From Disney Movies to Wizards: Society's Heroes and Heroines of Then and Now

9:23 AM Nicki 0 Comments

Today society's view on heroes has become dictated by the superheroes with magical powers that dictate the movie screen, but not all heroes wear capes. In fact, it's not even the magical abilities that make them heroes; it's what they do with those powers. Hercules, a demigod from ancient Greece, is known for his superhuman strength. Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter World, is known for her immense knowledge. These are the classic abilities that have been discussed for years, about which is superior: brains versus brawns. While in classical times, it might have be proven that strength is the mightier weapon, in today's modern world, it is arguably one's knowledge. However, both Hercules and Hermione have demonstrated that it is what they do with these skills that make them heroes, by saving people and fighting off the evil that threatens them. These two heroes show the contrasting views of the past and present societies, as well as their similar views to what is considered a hero.
Both Hercules and Hermione were born into worlds where they were different from the people around them. Hercules was born from a mortal mother and the god Zeus, making him a demigod and giving him incredible strength. Hermione was a witch born to two human parents. She was different from them, and had to learn to adjust to this other wizard world that she belonged to. 
They also had to learn to adjust to the challenges that were presented to them.
From an early age, Zeus's wife tortured him as she didn't want him to be born. As Hercules grew up in the mortal world, she tried to kill him. As he grew older, he also become a great warrior. However he was tainted after he killed his wife and kids and was sent by Apollo to perform the 12 Labors. It was during these 12 Labors that Hercules used his strength for the greater good, often saving people by fighting monsters and doing tasks no one else could do. He had the helpful hands of Hermes and Athena to aid him in these 12 Labors he had to perform for King  Eurystheus. Hermione had to leave her home to go study at Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards, like herself. Hermione proved to be a brilliant witch, earning top marks in her classes and often being advanced at performing magic. While at this school, she befriended some of the most powerful wizards and collaborated with them to defeat the dark magic threatening their school and their world. She had the help of her friends, and often times her fellow good students, as she battled the dark wizards and some of her classmates that had been persuaded to the other side.
Hermione and Hercules have some similar achievements. Hercules completed his 12 Labors, which include fighting various monsters and saving many people. He also rescued the princess of Troy and defeated the Giants with Zeus. In comparison, Hermione also saved many people as she defeated Voldemort and the other dark wizards accompanying him. She also helped saved Hogwarts countless times when it was threatened. After her schooling, she also continued on to help revolutionize the Ministry of Magic and the Wizard World, as well as helping house elves. Both Hermione and Hercules have proven to be heroes through their actions, both of them battling the evils of their worlds and saving the people.
While the two heroes may come from similar backgrounds and may have accomplished similar tasks, they have opposites traits that make them heroes. Hermione is know to be "the brightest witch of her age" as she is incredibly smart and studious. She is also very logical and quick witted, always being able to think of a solution to a problem. Hermione also shows her compassion as she works to free house-elves.
Hercules is on the opposite side of the scale. Hercules has been known to not be the brightest and is extremely self confident and proud. He knew he was the strongest man on Earth and knew he could defeat anyone or anything that came at him. This made him some what arrogant as he knew he would always win.
These two opposing personalities show how the past and the present have different views on heroes. In the past, heroes tend to be very self confident and proud. They were great warriors and all of there heroes were included in stories of wars or battles. This is what they celebrated in ancient Greece, which is why Hercules was considered a hero. Hercules has proven to be the classic archetype of society's hero, a man with an extraordinary power helping those that need it. Today, he would still be considered a hero, but he's arrogance ins't celebrated in the modern world like it was in the past.
Hermione, on the other hand, wouldn't be a typical classical hero. She is known for her knowledge and compassion.  Hermione has shown to be society's new view of a heroine. While she does possess magical abilities, it's her brilliance and wisdom that makes her more powerful and aids her as she battles. This is something that contemporary society would celebrate and encourage. Modern society isn't war dominated, it's technology oriented. Knowledge is something that is encouraged in today's world.
Both of these heroes continue to influence today's world. Both demonstrated the basic hero characteristics that societies, past and present, embody. They defeated the evils threatening  the world and saved the lives of many. Hercules may be known for his strength, and Hermione for her brains, but they both represent characters to look up to. While the contemporary world may not value his personal traits, Hercules's actions and strength continue to represent modern superheroes. Hermione proves to show women that they can be heroines and just as powerful as men. She also shows modern societies views that knowledge is important, and is just as powerful as any other power. 
Hermione Granger and Hercules continue to show the contrasting views of classical and contemporary societies emphasis on strength versus knowledge. However, their actions and what they do with their talents prove to show the similar perceptions of heroes through the ages.

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