B1 Intermediate US 16597 Folder Collection
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"I need a hero!"
So many people in distress have said this,
but why?
What kind of hero do we need
and do we even really even need a hero at all?
Well, if you look at any piece of literature
written for page,
or stage,
the answer is yes!
But, heroes come in all shapes and sizes,
depending on what needs to be dealt with.
First, you have your epic heroes.
Epic heroes usually come from a famous family,
have super-human strength,
are unusually good-looking.
They take on challenges that no one else will
and succeed.
They have great journeys and adventures,
some supernatural
and some, right here on Earth.
Beowulf does all of this.
He travels across the sea with his band of warriors
to help another king defeat a supernatural monster
that has been terrorizing his kingdom.
He defeats the monster
and the monster's mother
in an epic battle,
and then goes back home
and becomes king himself.
In his old age, he has one more monster to face,
one more threat that he must keep from his people,
a dragon.
Now, being an epic hero,
of course he wins,
but he is also human,
and so he also dies.
But he leaves behind stories
to inspire others even today.
Next, we have our tragic heroes.
Tragic heroes are usually leaders or powerful characters,
but the tragic hero is also majorly flawed
and that flaw usually leads him down the path
to a horrible and tragic death.
Take the story of Oedipus the King, for example.
One day, a young man travels to a town called Thebes.
On the way, he kills a man
for not yielding to him on the road
in the first documented case of road rage.
He also defeats a magical creature
and is rewarded by becoming the King of Thebes,
and thus, marrying their queen.
Well, that's not so tragic, right?
The queen he just married is actually his birth mother!
Oedipus was supposed to have been killed
as a child by a servant,
but instead he was given to another family.
Oh, and the man he killed on the road,
the previous King of Thebes
and his dad.
So he killed his father and married his mother.
Now that is quite tragic.
Not tragic enough for you?
Try this one.
Romeo Montague is a guy born into a wealthy family
and finds the love of his life at a party, Juliet.
But, Juliet is from a different family
that just so happens to hate his family.
Instead of being patient
and working through the family feud,
Romeo decides he must have his love now,
and his impatience leads to bloodshed and death,
including his own and Juliet's.
Moving on to romantic heroes.
Now these guys might sound like
they might have a better love life and chance at happiness,
but that's not always the case.
These heroes are emotional
and very human.
But there is something magical about them.
Some have a miraculous birth
and then are separated from their family.
Others use enchanted swords
or get help from magical beans.
They could also reject the expectations of society
and adhere to their own code of morality.
And in the end,
the hero triumphs over evil in an idyllic way,
but at great personal, emotional sacrifice.
King Arthur is a good example of a romantic hero.
Sure, he became king and married the love of his life,
but he was also killed by his son,
who was born out of wedlock,
and had his wife cheat on him with his best friend.
So, although he, too, like Beowulf, was a great king,
he suffered much more
for the greater purpose of society,
which makes him more human and relatable to us all.
There are different heroes for different situations.
Sometimes we need the strong warrior
to slay the evils of the world.
At other times,
we need a common person who becomes great
so that they can inspire us all to be better.
So do we need heroes?
No matter what the time or place,
we still need something to believe in.
They remind us of the good in each of us,
and the need for hope
and the importance of knowledge.
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【TED-Ed】A host of heroes - April Gudenrath

16597 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on June 5, 2014
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