“DONALD TRUMP, EPIC HERO”. A week after Elspeth Reeves’s New Republic article about Trump and wrestling, Jeet Heer posted an article entitled “Donald Trump, Epic Hero” on the New Republic site. Heer compared Trump’s rhetoric to that used by Achilles in the Iliad, by characters in Bowulf, and by David, the slayer of Goliath.
Today, we have expected our heroes to be sportsmanlike and modest in victory. (“Trashtalking” has increased recently, but it is still less common than modesty.)
In contrast, says Heer: “When he’s not hurling invective at others, Trump can be heard preening on his own greatness, exulting over his intelligence, his wealth, and his way with women.”
Heer quotes from Father Walter Ong’s ORALITY AND LITERACY : “Bragging about one’s own prowess and/or verbal tongue-lashings of an opponent figure regularly in encounters between characters in narrative: in the Iliad, in Beowulf, throughout medieval European romance,…in the Bible, as between David and Goliath ….”