(The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition , offers this citation from the Washington Post: “Already a national hero in her economically troubled South Korea,...
[Se Ri] Pak is packing galleries at [golf] tournaments stateside.”) In Greek the term ἥρως (''hērōs'') was used exclusively to refer to men.
Classical heroes are commonly semi-divine and extraordinarily gifted, like Achilles, evolving into heroic characters through their perilous circumstances.
The appearance of these mortal figures marks a revolution of audiences and writers turning away from immortal gods to mortal mankind, whose heroic moments of glory survive in the memory of their descendants, extending their legacy.
Examples of heroes range from mythological figures, such as Gilgamesh, Achilles and Iphigenia, to historical figures, such as Joan of Arc, modern heroes like Alvin York, Audie Murphy and Chuck Yeager, and fictional superheroes, including Superman and Batman.
Hector was known not only for his courage but also for his noble and courtly nature.
Indeed, Homer places Hector as peace-loving, thoughtful as well as bold, a good son, husband and father, and without darker motives.
Geneviève Dermenjian, Jacques Guilhaumou and Martine Lapied in Le Panthéon des Femmes Figures et Représentations des Héroines argue that "hero" as a supposedly gender-neutral term carries a strong implicit male bias.
Each classical hero's life focuses on fighting, which occurs in war or during an epic quest.