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"Myth and heroes", oral du BAC.

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Myths and Heroes

First of all a myth is an ancient story or set of stories, especially explaining the early history of a group of people or about natural events and facts. I will talk about the medusa’s myth. Medusa was one of the three gorgons. She was beautiful however every single day she boasted about herself and more precisely about her hair. Poseidon became enamored of her, and obtained her favors in the temple of Athena. This violation of the sanctity of the temple provoked Athena, and she changed the beautiful hair of medusa in snakes. The snakes changed everyone who watches them in stone. Finally Perseus killed her with the help of Athena and Hermes by cutting her head. This myth inspires a lot of poets like Dante, Pétrarque, Shelley, Goethe … It inspires also literature (Boccacio “de mulieribus claris”)   cinemas (“Percy Jackson”)   and video game too (age of mythology) ! This myth had take a really large-scale !

Secondly we will define a hero. A hero can be real or just fictional. When we talk about heroes we think naturally of the superheroes like captain America or superman because they help other with their superpowers and they fight against villains. But I think that a Hero doesn’t need to have power as long as he is doing good things for others. He can have good values such as generosity, altruism and strength. When I say that I think of all the people who work in the shadow those that we didn’t see in the medias like firemen, volunteers ….  We can also talk about all the great men and women who refused to accept injustice in the world, those who change the world with their actions …

We can give the example of a hero Nelson Mandela. To what extent can Nelson Mandela be considered as hero for South Africa?

Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in South-Africa. In this period South Africa was a part of the British Empire. This government had created a political and social system where only white people had political right. In 1948, the separation became legal and nowadays we know this separation under the word “apartheid”. A few years later Nelson Mandela became one of the ANC’s (national African congress) deputy and faced the government discrimination. During all his life Nelson Mandela faced to apartheid and in 1956 he went on a trial for treason. To me he is a hero because he fought against the injustice in his own country and he say NO to the white domination and YES to the equality between all the people. For a lot of people he is indeed considered as a hero but not for all. We can however qualify our statements because we can think that the notion of a hero can be subjective. Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife, have got a preconceived idea about him, indeed she blames him for having accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, she say also that he dropped black people to promote white economy. But to me we can’t judge a man on what is said on him, both bad and good, we have to judge a man with his actions and his ideas.

In the world there are many different people who can be considered as a hero. Nonetheless I admire more particularly Neil Armstrong. He was the first man to walk on the moon. He was a very intelligent man! Indeed he got his pilot’s licence when he was only 16 (sixteen) years old ! After University (in aerospace engineering) he became a test pilot and finally in 1962 he was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps. On December 23, 1968 Neil was offered the command of the Apollo 11. This would be the trip to the Moon. This was an exciting time for the entire country and entire world.  Moon has always questioned people. We can see in fact that moon inspire a lot of directors to make movies about it. Around 20 (twenty) movies had been produce before the first walk on the moon, the first movie is the famous “a trip to the moon” (1902; Georges Mélies). It shows us that moon was a kind a symbol in the world and Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on it, to me it took a lot of courage to up there because it was a really dangerous mission because it was the first one!

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