What is a Hero Essay Example

What makes a hero

To most of society, a hero is one who is courageous, honest and acquires worthy qualities. Knowing what qualities specify under being a hero can be debatable. Advocates are seen as heroes, they are able to support a cause using their own platform for people who are not able to. To most, people who are courageous and brave are seen as heroes especially when describing an epic hero. An epic hero are usually people in an epic poem awarded for their achievements and have strong and noble qualities. A hero shows great courage and strength like Beowulf, Michael Brock, from The Street Lawyer, and Michelle Obama who are great inspiring advocates that have gained trust from the people they advocate for.

Beowulf has many characteristics and develops a huge change in his personality throughout the three battles. In his first two battles, he was seen as a confident man with enormous strength. In Beowulf it states,

“In his far-off home Beowulf, Higlac’s follower and the strongest of the Geats—greater
And stronger than anyone anywhere in this world— Heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, Proclaiming that he’d go to that famous king” (46).

Beowulf is described as the strongest and he has the Geat's trust so when he found out about Grendel, Beowulf knew he was capable to fight. This shows that he was a hero of high status and legendary importance. His goal was to “purge all evil from this hall” (Beowulf 48). And that was what he did. The Geats saw Beowulf as confident and he saw himself like that as well. Beowulf says a boast to prove to everyone that he is seen as the best, he says “they have seen my strength for themselves, Have watched me rise from the darkness of war” (152). He had all the qualities of an hero as he finished his first two battles.

Nevertheless, his personality shifted and he was no longer the confident strong man the Geats had once thought of him. Before Beowulf’s third battle, his qualities diminished, “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought In endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again” (607). The man who wanted to fight bare handed in his battles now needed more protection and the help of his men. Although most of Beowulf’s heroic qualities dwindled, he became wiser and selfless. Even though his men left him, Wiglaf was inspired by Beowulf to stay and fight. Beowulf realized that he must sacrifice himself to get rid of the dragon and in result, he handed his power to Wiglaf. Some might say that Beowulf was not a hero anymore since he was not courageous, strong or even brave. Beowulf had the trust of his people and advocated for them since he was seen best fit to go and fight. In return, he concluded that needing protection does not always show as sign of weakness and that he can still be a hero without his heroic qualities. In the beginning it was easy to see that Beowulf had a desire for power, he ruled his people and he relished it.


People who live in a high class society often drive luxurious cars, live in big lavish houses and seek a lot of wealth. Michael Brock is illustrated as an successful lawyer in his early thirties working in a very distinguished law firm. Him and his wife, Claire, exemplify a upper class modern day lifestyle. They live in an roomy and elegant apartment, drive luxury cars and wear high end clothes. Most people that have Michael’s lifestyle are seen as greedy, materialistic and not very generous. The book starts out with a homeless man taking hostage of Michael and a few other lawyers. The man’s name was Devon Hardy also known as Mister, his plan was not to kill lawyers but to make them realise how little they were giving to the homeless. Mister gets shot while Michael was right behind him. As a result of the traumatic event, Michael decided to quit his job where he was close to becoming a partner and receiving millions of dollars yearly to a thirty thousand dollar salary to advocate for the homeless. Michael had to adjust from living in a upscale apartment to a dingy old one. As well a smaller office with minimal heat and air conditioning. In the book Michael says, “I missed my chair, my leather executive swivel that rocked and reclined and rolled at my command” (152). The fact that he misses his chair shows how Michael has adjusted. Even though Michael quit his job, the eight other lawyers that were in the same hostage crisis as Michael continued their jobs and lives like nothing happened. As a result of the incident, Michael became an advocate for the low income people.

He started helping out in shelters and taking on clients with his partner, Mordecai. Michael was very courageous to leave his luxurious lifestyle for a one bedroom apartment and an office half the size of the old one. Most people like Michael would volunteer whenever they got the chance and some did not at all. Though Michael saw what the homeless were going through, huge law firms, like the one Michael used to work at, were taking advantage. He fought to help them and used his resources to ease their life. The Street Lawyer states, “I kept looking for Ontario. Santa Claus was waiting, and the little fella didn't have a clue” (83). Michael noticed the struggle Ontario was going through so he tried to support him. Michael was brave going through the streets of the homeless. He did not mind if they thought he was helping for the wrong reasons. The book states, “Nor did I care if people thought I was just another rich white guy working off a little guilt” (82). But Michael knew he was doing it to help the people even if it meant he had to live in the conditions. In the end, he received the homeless trust and continued advocating for them.

Michelle Obama has been a great asset to this country. She acquires many heroic qualities that many do not have. Gaining trust from Americans can be difficult but if you are honest then the American people will let you be their advocator. Michelle has those worthy qualities, “Her strong character helped her fight for social issues, regardless of how controversial they were.

She was also vocal and honest about some of the harsh realities faced by minorities in America” (Leadership now). Michelle says everything she think and does not mind who she says it to. As the article states, “That voice would later resonate with the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world” (Leadership now). Her voice helped her husband became president and continue to gain the trust of the people. Many people followed in Michelle’s footsteps, In Leadership now it states, “Michelle was adamant in her claim that the power of the individual is paramount, and why you shouldn’t underestimate your ability to inspire real change in your community.” Michelle inspired people but creating a better lifestyle for their kids and helping them, physically. Michelle’s heroic qualities help the lives of Americans.

An hero is important to society. They shape the community whether it be good or bad. Beowulf helped his men get rid of monsters and dragons. Michael Brock advocated for the homeless because they were not able to do it for themselves. Michelle Obama used her power to help people for the better. A hero shows great courage and strength like Beowulf, Michael Brock, from The Street Lawyer, and Michelle Obama who are great inspiring advocates that have gained trust from the people they advocate for.

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