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Is Galileo considered a "hero" or "anti-hero"?

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Introduction

Is Galileo considered a "hero" or "anti-hero"? Galileo Galilei, the central character of Brecht's play, is known as one of the most famous scientists of all the times. He was one of the first to study in depth the universe and is known as the Father of Modern Science. I consider a "hero" a person noted for his acts of courage or noble purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his/her life for the advantages of the human society. Galileo is shown as a "hero" on the first nine scenes of the play, for his courage to stand up the church and also for his passion and enthusiasm towards his aims. On the other hand, on the following scenes he is exposed with some characteristics of an "anti-hero" for his irreverence towards the church showing no respects whatsoever towards it's privileged leaders and also for his coolness towards his daughter Virginia. Nevertheless, should Galileo be considered a "hero" or "anti-hero" for his actions? One of the most important characteristics that make Galileo a "hero" is his great determination and self-confidence in proving and demonstrating his ideas. He dedicated almost his entire life proving that his discoveries about the universe were right. ...read more.

Middle

Although, this was a smart and cunning way to earn money he is shown as a dishonest person behaving very hideously for stealing credit for other's discoveries. In his personal relations with others, Galileo is shown affectionate and sympathetic towards both Andrea and Mrs. Sarti. However, he alienates and doesn't give any attention to his daughter, Virginia treating her (from the start of the play) in a very careless way. When Virginia asks him if she "can have a look" at the telescope, Galileo answers in a very unkind way saying "What for? It's not a toy," leaving Virginia without words. Here, he behaves in a very unfair and biased way towards Virginia because while he got Andrea out of the bed to show him his discoveries, he treats his daughter in very humiliating and cold manner by making it clear to her that he things she is not a clever person. Also, on the third scene Virginia tries to comfort her father who is worried "weather the court will have" him or not, by telling him "Of course they'll have you, Father, with your new stars and all that." Galileo to this affectionate and caring encouragement answers in a very revolting and unpleasantly cold manner saying to her "Run along to your mass." ...read more.

Conclusion

Then, he "drops a pebble on the ground" (scene 3) showing people that if they believe in the force of gravity seeing it, then they should also believe in astronomy by proofing it. Scene 6 His strong optimism is also shown when he claims that " the old days are over, and this is a new time."Pg.6 and also "But now the word is 'that's how things are, but they wont stay like that,"Pg.6 both of these showing his great optimism towards him aim but also show him as a combatant of truth and progressivism. In conclusion, I would like to state that in my opinion Galileo Galilei has shown qualities, merits, talent and contributions that make him a real "hero." His outstanding abilities, his great courage, his faith in universal truth, his comprehension and reasoning of some complex ideas, his great social concerns of the time and his fighting for the progress in science make Galileo with no doubts a heroic character. His feeble points and weaknesses of his personality, which all humans have, are for the most part minor taking into account his merits. With his famous mythical saying "Eppur si muove," (english-and yet it moves) he has remained for the last four centuries as a great hero, which symbolizes that the conviction and confidence towards the truth is stronger than any obstacle. ...read more.

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