and honorable man. In his quest for freedom, equality and peace he assembled the Knights of the Round Table. He valued fairness and that is why even himself as a king was not above anybody at the round table.He was also a forgiving man; King Arthur forgave Lancelot and Guinevere for their illicit affair.
As the story progressed, we witness King Arthur being more determined to set things right. He was angry when he discovered Lancelot and Guinevere, he placed Excalibur in between Guinevere and Lancelot and that led to the success of Morgana’s plot of deception. When King Arthur and Morgana’s son Mordred was born, a curse happened to the land and because of this, King Arthur was determined to free the land from the curse of famine and sickness lead to the quest of the Holy Grail.King Arthur wanted to restore the fertile land in his kingdom, to correct the wrong he had done. They would not have defeated Morgana and Mordred if there were no forgiveness between King Arthur and Lancelot.
Both Hamlet and King Arthur had the determination to make things right. The difference is the method in which each character chose to reach their objectives. Hamlet chose revenge, darkness and death.
He chose ways that are not always right. What was important was to seek revenge and everything else did not seem to matter.King Arthur on the other hand believed in forgiveness, honesty and peace. Although the character of King Arthur is also flawed, an example of which is seen in the scenes where he abuses the power of the Excalibur in his fight with Lancelot when he first met him and again during the time that he saw Lancelot and Guinevere laying together. Yet, after that we see that he was not proud of what he has done; he makes efforts to correct his wrong doings. King Arthur is always for the greater good and correcting the wrong. These two characters are great heroes in their own rite.Both were very passionate about their cause, both wanted something so much that it made them do things that were not necessarily the right thing to do.
When we talk about how these two heroes can relate to modern day heroes, we think of them as examples of what kind of people we can become. We may have the best intentions but the manner of which we plan to achieve those goals may not be honorable. Sometimes, when sorrowful things that caused so much pain happen to us, we forget our values and blur the line of right and wrong.It may be appropriate to say that the end does not justify the means.
We should always remember that a person is built through his actions and not his objectives. When something painful in our lives happen, we need to heal, reflect and forgive. Modern day heroes are the people you get to know everyday. Anyone can be a hero, but the question is how they are as heroes? What core values are they promoting and willing to fight for? Are you the vengeful hero like Hamlet? Or are you the wise and noble one similar to King Arthur?Your modern day hero can be your neighbor, when he helps you look out for your kids, your doctors, nurses, bus drivers and helpers. It is everybody that you come across with that helps make your life as comfortable as it is today. Many may be thinking that heroes have to a grandeur thing to be called a hero, but anybody can be a hero just by upholding the good values they have everyday. It’s all about being honest, having pure intentions and the passion to do things the right way.It is genuinely caring about others and trying to make a difference even in the simplest things.
You don’t have to be somebody famous or somebody of power; you just have to make a commitment to make life a little better for the world each day. Your smile or small complement to someone might just save his life. It’s in the simple things that the hero in us comes out. Reference: Merriam Webster Dictionary. April 9, 2011. http://www.