For this apply, you will synthesize what you have learned so far about Epic Heroes.
Synthesis is a critical thinking skill in which you put together
significant pieces of what you have learned in order to create
additional meaning. A Synthesis shows that you comprehended what you
read, broken it apart into smaller pieces to study individually, and
rebuilt it into a concise insight.
Write a careful and thoughtful paragraph that discusses the prompt in a nuanced way:
What makes a hero?
In the modern Epic of Lord of the Rings, we are presented
with a pair of heroes rather than just the one – Eowyn and Merry.
Obviously Eowyn’s gender and Merry’s stature differentiate them from the
giant, masculine heroes of Beowulf and Gilgamesh. Write a paragraph
that compares and contrasts the relevant aspects of their heroic feats
and characteristics. Then, in the conclusion of your paragraph, discuss:
Are the differences in gender and stature relevant to their status as heroes?
Avoid making sweeping generalizations. Be specific, and strive to
find the most precise way to describe these heroes. Use the following
questions to help you find important points of comparison:
- How do the heroes take down their foes? Do they use their bare
hands, or weapons? Does the hero consider the distinction important?
- Which heroes have similar physical characteristics? Which heroes are
different from the others, and do those differences affect their
ability to be heroic?
- Which heroes engage in boasting (“trash talk”) or other banter
before the fight? What is the purpose of these pre-battle exchanges?
- Which heroes work in partners? What role does their partner play,
and does teamwork imply strength or weakness in the hero within their
You do not need to address each of the bulleted prompts above
directly, but a good response will show me that you have considered