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Patterns in Heroic Literature Melodie Ross English 283 Cheryl Carvajal English 283 discusses many themes of British Literature covering novels from ancient to modern times These themes are evident in the personality of the main character usually the hero of each novel These themes include loss of a close friendship and great displays of violence However one prominent theme in most of the novels is that the hero waits until the moment when he most needed to become a leader The hero often begins as a quiet character and then transforms by taking authority and command into a heroic leader Each hero appears to lack leadership qualities or at least ignore their responsibility until a time of dire distress in which they become the great leader This is true of heroes of ancient times such as in The Iliad to more modern novels such as in The Time of the Hero Although the time evolutionizes the heros mindset seems to stay the same at least in the matter of when to display their great leadership ability These characters actions are often not affected by morals but by personal interests They do not seem to fight because the cause is just but more for personal gain or wealth However when the time comes that the hero takes command he is usually very determined and successful There are four novels in particular that seem to display this pattern The hero portrays leadership in a time of anguish in the novels Henry V The Elfstones of Shannara The Time of the Hero and The Iliad Henry V the hero of the novel Henry V shows great leadership in a time of need As a child Henry was very unresponsible and wild however once he inherited the throne his behavior matured Henry becomes a great leader in Englands war with France in which the French outnumber the English by four to one The English troops seem to think
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