The figure of the hero has always existed in history. From the Greek heroes, considered gods endowed with strength and courage, to those of the medieval epic and to the “heroes” that characterized the years of the 20thcentury as well as the partisans who fought against fascism with the consequent end of the Second World War.

Therefore, the theme of the hero has always been depicted in literature and with the invention of the camera it was also developed by the cinema, in particular the figure of the super hero: a man or woman alone against adversity, whether it is natural forces, external invaders or corrupt governments, often endowed with “super powers”. Superheroes are typical of 20th century American comics, later filmed. Today, the best-known superhero film companies are Marvel and DC.

By definition a hero is one who, on his/her own initiative and free from any constraints, performs an extraordinary and generous act of courage, which involves or may involve the conscious sacrifice of himself/herself in order to protect the others and the community. Nowadays we usually designate as heroes firemen, doctors, normal people who care about ensuring the common good. In particular, doctors, but also all those who contribute in medical research (recently characterized by the Covid-19 health emergency) have been a source of hope and celebrated as “real heroes” by the media and citizens.

In recent years, in some respects, we can observe a world that is going to ruin: humans are destroying the environment and everything surrounding us (flora and fauna) with pollution caused by the exploitation of non-renewable energy; the continuing conflicts between countries, such as the one in Afghanistan, or the most recent one between Russia and Ukraine. All this is making us doubt man and his “humanity” and makes me ask a question:”Who are our heroes?”

After a deep reflection I believe that our hero is the man himself, that despite being the main cause of the evils present on the planet, if only he wanted to he could give a positive turn. I’m sure there are already people out there who want to change the world with their ideas, and I trust them for a better world.

photo by Gabriel Bassino, São Paulo Brazil, Free to use under the Unsplash License https://unsplash.com/photos/zEawlLdVloo

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Raffaele Adamo


2C Scientifico

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