Just as a tested and rugged virtue of the moral hero is worth more than the lovely, tender, untried innocence of the child, so is the massive strength of a soul that has conquered truth for itself worth more than the soft peach-bloom faith of a soul that takes truth on trust.
He who seldom speaks, and with one calm well-timed word can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius or a hero.
One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero; numbers sanctify the crime.
Who is a hero? He who conquers his will.
Certain sins manifests themselves as their mirror opposites which the sinner is able to persuade himself are virtues. Thus Gluttony can manifest itself as Daintiness, Lust as Prudery, Sloth and Senseless Industry, Envy as Hero Worship.
Disgrace kills hatred and jealousy. Once someone is no longer a favorite and no longer envied... he might even be a hero and not annoy us.
The three highest titles that can be given a man are those of martyr, hero, saint.
Disease generally begins that equality which death completes; the distinctions which set one man so much above another are very little perceived in the gloom of a sick-chamber, where it will be vain to expect entertainment from the gay, or instruction from the wise; where all human glory is obliterated, the wit is clouded, the reasoner perplexed, and the hero subdued; where the highest and brightest of mortal being finds nothing left behind him but the consciousness of innocence.
The prudent see only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both; diminishes the former and makes the latter preponderate, and so conquers.
The practice of perseverance is the discipline of the noblest virtues. To run well, we must run to the end. It is not the fighting but the conquering that gives a hero his title to renown.
To tell the truth, however, family and poverty have done more to support me than I have to support them. They have compelled me to make exertions that I hardly thought myself capable of; and often when on the eve of despairing, they have forced me, like a coward in a corner, to fight like a hero, not for myself, but for my wife and little ones.
There is no greater victory in the life of a human being than victory over the mind. He who has controlled the gusts of passion that arise within him and the violent actions that proceed therefrom is the real hero.
The more characteristic American hero in the earlier day, and the more beloved type at all times, was not the hustler, but the whittler.
Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s desire... But we need only penetrate to the essence of any historic event - which lies in the activity of the general mass of men who take part in it - to be convinced that the will of the historic hero does not control the actions of the mass but is itself continually controlled.
No hero is a hero to his valet.
The cult of the hero is the absolutely necessary complement of the massification of society… The individual who is prevented by circumstances from becoming a real person, who can no longer express himself through personal thought or action, who finds his aspirations frustrated, projects onto the hero all he would wish to be. He lives vicariously and experiences the athletic or amorous or military exploits of the god with whom he lives in spiritual symbiosis.
In the grossly distorted individualism of today, we are incapable of imagining the selflessly disinterested hero. This may not matter; we may think we can do without him. But what is also means is that we are incapable of imagining the selflessly disinterested hero in ourselves who would give himself to a cause.
The same principles [that apply in polytheism] naturally deify mortals, superior in power, courage, or understanding, and produce hero-worship.
A hero… is not a hero until he is recognized as one. This means that the actualization of the hero is a two-way projection. First the hero must project by way of his deeds, his style, his character. When the projection registers, an imaginative process begins to remake the hero to fit as fully as possible the symbolic weight of his image. Legend and myth take over the historical personage, and through either an oral or a written tradition he is reborn in his heroic apotheosis.
In this world no one rules by love; if you are but amiable, you are no hero; to be powerful, you must be strong, and to have dominion you must have a genius for organizing.