First Advisor

Margesson, Robert

Second Advisor

Gosselin, Abigail


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College Senior Honors Program

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

92 pages


Throughout the centuries of human civilization, the notion of the self-sacrificing hero has evolved in parallel to the evolution of societies. Heroes are shaped by their creators"the populace of a society"in regards to the ideals that society wishes to uphold. A hero is a person who represents the greatest aspects of human beings, epitomizing the characteristics that society holds most dear. These characteristics have transitioned in their levels of importance over time, shifting the "ideal" self-sacrificing hero from one figure to another. However, as these transitions occur, inevitable discrepancies will evolve in the varying minds of the participants in society. Those who wish to value one attribute above another will disagree with another's archetype of the ideal self-sacrificing hero. Ultimately, one view will prevail in the mind of society itself, while the other will fall by the wayside. This thesis has been written to contend that the contemporary view of the self-sacrificing hero is incomplete, and that another type of self-sacrifice should be recognized for its contribution to society's greater good. The introduction portion of this thesis will explain the evolution of the heroic figure over the course of time. In this process, we will examine the attributes of the hero that are most valued by society as the hero morphs from one form into another. Next, we will examine the relationship between ethics and heroism and utilize this connection to describe the contemporary view of heroism through modern ethicists. Finally, a brief overview of the rest of the thesis will be laid out in order to provide an understanding of the structure of the argument that some self-sacrificing heroes sacrifice more than their lives to save their societies, and that they merit recognition for their contributions as well as other heroes.

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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