Vladerag's Blog

{November 15, 2009}   We are all going to hell!

Heroes have been around in literature forever, from Achilles, to Odysseus, to Beowulf. All have inspired us with tales of valiance, bravery, sometimes of trickery, and mostly of victory. We look up to our heroes; we want to be like them, because while they are not perfect, they are closer than we are. Therefore, we are all going to hell.
It is simple reasoning, heroes are by definition better than us, but their flaws are worthy of hell, ergo, we being not as good as heroes, must be similarly going to hell.
There is no doubt heroes are going to hell, at least hell as described by Dante, for what hero is without a fatal flaw? A fatal flaw is generally fatal in the mortal sense; however, in this case it also quite fatal in the spiritual sense. Not that it necessarily need be, because in any case a hero would be sent to the level of violence, unless he or she had committed an even worse crime. That being said, Achilles did end up in the second circle, although by rights he should have been in the seventh.
A prime example of this is Odysseus, and his many escapades. On the surface, it isn’t easy to see why he would go to hell. Granted, he stayed with Calypso for a while and he probably would not tell his wife about that, and granted he did eat the red cattle of Apollo, but that could be an honest mistake. However, one cannot look at Odysseus without seeing his hubris. It wasn’t just these two offences, but a string of reasons why he would, and did, end up in hell. Although Odysseus would end up in the Eighth Circle, 8th partition, that is only because of his role in the Trojan War, and he did commit many other sins.
Anyway, Odysseus is regarded as heroic. He wins in the end right? Surmounting impossible odds, braving the harshest, most dangerous adventures as Poseidon punts him around like football. This is the point, if we strive to be like Odysseus, we are striving to be like someone condemned to hell, so if we succeed we will join him there.
It might be said that heroes have much more potent sins than we do, which balances out their extreme “goodness.” This is a myth, much like the heroes themselves, every day, more than 2,500 violent crimes occur, including over 240 rapes and over 40 murders, in the U.S. So the potencies of the crimes of heroes and our own are defiantly similar. Is it less common? Are we, mere mortal definite non-heroes, less likely to commit these acts? In short, no, do not forget the sheer number of punishable offences there are. In fact, heroes might be generally better off in hell than us mere mortals.
It is rare the hero that panders, or is hypocritical, or a corrupt politician. Humans in general, however, have this in much abundance. All of these will land a person in the eighth level of hell, in fairly painful punishments.
In the end, it comes down to this; has a person lusted, seduced, lied, tricked, perjured, betrayed god, given fraudulent advice, fought, killed, committed suicide, stolen, been hypocritical, sown discord, killed a family member, been a miser, or been wrathful or lazy, if so, they will go to hell.
So we fail as even our heroes fail, if they, the most perfect among us, cannot reach the pearly gates, surely we cannot. In the end, we all go to hell.


et cetera