Modern Interpretation of Heroism
The notion of heroism has been known since the first days of humanity existence. Initially, it was associated with courage and strength, shown in the battles with evil. These battles were actual fighting with weapons, injuries, etc. With a flow of time, this interpretation of hero has been modified. Battles have transited from the outer sphere into inner one. A modern hero is a person, who possesses positive traits of character and inner strengths, giving him or her opportunity change the life of others for better.
Classic Definition of Heroism
Regarding classic literature, it becomes clear that a hero should possess such features as physical strength, courage, fidelity, loyalty, and the desire to impress by his deeds all people. The illustration of this vision of heroism is Beowulf. He saves his nation from the monsters, rescuing his health and life. He is a warrior, who achieves the victory with the help of skillful use of weapons.
Classic Definition of Evil
According to the classic definition of a hero, it is possible also to identify the image of his or her enemy – evil. As heroic deeds take place mainly on the battlefields, evil was regarded as a personalized creature with magic abilities. It did not have any positive traits and brought only damage for others. The example of it is Dr. Faustus, who sells his soul to the devil to gain the power and control over all people.
Modern Interpretation of a Hero
In the modern time, the interpretation of heroism has been changed significantly. Heroic deeds have transited from the actual battlefields into the inner world. In other words, a modern hero is not only praised for physical qualities but also a well-developed inner world, including knowledge, active energy of life, extraordinary talents, faith, and virtues. The example of such a hero is Malala Yousafzai. She is a Pakistani activist for women’s rights to education. By 2009, the Taliban had officially banned the education of girls. Nevertheless, a young pupil Malala did not have any intention to give up. When New York Times sent a reporter and a camera crew to follow Malala to her last day of school, she told, “They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it’s at home, schools, somewhere else”. She also used the Internet to share her ideas. Malala’s blog was one of the most visited blogs in Pakistan. With the help of her example, she inspired other girls to protect their rights. Moreover, Malala showed that physical strength is powerless against spiritual one. In 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman. Fortunately, Malala survived. Although she was feared to death, she did not leave her ideas to promote women’s rights. That is why, in 2014, she received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Modern Interpretation of Evil
According to the interpretation of a modern hero, it becomes clear that the understanding of evil has been also modified. Nowadays, evil is regarded not as some magical monsters but as actual qualities of people such as despotism, egoism, etc. The example of a modern evil may be Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president. He used his nation as the means to achieve his personal goals. Moreover, he treated people in a neglectful way. Their lives mean nothing for him.
The notion of everyday heroism is also peculiar for the modern time. It deals with righteous behavior in everyday life. Everyday heroism is faceless. In other words, no one knows such heroes by names. Nevertheless, their actions are used as an example to follow by others. The example of everyday heroism is the 25th of January rebellious revolution in Egypt, known as the beginning of Arab Spring. The citizens united together in order to protect their country from the arbitrariness of the authorities, especially the tyranny of the President Mubarak. They did not care about different religions, views or social backgrounds among them. Their only goal was to lead Egypt to prosperity and equality of rights. Initially, it was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Nevertheless, the regime did not want to give up. That is why many people sacrificed their lives and health in order to give others the chance to live in a better world. From 25 January to 11 February 2011, Egyptian activists kept the defense. Their efforts were not in vain. The uprisings in Egypt ended with the resignation of Mubarak. Although many Egyptian activists remained nameless, their ideas to protect the nation as well as concordance of actions are an example of everyday heroism.
To sum up, the notion of heroism has undergone the long way of different metamorphosis. Initially, it was regarded as the expression of physical power on the battlefields. A classic hero was a warrior, who shows the example of extraordinary courage. Nowadays, heroism mainly deals with the inner world. A modern hero can be defined as a virtuous person, who brings the positive changes for the life of others. The example of a modern hero is Malala Yousafzai, a protector of women’s rights for education in Pakistan. Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that everyone has the chance to become a hero. It is possible to show the example of heroism by everyday actions and style of life. For instance, participants of 25th of January revolution in Egypt deserve the status of heroes because of their patriotism.