The modern hero may have a different definition than the classic one. In the classics, a hero travels on literal journeys, often battling monsters and other forms of evil. Their quest is to show that good will triumph over evil. In modern literature, heroes might not necessarily go on physical journeys, but they may undergo a spiritual or emotional journey. Some modern heroes are the equivalent of fairy tale heroes, if only because they don’t even leave their hometown.
A hero may be more able to accept risk than someone who shrinks away from danger. Heroic people may be more likely to overcome obstacles, such as a life-threatening illness. Heroes often display persistence, despite numerous setbacks, and they may focus on the positive outcome rather than dwelling on the pain of suffering. This type of persistence is not limited to the world of superheroes. It can be learned. For example, people who possess heroic tendencies may be more likely to stick with their mission despite having suffered a series of setbacks.
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While many people have their own definition of a hero, the word “hero” is overused in American English. People in the armed forces, fire/rescue services, and law enforcement are automatically given this honor. Presidents and generals are also considered heros, but this distinction doesn’t necessarily apply to all of these people. Heroes can be ordinary people, like Mother Teresa or Ghandi. In fact, many people are heroes.
Regardless of the hero’s identity, a hero is a person who possesses exceptional qualities or has the ability to face any situation with courage. A hero may be someone who can conquer a dragon, save a princess, or a child from the grip of an evil force. In either case, a hero’s actions are considered heroic and are celebrated and admired. A hero’s actions can inspire others to emulate them.
A hero’s courage and valor are often celebrated in literature. They may have divine ancestry, and be favored by the gods. According to the fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company), a hero is “a distinguished male character who embodies noble qualities.”
In modern times, a hero can be an action hero. In Star Wars, for example, Luke Skywalker is a hero because he saves Princess Leia and fights the evil forces of Darth Vader. His morals make him a hero, and readers relate to him more and become invested in his story. And, a hero can be a real person or a fictional creation, which means the action of a story revolves around him.