Classical heroes are commonly semi-divine and extraordinarily gifted, like Achilles, evolving into heroic characters through their perilous circumstances.The appearance of these mortal figures marks a revolution of audiences and writers turning away from immortal gods to mortal mankind, whose heroic moments of glory survive in the memory of their descendants, extending their legacy.

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Achilles plays a tragic role in The Iliad brought about by constant de-humanization throughout the epic, having his menis (wrath) overpower his philos (love).

Heroes in myth often had close but conflicted relationships with the gods.

The lack of recognition enabled Oedipus to slay his father, ironically further binding his father to his fate.

For example, Achilles's character-issues of hateful rage lead to merciless slaughter and his overwhelming pride lead to him only joining the Trojan War because he didn't want his soldiers to win all of the glory.

(The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition [2000], offers this citation from the Washington Post: “Already a national hero in her economically troubled South Korea,...

[Se Ri] Pak is packing galleries at [golf] tournaments stateside.”) In Greek the term ἥρως (''hērōs'') was used exclusively to refer to men.After learning that his son, Oedipus, will end up killing him, the King of Thebes, Laius, takes huge steps to assure his son's death by removing him from the kingdom.But, Oedipus slays his father without an afterthought when he unknowingly encounters him in a dispute on the road many years later.Achilles famously refuses to fight after his dishonoring at the hands of Agamemnon, and only returns to the war due to unadulterated rage after Hector kills his close friend Patroclus.Achilles was known for uncontrollable rage that defined many of his bloodthirsty actions, such as defiling Hector's corpse by dragging it around the city of Troy.Classical heroes, regardless of their morality, were placed in religion.