How to Write a Descriptive Essay on an Epic Hero

Heroes are called such for a reason.
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Many essay topics are dry and altogether boring, which forces the student to write an informative and professional essay while trying to make a mundane subject engaging. Epic heroes, however, have been capturing readers’ imaginations for centuries, and writing an essay on one is a thought-provoking and enlightening experience.

1 Prepare

Before you begin writing, plot out and outline your essay. Each epic hero is complex and layered, and it’s important that you’re aware of which aspects of the hero’s character, actions and legacy you’ll be responding to in your descriptive essay. For example, if your essay’s focus is Achilles, you’ll need a position regarding his character and how you feel about his merciless and blood-thirsty mentality.

2 Clean Prose

A main objective of the descriptive essay is providing your reader with intimate insight into how you feel about a particular experience. Your reader isn’t going to understand your interpretation of a specific epic hero if your prose is jumbled, convoluted or crowded. Write each sentence with care, and use the revision process as an opportunity to clarify any potentially inaccessible thoughts or ideas.

3 Senses

Use your senses to explain your thoughts and feelings. For example, if your experience reading about Achilles was dominated mostly by terror and uneasiness due to his lethal and dangerous nature, and your stomach felt like you’d just eaten a rotten dinner, explain such to your reader. There are few things clearer than certain smells, tastes and feelings.

4 Thoughts

Unlike other thesis-driven essays dominated by carefully chosen external sources that justify your claims, the descriptive essay’s focus is your unique interpretation of something. There is nothing wrong with including your honest thoughts about your epic hero. Include your feelings and opinions on specific actions your epic hero executes. If you disagree with Achilles' need to kill in order to create a legacy, let your reader know.

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.