A hero is a normal person, usually a main fictional character, who, in the eyes of danger, confronts adversity with feats of strength, courage, or ingenuity. Unlike other previously sole gender-defined words, hero is frequently used to describe any gender, although hero only applies to women. In popular culture, heroes are almost always white men, although stereotypes do exist for ethnicity and nationality. In general, heroes are usually depicted as strong, capable, and independent, with great strength and skill in many areas.
Many modern writers have taken this idea of a hero and placed it into a new context. Modern hero is conceived as people with exceptional abilities, gifts, and strengths. Often they have no superpowers but are highly resourceful and use their gifts for the good of everyone. They are also, often, very generous, devoted to friends and loved ones, and display high levels of integrity and bravery. This new vision of modern heroes gives them a more heroic quality than pure heroics, since most modern heroes aren’t actually superpowered.
However, to call a hero “super-power” is to discount the concept of real-world qualities and traits that make heroes special. All qualities and traits are part of the definition of what makes a hero, and all heroes have many common characteristics. This article will examine several common characteristics of heroes and will discuss how these characteristics are related to the concept of heroism.
A hero must be determined and persistent; he or she must have a clear purpose. Classical heroes often had to struggle against obstacles to reach their objectives, such as Achilles in the Iliad. However, modern heroes often have clear goals and have plans of action. They must be focused and relentless, and be willing to sacrifice themselves for their goals. For example, Batman’s willingness to kill innocents to protect the innocent is a trait of heroism.
A hero must be inventive and have a flair for adventure; qualities that are common among geniuses. It is also necessary to have a flair for building and designing things, as well as possessing a firm knowledge of tactics. The combination of talent, imagination, and knowledge is what makes a hero, and the combination is what makes a heroic invention, like Batman. Thus, Batman is the ultimate creation of the heroic imagination.
Lastly, heroes must have self-confidence. This is perhaps the most important characteristic of all, since self-confidence allows a hero to overcome obstacles and confront enemies. It is also necessary to understand one’s own limits, since no hero can fight forever. Finally, heroes must possess courage to face danger and to persevere. Every character that acts heroically has those qualities.