Myths & heroes

Updated 09:52 Central European Summer Time (CEST)
March 25th, 2020.
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Que ce soit pour les LV1 ou LV2, les notions sont au nombre de 4
et peuvent ĂŞtre traitĂ©es sous des angles diffĂ©rents. Un mĂŞme 
document pourra illustrer 2 voire 3 notions.

1./ Espaces et Ă©changes - spaces & exchanges
2./ Mythes et héros – myths & heroes
3./ Lieux et formes du pouvoir - places & forms of power
4./ L’idée de progrès - the idea of progress

Myths & Heroes


A hero is a being of distinguished courage
& ability, who is admired for his/her brave &
moral qualities. 
A hero may also be someone who is seen as a 
model or an ideal. As a consequence, heroes are 
generally considered as defending good against 

But what about anti-heroes? Are they evil?
Are they inevitably doomed to fall?

Why does society need to balance heroes & anti-heroes?

I. Heroes or zeroes?

A./ First, let me give you examples of heroes and explain
why they are considered as such.

Some people have become heroes because they symbolize
political resistance
Nelson Mandela, for instance, stood up against racism & 
Apartheid in South Africa. He spent 26 years in prison for 
his beliefs. 
Emmeline Pankhurst is another example of political hero.

Other heroes are fictional characters :
 - Superman defends the Earth against villains, be they
 humans (Lex Luthor) or aliens (General Zod).

B./ But in fiction, there has been an increasing development
of anti-heroes (or zeroes).

Zeroes are heroes who fail. Some writers have debased famous
writings. For example,
Bored of the Rings is a parody of 
the Lord of the Rings trilogy & its characters, Frito, Goodgulf
and the others are completely untrustworthy 

Some heroes are doomed  to fail because it is their fate .

II. Tragic heroes struggle with their destiny

A./ In Greek mythology, some are punished by the gods

Driven by excessive pride/arrogance/self (importance, they 
thought they could fool the gods.

-Icarus did not listen to his father who told him not to fly
too high. → The wax on his wings melted and he drowned 
in the sea.

-Oedipus also thought he could escape his fate → 
he nevertheless killed his father and married his mother.

B./ Nature and men can also create tragic heroes

- Man is powerless when nature rages.

The tragedy of Fukushima, Japan is an example (→ nuclear power 
has turned against man, its creator).

Earthquakes all around the world show us how man is insigni-
ficant next to

- Brother will sometimes turn on brother (1)

The current political, financial and economical crisis, wars etc. 
drive the whole world into a deep depression.

However society can't live without heroes

III. Are there any heroes for today's society ?

A./ Ordinary men can save lives.

In some jobs, men or women are sometimes turned into daily
heroes. The film World Trade Center (Oliver Stone) praises 
the firefighters of the 9/11 events.

B./ The revival of superheroes is consequently possible thanks
to ordinary people.

-"Superheroes Anonymous" are real life superheroes whose aim
 is to turn the world into a better place through education and 
community service. They appeared in New York in 2007.

For example, they regularly give food for the homeless in
New York.

-In France, we have the "Restos du Coeur", "MĂ©decins sans 
Frontières" (Doctors without borders) etc. 


To sum up, it can be said that society needs heroes to give 
hope to people and trust in human nature. What is worth 
remembering is that anybody can become a hero in our 
daily lives.

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