What kinds of people are celebrated as heroes in our society • If someone from outer space were to come and see whom we venerate, what would they see? Why? • When we disagree about whether someone is a hero, what are we considering? Why do we disagree? • What makes the heroes, heroes?
What is a hero? Or, better, what makes a hero? We all know about the Hollywood movie heroes ... they rush into trouble to save those they love. They risk their lives for others and sometimes lose their own. • Is self-sacrifice in the face of mortal danger our guide? If so, there are hundreds of thousands of heroes in our military, our police forces, our fire service. • Or, is a hero born out of a single act of bravery -- a sudden character-testing incident in the heat of battle or an unexpected circumstance?
What about the men to the right – all who have been held up as heroic figures…? • Perhaps there should be a moral test. Some people believe Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers are heroes. Are they right? • What is our moral guide to heroism?
What Makes a Hero? There are two factors that lead to people acting heroically: The circumstances they find themselves in How they react to these circumstances – their personal characteristics What is it about certain situations which make certain people do great deeds, when otherwise they would have continued their normal lives? Why do certain people act in a 'heroic manner' when faced with these situations? Do 'heroes' possess any specific characteristics? Definition of HERO 1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one who shows great courage
Nelson Mandella, fought for equal rights, imprisoned for over 25 years became South African president Mother Teresa helped the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying children and people. she opened up orphanages all around the world and did most of her work in Calcutta helping people in the slums. She began the Missionaries of Charity. Its mission was to care for, in her own words, "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone." Abraham Lincoln, US President during the Civil War, abolished slavery Florence Nightingale, from a rich family, was known as 'The Lady of the Lamp' and was a pioneer of modern nursing. She revolutionized the way people were cared for, particularly in a war situation There are about 10,000 children living with cancer in Canada today. Each year, about 1500 cases are diagnosed. In Canada, childhood cancer remains responsible for more deaths from one year through adolescence than any other disease; more deaths than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined.
What is a hero? • What are the qualities of a hero?
Jung and Campbell • Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell developed the idea of the archetype • Archetype: A recurring pattern of images, situations, or symbols found in the mythology, religion, art, and dreams of cultures around the world Joseph Campbell Carl Jung
They are all archetypical heroes – and all possess similar traits • What Do Luke Skywalker, Simba, King Arthur, Moses, and William Wallace all have in common? • We are focusing on 9 key hero traits….
1) Unusual Birth • Often in danger or born into royalty • Luke w/ aunt and uncle • Simba born a prince • Moses put in basket • King Arthur in danger from Uther Pendragon’s rivals
2) Leaves Family or Status Quo • Raised away from his people • Luke w/ aunt and uncle • Simba w/ Timon and Poobah • King Arthur w/ Merlin • William Wallace with uncle • Moses w/ Pharaoh’s daughter
3) Traumatic Event • A hero’s life is changed forever • Luke’s aunt and uncle’s death • Wallace’s wife is killed • Arthur pulls sword from stone • Simba fights Nala • Yahweh appears to Moses
4) Special Weapon • Only the hero can wield his weapon • Luke’s light saber • Arthur’s Excalibur • Moses’ staff • Wallace’s sword • Simba’s ... claws?
5) Supernatural Help • Hero often has spiritual guidance • Luke hears Obi-Wan Kenobi • Arthur has Merlin • Yahweh guides Moses • Wallace dreams of his dead father • Simba sees Mufasa in the sky and has Rafiki help him
6) Proves Himself • Hero performs feats while on Quest • Luke blows up Death Star, leads rebellion • Arthur leads battles • Moses perform miracles • Simba contemplates his life • Wallace leads his men against British
7) Journey & Unhealeable Wound • Hero descends into a hell-like area and suffers wounding from encounter w/ evil • Symbolically goes where normal humans can’t and finds truth about self
8) Atonement With Father • Hero either redeems father’s evil deeds or reconciles with father over wrongs done by the hero
9) Apotheosis • Hero is rewarded spiritually at the end of his life