Achilles and Theseus in Comparison to Superman and Captain America
Achilles and Theseus in Comparison to Superman and Captain America
Achilles and Theseus were both known as great superheroes in the yester years. Nowadays, Superman and Captain America can be easily referred to as today’s mythical superstars. There are many similarities that can be drawn between the old mythical figures and the current ones. The Achilles of olden times is very similar to the Superman of the modern day while Theseus is very similar to Captain America. They also have some notable differences but remain important figures during their times.
Achilles and Superman
Achilles was a great hero in Greek mythology. He was extraordinarily strong, loyal and courageous. He was born as a demigod whose mother was Thetis and father Peleus. His mother was the goddess of water and his father a mortal man. He eventually dies near the end of the Trojan War. Superman, on the other hand, is a fictional superhero who appears in American comic books that are published by DC comics. He was born in a fictitious world called Krypton that was headed towards destruction. He, therefore, rockets to Earth where he helped people against different oppressions from fictitious villains and is known for his colorful costume. He has incredible strength, supernatural speed, ability to fly, superior hearing, x-ray vision and other superpowers that he uses to fight evil and protect innocent people. There are various similarities and differences between the two.
Superman was invincible and so was Achilles. They were almost literally too powerful to overcome. This was due to their exaggerated strengths and abilities. Dubbed as the man of steel, Superman’s powers were almost always stronger that those of the enemy. He was so strong and could barely feel any pain when hit. He also had the other strengths mentioned above, such as being super-fast, ability to fly and heat emission through his eyes. On the other hand, Achilles was also unstoppable with the agility, strength and supernatural aid when fighting off his enemies. As a child he was dipped on River Styx, therefore gaining magical powers that made him invincible.
Both had a call to adventure. For Superman, it was the death of his father. For Achilles, Agamemnon called him to fight Trojans so that they can win back Helen. For both Superman and Achilles, their mother figures do not want them to take on their adventures. They try to urge them to refuse the call. Achilles mother, Thetis was against them going for that adventure. She did not want this Troy journey because in a vision she had seen him dying there. He also tries to fight with Agamemnon and his refusal to fight can be seen as a refusal against this call. Superman had a mother figure called Aunt May who was opposed to his call. She simply did not want Superman to leave.
They both received supernatural aid to help them exercise their quests. Achilles received help from Athena the goddess. Athena helps him to win against Hector of Troy. For Superman, his supernatural help came from his father. Another supernatural aid for Achilles was the Blessing of the Styx. This made him invincible. He helped Superman through crystals programmed by the science of his planet and the memories of his father.
Both these heroic characters went through supreme challenges during their journeys. For Superman, he had to stop the dangerous Lex Luthor from blowing up California. He also prevented the fall of the San Andreas and protected the people from earthquakes that would have emanated from the explosion. For Achilles, his supreme ordeal was fighting and defeating Hector. Contrary to Superman’s story, Achilles was helped supernaturally to handle his ordeal. On the other hand, Superman only used knowledge as his divine help against his ordeal; therefore he did not have any external support in that quest, unlike Achilles, who was directly helped by Athena.
Superman and Achilles both had a special emotional bond with another person. Achilles had Patroclus. The exact nature of their relationship is unclear and has been often disputed in both modern times and during the classical period. The Iliad states that they had a loyal and deep friendship. Some later authors described that the two were lovers. Superman was in love and later married Lois Lane, who was a reporter working with the Metropolis Daily Planet.
At some point of their journeys, each has to face their deepest fears and darkest evils. Achilles had to face Hector, who he battled and won. Superman’s archenemy was the super villain Lex Luthor. They both use their special, supernatural powers to win their battles. Hector dies while Lex ended up imprisoned for his crimes.
Superman and Achilles had different weaknesses that would weaken or even kill them. Achilles’ weakness was his heel while Superman’s weakness was kryptonite. According to Greek mythology, Achilles was taken to River Styx by his mother so that he could be washed and become invincible. However, the waters of the magical river did not wash his heel. Therefore, his heel remained the part of his body that was not invincible. He ended up dying through a poisonous arrow shot to his heel. Superman’s biggest vulnerability is green Kryptonite. This is mineral debris found in Krypton. The planet Krypton was destroyed by certain forces which made this mineral debris radioactive. Exposure to it nullifies his powers and renders him immobile with a lot of nausea and pain. Exposure for a long time can kill him.
Both stories show some sort of victory for each party. Achilles eventually kills Hector which was his biggest battle and a huge contribution to the success of the Greeks in the Trojan War. Superman is always able to defeat his enemies and save the situation that endangered the people of the fictional city of Metropolis. They are therefore seen as heroes because they eventually were able to fight for a cause in which they succeeded. However, the story of Achilles comes to a tragic end due to his death but on the other side Superman’s fictitious story never really stops.
In their journeys, Superman and Achilles have lots of similarities and, for the most part, undergo the monomyth stages described by Joseph Campbell. Both of them had a call to adventure, a refusal to this call, got divine help and had supreme ordeals in their journeys. Neither Superman nor Achilles has a return journey. Achilles fought a great battle in the Trojan War and was very successful. However, he was killed just before the Trojan War ended. It is said that he was killed through a shot to the heel. For Superman, he never really returned at any point and his comics still continue.
Captain America and Theseus
The similarity between Captain America and Theseus is quite definite. It is clear that they both were heroes and they worked to obtain best results whatsoever. They both dedicated their lives towards serving their community by ensuring their well- being and safety. Notably, Captain America was a soldier during the World War II. Apparently, Captain America was born a Weakling, but he was determined to get to the battlefield. As a result, he was chosen and became the pioneer super-soldier who promised to return home and bring victory to his community. Similarly, Theseus was from a low-class city in Ancient Greek and when he was elected, he was determined to come back to his father victorious. He later killed the monster Minotaur which had terrorized the community, thus saved the future generations the fate of going to Labyrinth as it was done yearly.
There was the mythology of the masked heroes which explains the life in the past years. Apparently, the Greeks were the most organized and civilized in history and this evidence is found by how they their lives in the monuments, the art, their religion, and their monuments. Notably, religion was a great reflection of how they lived through the unknown. Hence, Theseus is a myth that is used as an explanation of their origin. Earlier on, myths were used to elaborate the human outcomes and to give knowledge of the right and wrong in the society. In today’s society the superheroes that have mythological power like gods, were created to give another dimension of human condition. The imaginary universe in which extra ordinary creature were created whose origin is simple has turned to ne more entertainment than serve the education purpose.
The superheroes created by the authors would always have their inspiration from human point of view. However, the authors magnify the powers and the might of the superhero and emphasize on extraordinary powers. The reason they have such ideas is to try to explain the unrealistic and unknown things in the world. Captain America is a great superhero in the modern day heroes. He represents the best archetype hero in his highest form, who was born a superhero in the inside. Captain America had many challenges in his journey; however he always maintained integrity, honor and principal unlike other heroes. He identifies the weakness and strength in others and his main aim is to have them work together as a team. He is to face the foes in avengers and he leads them and commands respect from most heroes which makes them marvel. In as much as he has physical weakness character no one was wiling was to take the Thor’s hammer.
The lessons that one learns from Captain America is that one is not supposed to wait for a better or an easier life hence one should discover the potential and be the person they ought to be and cultivating the inner strength and courage to overcome the circumstances ahead. Apparently, the presence of challenging circumstances and difficult situations, and not the absence of them, contributes to making one a hero. One is supposed to rise to the occasion when you feel weak, trapped, disempowered, and defeated in whatever circumstances or reasons. It is important to believe that you are a hero even you feel the least of the heroes when addressing the daily problems. Handle all the problems with patience, humility and dignity like Captain America, eventually circumstances shift and change for the best. Additionally, a great lesson of being just good is shown by Captain America despite the bad encounters. Being good helps one maintain a good life in the face of discouragement. Captain is a good example of working and promoting team work, if one wants to see change sitting down and expecting the change to come will not be effective until one gets to the action mode and does something. At one point Captain ask for help, he feels that he cannot accomplish particular things on his own and he, therefore, asks for help. Since he had been of help to most of the people, they agree to help him. It is a great lesson to us that one cannot accomplish everything on their own but it is good to seek help, but this happens when you have been of help to other when you get the help reciprocated.It is important to embrace challenges, problems and suffering, this makes us heroes of our time since we become better persons who do no wait for best situations. It is also not good to abuse your blessings and squander or take them for granted. One is supposed to use his gifts and service for good.
On the other hand, Theseus was an ancient hero. When they moved to Athens, it was mandatory for young men and women to be devoured by the Minotaur, a monster that lived in Labyrinth. He volunteered to slay the monster and save his people a mission that he accomplished successfully. In conclusion, all the Superheroes had a role to play in the society and were used as an example to educate the people of the community.
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