2887324-captain_america_movie_2011Hey everyone, it’s time for another post of my archetypal hero series. This might be the last post I do in this series, but I haven’t decided for sure yet. Anyway, for this post I’ve chosen to discuss what I consider to be the classic hero. I consider these characters to be classic heroes in a two-fold sense of the word classic–they are most commonly found in older stories and mythologies and they are also what I believe to be the subconscious ideal that most people have of a hero. In many ways these characters are a combination of the Willing Hero and the Reluctant Hero; but often without the flaws of either. The Willing hero often lacks heroic abilities and the Reluctant hero fears his abilities; the Classic hero has heroic abilities and has no fear of using them. Often these characters are seen in mythologies as demi-gods or princes; people of nobility and power. They go on some quest which demonstrates their heroic nature through a variety of challenges. It is easy to look at this descriptions and think that this sounds boring or cliche, and you might be right, but this is a classic character for a reason. Unlike some of the past heroes I’ve written on that are based on the audience relating to their humanity, the Classic Hero draws people in for the opposite reason. We do not see ourselves as ever being capable of their heroism, but they inspire us to be better nonetheless. We know we can never succeed but they also show us that we have to try. In the recent past I can only really think of one story that contains a classic hero as I have defined it: Captain America. The story of Captain America is one of idealism that I think fits this character archetype perfectly. Even before he became Captain America, Steve Rogers would have been a Willing Hero as evidenced by him jumping onto that grenade. It was his willingness to be a hero that made him a Classic Hero when he gained the abilities to match his idealism.


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