Many different types of heroes stand, and they each give different impacts depending on their time and culture. A modern day hero teaches and inspires those around them.
They make an impact that changes many for the greater good. An epic hero typically possesses a goal to save his people or nation. He or she embarks on a journey across continents and encounter many challenges from other humans or creatures along the way. They also value their courage and physical strength. These two types of heroes contrast each other in many ways. For example, a person who many view as a hero in our time would not meet the same perception when viewed in the time of the Ancient Greeks, or they would not recognize their traits that their type of hero would hold.Odysseus, a fictional character from The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer demonstrates many qualities of an epic hero.
He fought in the Trojan War for the Greeks and helped them win. After the Trojan War, he took charge of 12 ships full of men to bring home, and after facing many harmful environments, creatures, and gods, he lost all his men. However, in the end, he made it back home to Ithaca and conquered his home after many suitors took over.
Even after losing all his men, many people in his time and ours still consider him an epic hero because he fits the definition. In the War of Troy, his goal consists of his fight for Greece, his nation. After the war, he faced many hardships, or challenges, to get home. Odysseus also shows courageous qualities and owns physical strength, as shown in his skill and willingness to fight.Ahed Tamimi shows the characteristics of a modern hero. Tamimi, a sixteen-year-old, lives in Palestine, a country forcefully occupied by Israel. More specifically, she lives in a village named Nabi Saleh, a place known for its activism and protests against the Israeli occupation.
In December of 2017, a recording gained popularity online of her pushing an Israeli soldier outside of her home and telling him to leave. The soldier attempts to swat her away, and she responds by kicking and slapping him. This occurred an hour after an Israeli soldier shot her cousin, Muhammad Tamimi, in the head with a rubber bullet. Her first run-in with the Israelis occured in 2012 when at age eleven, she shook her fist at a soldier almost double her size after he arrested her older brother. Three years later, she also slapped and bit a masked soldier trying to arrest her younger brother. Without a court date set by the Israelis, as of January 5, 2018, she faces 12 charges, including incitement and throwing stones. According to Yasmeen Serhan, both sides view her differently, “For Israelis, she is seen as living proof of the army’s restraint.
For Palestinians, she appears to have emerged as a national hero representing a new generation of Palestinian resistance.” In other words, some might view Ahed Tamimi as the hero or the villain, depending on their stance on the conflict.To understand Tamimi’s heroism, one must understand the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. To sum it up, an article from Amnesty International says, “For half a century, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip has resulted in systematic human rights violations against Palestinians living there.” The occupation started in June 1967. It affects how and when Palestinians can travel to work or school, go abroad, visit their relatives, earn a living, attend a protest, access their farmland, and access electricity or clean water. In other words, it impacts every aspect of daily lives of over five million Palestinians.
Many suffer from torture while in jail, due to the fact Israeli law includes nothing against torture. The Israelis settling the occupied Palestinian land violates the international humanitarian law. It’s clear that Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist, stands on the right side of the fight, a hero, not a villain. If born into Odysseus’s time, or about 12th century B.C., most would not consider Ahed Tamimi a hero. First of all, the Greeks viewed females as next to nothing.
For example, Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, is portrayed as a helpless damsel in distress, proven by her lack of power over the suitors occupying her home. Tamimi, only a teenager, would hold little to no power. Age meant power in the time of the Ancient Greeks. A popular type of hero in Odysseus’s time is called an epic hero, or a hero who shows physical power.
While Ahed Tamimi gained fame from her physical encounters with Israeli soldiers, they never contained full-blown fights like the ones Odysseus faced, such as Scylla, a six-headed monster. Tamimi shows more symbolism than physicality, as she represents a face of the Palestinian fight. Mainly, her small fame comes from her online presence.
Her story lacks a presence on any modern mainstream news outlets, such as newspapers or television news, or things comparable to how news traveled in Odysseus’s time. However, Tamimi’s fame comes entirely from social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, something that the Greeks retained nothing close to. Serhan explains this well, saying, “While the images that Tamimi’s videos have shown are hardly new, the way they’ve spread across the web signals how portrayals of the conflict are evolving with technology.” In other words, Tamimi could not become a hero then because all her fame draws from social media. Odysseus and Ahed Tamimi represent two examples of completely different types of heroes. Odysseus demonstrates an epic hero, or a hero that shows physical power and that faces many physical challenges. Ahed Tamimi represents a modern hero not because of her physicalities but because of the symbol she represents.
Many would not consider Tamimi an epic hero, or a hero in Odysseus’s time, mainly due to her widespread social media popularity. While both show the traits of their culture’s idea of a hero, substantial differences still stand.