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Hero Within and Without: Definition

Summer School Class

Definition of a Cultural Hero

From the Merriam Webster Dictionary: 


  • a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
  • a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualiti



  • a mythical or mythicized historical figure who embodies the aspirations or ideals of a society.
  • a mythical figure considered by a people to have furnished it the means of existence or survival, by inventing their alphabet, teaching them husbandry, or stealing fire from the gods for them.

Chuko Liang

Zhuge Liang or Chu-ko Liang or Zhuge Kong Ming (born 181 C.E., Yangdu, Shandong province, China—died August 234, Wuzhangyuan, Shaanxi province, China) was one of the greatest Chinese strategists of the Three Kingdoms period, as well as a statesman, engineer, scholar, and inventor. He was nicknamed "The Hidden Dragon," because people around him underestimated his abilities. 

Zhuge Liang is considered the most popular Chinese hero and statesman, and most people learn of his achievements through the many stories and plays written about him. Supernatural powers were ascribed to him, and he is credited with a number of inventions, including mantou (steamed rice buns), the land mine, a mechanical transport for grain, and the Zhuge-nu, a crossbow that shoots multiple arrows. In the fourteenth-century historical novel San Kuo chih yen-i (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), Zhuge was portrayed as the embodiment of intelligence and ingenuity, and was given power over the winds.


Zhuge Liang. (2008, April 2). New World Encyclopedia, . Retrieved 06:15, June 13, 2013 from

Examples of Heroes & their Culture

 Not this type of hero!!


Gilagmesh- Mesopotamia 

CuChulainn- Ireland

David- Israel

Lleu- British

Maui - Polynesian 

Beowulf - Scandinavia 

King Arthur- Wales

Chuko Liang- China