Stories frequently consist of a main character attempting to accomplish some great deed. In order to accomplish that deed, the character must overcome great physical and/or mental challenges. The purpose of overcoming such deeds is often driven by the character's need to prove self worth, overcome evil, or even fight their own mortality.
A significant reason for a character to attempt a deed of great proportion is to prove his worth to himself as well as others. An elder must be able to trust the judgement of the heir in order to fully entrust all assets into their care. If this trust is not yet established, the heir must prove himself in present situations. An example of this is God's entrusting man as the caretaker of Eden, but man was unable to not eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. In epic stories, the male who travels to far places and defeats his enemies gains recognition as the strongest in his community, as well as the prime candidate for the procreation of the society. He will be well suited to establish and defend a family. Mental deeds can be seen as reflections of a person's intelligence and prove to others that his ingenuity will provide leadership for that society. In the primitive sense, the intelligent member of the community might be able to lead the others in obtaining food or finding a suitable habitat, thus contributing to the good of the entire community. In many stories, the hero possesses the skills needed to surmount both physical and mental obstacles. He might be seen as the great general-king; a wise ruler who can in times of war lead his people into battle with well-planned tactics and in times of peace, rule his people with wisdom and justice. These heroes prove through the accomplishment of great deeds that they are of great worth to their society.
A second reason for attempting to accomplish great deeds is the desire for good to overcome evil. This may be achieved through the overthrowing of a tyrannical...
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