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Essay/Term paper: Theseus or hercules?

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Theseus or Hercules?


Theseus is most worthy of emulation. He was a great hero in Athens.
"Theseus was, of course bravest of the brave as all heroes are, but unlike the
other heroes he was as compassionate as he was brave." (p. 159). Theseus also
was a man of bravery, intellect and bodily strength. Hercules on the other hand
was what all Greece except Athens most admired. He was very strong but wasn't
too smart. Hercules never thought of the consequences that his actions would
bring about before he followed through with them.
First, Theseus was very strong. He fought many terrible horrendous
monsters such as the Minotaur, "..a monster, half bull, half human.." (p.151),
and went on many great ventures such as the Quest for the Golden Fleece. Theseus
showed his great strength in adventures such as the one with the Minotaur.
Hercules was also involved in many great adventures in which his great strength
was shown. Hercules was much stronger than Theseus, but Theseus made up for
this small loss in other ways.
Second, Theseus was very smart. Because of his great intellect the
Athenians, people who valued thought and ideas, chose him and not Hercules as
their hero. Theseus escaped from the Labyrinth and killed the Minotaur. Neither
of these tasks were easy and required someone with aptitude unlike Hercules.
Theseus always thought things through and made good decisions. Hercules'
foolishness was shown on many occasions such as when he killed his family and
his music teacher. Theseus' intellect is one very valuable quality which makes
him more worthy of emulation.
Third, Theseus was very brave. In fact he went on so many great
excursions that a saying grew up in Athens "Nothing without Theseus!" (p. 149).
When it was time for Theseus to seek his father he would not go by water " But
Theseus refused to go by water because the voyage was safe and easy." (p. 149).
Theseus insisted to take the way by land. His idea was to become a hero as
quickly as possible, and he accomplished his goal by ridding the land of all the
banns to travelers on his way to find his father. Theseus had many other
adventures. He was on the Argo, in the Caledonian hunt, as well as many others.
Hercules also had many adventures but his were often the result of his own
stupidity. The "labors of Hercules", one of his greatest adventures, were all a
result of his own folly in killing his wife and children even though Hera
supposedly brought the madness upon him.
In conclusion, Theseus is most worthy of emulation. He was strong, brave
and most importantly smart. If Americans had to choose between Theseus and
Hercules, Theseus would be chosen. Theseus' great intellect makes him a better
person for Americans to choose. Of course Theseus would only be chosen if
Americans suddenly became qualified to make such a decision.

 

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