A hero is the (1) central male figure in a literary text. In epics, a hero is often a (2) mythological or legendary figure, often (3) of divine descent, often with at least one parent who is divine. The hero manifests (4) great strength or ability and is an (5) illustrious, battle-tested warrior, who shows (6) great courage, but who (7) may act rashly at times. The (8) battles are often, though not always, (9) with monsters. (10) The exploits of epic heroes play out (11) over both time and space, and often involve (12) journeys with definite goals. In the course of these journeys, epic heroes (13) often have a guide, often a divine personage who assists them. These heroes (14) meet women characters who serve to try to tempt them away from their goals. At some point in the exploits of the hero, the (15) hero generally descends into a place of darkness, often the underworld. Epic heroes (16) do not fail. They (17) meet their goals and are (18) admired at the national level (that is by their nation or people) (19) for their achievements and noble qualities.


Use the above definition of epic hero to examine three heroes in the two texts we’ve read so far: Achilles, Hector, and Aeneas. All have been referred to as heroes. But consider each hero against the definition and explain how each hero does and does not meet the criteria of the definition. As a central organizing point, decide who best fits the definition.

The paper should not be less than 1250 words long (exclusive of the Works Cited page).


In providing an answer, consider only the materials we have covered in this class . Do not use any other materials except the texts and this definition. In formatting the paper, use the information in this link – MLA Formatting and Style Guide – or a standard handbook with an up-to-date MLA section. Any use of materials, no matter how small, other than the ones provided in this class will result in failure on the paper and in the class.

Please watch this video to understand how citations should be done in this paper: Citations in Classical Texts. Use this passcode if you are prompted to do so: pi&f2jzf


You may use the Writing Center at WSU to get help with this paper. There is also additional help available through the etutoring described herein: Online Writing Support Through

Save all your etutoring documents until after the class is over. I reserve the right to ask for this information if I need it in the grading process. Etutoring is a wonderful program, but you should plan on giving the etutor 72 hours advance notice. As with all tutoring, don’t waste your tutor’s time. Bring the actual assignment (this page) to the etutoring conference. NOTE: Neither the Writing Center nor the etutoring service provides editing service.

I am available in office hours or by appointment to provide help.

No other help is allowed for this assignment.


There are three categories of descriptors in this rubric. Each has several descriptors listed in the category.

2-3 points will be deducted for problems with each of the listed descriptors.

Example: No page numbers = (-2 points),

If a problem is particularly egregious, up to 5 points may be deducted.

Examples: a paragraph that goes for one or more pages =(- 5 points)

Half of the points on the paper will be deducted if there are more than three problems in any one of the categories.

If a problem involves anything to do with documentation of sources or plagiarism, all points on the paper will be deducted.

Example: No Works Cited page = (-50 points and free trip to the Dean of Students)


The overall impression is one of a smooth, clear, easy-to-read response written by someone who has clearly read the texts and written a focused, well documented answer to the question. It is possible to read this paper one time through without stopping and having to figure out what you are trying to say. There is therefore “no cause for pause.” Please understand, your writing should not tax my reading skills or my patience in any way. Your obligation as a student and a writer is to produce something that can be read smoothly at one sitting.


The answers to the points I ask you to address are clearly given.

Please read the information carefully. I want you to talk about three heroes. I want you to consider all of the enumerated parts of the definition for each hero and I want you to organize your writing in such a way that it is clear how each character does/does not meet the standard shown in the definition.

I do want smooth transitions between points. This isn’t three separate essays. It is one essay with three well connected parts.

The organization of the answer begins with a brief introduction and a thesis statement that makes a central organizing point of who best fits the standard of epic hero.

Supporting points are thoroughly made showing clearly that the writer has mined all useful examples and information from the texts.

Paragraphs have topic sentences.

Critical thinking is demonstrated throughout the paper. I want to see thought, clear understanding of the texts, and connections. This is not supposed to be some long ramble to summarize the texts. It’s supposed to be a bonafide connective exercise.



The paper has been edited and sentences are clear and in Standard, North American English.

3 or more spelling errors and this paper is not getting any points.

Rules of standard English grammar have been followed with respect to tense consistency, verb form, subject-verb agreement, and the punctuation of sentences.

Words should be used properly with attention to meaning and nuance.

Paragraphing should be well done so that I’m not reading through long, rambling blocks of text.

There should be no unnecessary repetition of ideas.


MLA is followed to the letter, including:

a proper header,

a proper title (and a properly formatted one),


a separate Works Cited list (if this is missing the paper fails),

correct in-text citations, including line/book number citations for all points that are made — even if you use your own words. Note: Do not make the mistake of thinking that you only need to cite if you quote. You need to cite if you even refer to an action, event, etc. and use your own words. Failure to cite paraphrased material will result in a failure on the paper.

I do expect that the Works Cited will include the e-book versions of the two texts.

And I don’t want any use of any source other than the two e-books.

Most of the points made in the paper are paraphrased, not quoted.

Extracts (quotes) from the texts are used sparingly, but well, to support the points that are made.

Paraphrased points are also cited.

The paper is appropriate in length: at least 1250 words, which are 5 full double-spaced pages of text in Arial 12 font, plus one of Works Cited (this is not included in the word count). Given that you will have a header and title on the first page, you should aim to write at least 6 full double-spaced pages. I will not penalize you for writing MORE than 1250 words, but there is a definite penalty for fewer.

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