Captain America's Most Humble Moment
Celebrating the actions of the man behind the shield
Warning: The following contains spoilers for movies in the MCU with Captain America in them. If you haven't watched them by now, good grief. What are you waiting for?
Captain America is a hero to his core and has been excellently portrayed by both Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie in the MCU. Of all the Marvel movies, Captain America's movies are the ones I am most likely to re-watch.
Captain America is the guy who does the right thing against impossible odds. The MCU films are full of great Captain America scenes and actions. I'm sure there's whole lists of his "best" moments.
His return to Germany to pick up Loki in Avengers with the opening line of "The last time I was Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing," certainly comes to mind.
There's also something emotionally stirring about his speeches, like the one in Winter Soldier when he says, "The price of freedom is high. It always has been. And it's a price I'm willing to pay. And if I'm the only one, then so be it. But I'm willing to bet I'm not."
A favorite best moment? Something I'll always remember is sitting in a sold-out movie theater for Avengers Endgame and hearing the eruption of applause and cheers when Cap lifted Mjolnir. Did I fangirl squeal? Yeah, totally did that.
Yes, he's a hero and a fighter. But he's also humble. There is one particular moment that shows this far better than any speech or fight sequence.
But what exactly do I mean when I use the word 'humility'? Let me define that first.
What is humility?
Humility is a concept that is misunderstood. Humility is not having a low opinion of yourself. Some people are constantly down on themselves and are actually acting in a way that is self-absorbed. Self-absorption is the opposite of humility.
Humility is self-forgetfulness. But to expand on this, I would direct to the following quotes from C.S. Lewis.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself less.
Thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe that they are ugly and clever men trying to believe that they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it...keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the impossible.
The humble moment: Captain America Civil War
Based on the above definition of humility, you could argue that a lot of Captain America's actions are humble. He fights to protect others and is willing to sacrifice his own life if need be.
But in Captain America Civil War, everything gets turned upside-down. The lines between right and wrong get blurred.
The movie is hard to watch, because it's heroes fighting heroes. In the film, this feels forced and ridiculous. (In the comics, due to a longer timeframe, the story arc takes on more believability.) I still think they could have talked things out in the movie, and it would have worked out a lot better.
Staying true to the comics, in the film, Captain America (aka Steve Rogers) doesn't believe superheroes should be registered with the government and refuses to sign the Sokovia accords. Captain America does what he believes to be right and stays true to his convictions.
He doesn't stay out of action for long, in spite of the fact that he is no longer an official avenger. Steve is reunited (via intense circumstances and action) with his best friend, Bucky. Bucky tells Steve about the possible creation of a new batch of super soldiers. He and Bucky believe they have to go to Siberia to end the threat. This leads to a "heroes fighting heroes" scene at an airport.
When they do make it to Siberia, it turns out the whole thing was a setup by Colonel Zemo. Zemo reveals that Bucky was actually the assassin who killed Iron Man's parents, while under mind control as the Winter Soldier.
Iron Man (aka Tony Stark) conveniently makes it to Siberia at the same time as Cap and Bucky (a plot point that sort of bugs me). He is furious when he finds out what Bucky did and tries to kill him.
Captain America fights to protect Bucky, the one friend he has left from his old life.
At the movie's climax, Steve manages to subdue Iron Man, and you're tempted to think that Cap will deliver a death blow. But instead, he uses his shield to take out the arc reactor in Iron Man's chest, cutting off the power supply to the suit.
Steve helps a wounded Bucky to his feet, and the two start away to safety. Tony is weakened and rolls over onto his side. He calls out to Steve and says "That shield doesn't belong to you! You don't deserve it! My father made that shield!"
Tony had just tried to kill Steve's best friend. No one would have blamed Steve for ignoring Tony's statement. Steve is a man out of time, with very few connections left to his past. His shield is the only item he has from his old life, a shield that he has used to save countless lives.
But in this moment, he forgets about himself and moves past what he wants. He has saved his best friend. That's what mattered to him.
He drops the shield and walks away.
This is his moment of humility, because he chooses to do something that helps Tony rather than focus on what he wants. So he gives up the one item he has any sort of deep connection to.
And it helped make the ending of the movie bittersweet. It's one of the MCU films that makes you think and makes you realize that life is usually a lot more complicated than a typical superhero film.
It's a movie that reminds me to do the best I can in spite of all the muddy waters. It reminds me to find moments to forget about myself and put others first. To be humble.
To drop the shield.
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Passionate writer that is enthusiastic about writing engaging, compelling content. Excels in breaking down complex concepts into simple terms and connecting with readers through sharing stories and personal experience.