A hero or heroine is a person who differs from the common people for having performed some feat, virtue or feat that is considered valuable.
However, a hero is also a term widely used in fantasy literature to define a person who possesses supernatural powers and who, thanks to these, performs different works of kindness in defense of the human race. In this way, the concept of hero can be (and in fact is) divided according to the context in which it is named:
Heroes of fantastic literature are: Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Batman, the fantastic 4, the woman wonders, SpiderMan, etc.
Social heroes are:
A man who saves a family from a fire, a person who feels empathy against the hunger of others and acts to reduce their poverty conditions.
From the psychological and social point of view, a hero frames traits or characteristics that every man / woman wants and admires. Therefore it shows the weaknesses of the human being (at a social, cultural level) and allows to reflect them in great deeds to be recognized as such heroes.
In short, a hero must always be an example to follow, perform a feat or virtue towards other people in a disinterested way, face great dangers and be successful (although injured) by the risk that he has decided to run.
1. Origin of the hero
In mythology or literature the hero has a humble and unknown origin. From the conception of hero in current societies, this characteristic remains: the hero is not, until the moment of his feat or feat, a personality known, famous, powerful or rich. On the contrary, it could be said that the hero, in both cases, maintains an anonymity of his gifts until the opportunity to demonstrate his strength in some aspect appears.
2. Example to follow
A hero is an example that society should be; its scale of values, its value and inner strength are a clear example for everyone in the society where the hero is.
3. Adverse circumstances
Every hero unfolds in a contextual framework where circumstances are unjust and this hero must act in pursuit of justice. Such a description applies both to the heroes that literature addresses and to the concept of hero in everyday life.
4. They risk their own lives for others
In all cases the hero risks his own life to save other people. They are usually people unknown to him. However, the hero calls it an inner strength and a particular characteristic to modify what is considered unfair at a social level.
5. Great empathy
The hero feels a deep and absolute empathy and, faced with an act of injustice, he proposes himself as “the only possibility of salvation”. In general, a hero does not break social or moral laws. On the contrary, he defends them. They also have a strong positive thinking that characterizes them.
Generally a hero embodies idealized traits that values the society to which that hero belongs. This idealization allows the hero to be located in a place of the social imaginary and can, in this way, save people from danger and even death.
They are completely disinterested and act by following their heart and sense of truth. They can often be unexpected, act violently but never discourteously or unfairly.
Every hero must have an enemy either in literature, in cinematographic art, comics, etc. The enemy is personified as an evil figure, cruel, without feelings that ambition something regardless of the consequences of their actions on others.
Social (or real) heroes also have enemies. Often nature, by its strength and destruction can be considered an enemy of the hero. Other the enemy (or antihero) is represented by the figure of the state, nobility, king or monarch.
8. Confidence and competence
They have a confidence in themselves that stands out in relation to other people. They also trust people. They have a sixth sense that manages to distinguish those people with good intentions and differentiate them from people who lie or cheat. However, often the hero is mistaken and from there arises the betrayal he frequently receives.
9. Face dangers
Every hero faces dangers that, for other people, are impossible to overcome. Thus, having or not certain characteristics or physical, mental or psychic abilities (in the case of the literary hero) makes use of these powers to overcome the difficulties.
It is easy to distinguish the powers that heroes have in fantasy literature. These are: laser vision powers, atypical body elasticity, excessive physical strength, flying, swimming, breathing underwater, etc.
However these powers are also presented in social (or real) heroes since they have certain powers that they use in their favor. Thus, wit, intelligence, physical abilities become powers that heroes use depending on the resolution of the conflict.