“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use,” a profound insight attributed to Ruth Gordon, encapsulates the essence of courage as a dynamic and trainable quality.
Courage, strength, use suggests that, much like a muscle that becomes robust through regular exercise, courage is fortified through intentional and repeated acts of bravery.
This concept resonates deeply with the themes found in classic literature, where characters often grapple with challenges that demand the cultivation of courage.
Gordon’s quote implies that courage is not a fixed trait but a malleable force that can be developed and honed through consistent practice and application in the face of adversity.
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In Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad,” the character of Achilles exemplifies the theme of courage, strength, and use. Initially plagued by anger and pride, Achilles undergoes a transformative journey that requires the cultivation of courage.
His decision to re-enter the battlefield, despite the foreknowledge of his impending death, demonstrates the idea that courage is a dynamic quality that can be strengthened through use.
Achilles’ evolution from a warrior driven by personal grievances to one who confronts destiny with valor highlights the malleability of courage.
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Similarly, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” the character of Frodo Baggins exemplifies the theme of courage, strength, and use.
Frodo, an unassuming hobbit, is tasked with the perilous quest of destroying the One Ring. Throughout the journey, Frodo faces countless challenges that demand courage, from navigating treacherous landscapes to resisting the corrupting influence of the ring.
His unwavering determination and acts of bravery illustrate the idea that courage is not an innate trait but a quality that can be developed and strengthened through the trials of adversity.
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The theme of courage as a dynamic and trainable quality is also evident in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth.”
The character of Macbeth grapples with moral conflicts and the consequences of his ambitious actions. Lady Macbeth, in particular, displays an initial strength of will but succumbs to guilt and madness.
The play explores the consequences of misused courage and the idea that the strength of courage is intricately tied to its judicious application.
Furthermore, the concept of courage as a muscle aligns with the philosophical perspectives of existentialist thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sartre posited that individuals define their essence through their actions and choices.
The notion that courage is strengthened by use resonates with Sartre’s emphasis on personal responsibility and the continuous development of one’s character through intentional acts.
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In conclusion, “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use” encapsulates a timeless truth about the nature of courage as a dynamic and trainable quality.
The literary references from “The Iliad,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and “Macbeth” illustrate how characters in classic novels embody the theme of courage, strength, and use.
Ruth Gordon’s insight serves as a reminder that courage is not a fixed attribute but a quality that can be cultivated and reinforced through intentional acts of bravery.
It stands as an enduring call to face challenges with resilience, recognizing that each act of courage contributes to the ongoing strengthening of this vital aspect of the human spirit.
Thought Of The Day: Friday, November 17, 2023
“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” – Ruth Gordo
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