Analysis of Hercules' Greatness

Topics: Heracles, Greek mythology, Zeus Pages: 2 (641 words) Published: December 16, 2007

Hercules is arguably the greatest and most accomplished hero figure in Greek mythology. He was born the son of Alcides, wife to a great general; and Zeus, the most powerful Greek god. Hercules could only be overcome by a supernatural force. No mortal or anything else of this world could defeat him. However, that is not what makes Hercules so magnificent. It was Hercules' constant perseverance to overcome adversity and make the wrong right that defines his greatness.

One illustration of this persona comes at an early juncture in Hercules life. As a child, Hercules and his brother, Iphicles, were attacked by two great snakes sent by Hera, an evil goddess. In reaction to this, Iphicles screamed while Hercules grasped the two creatures by their throats, squeezing the life out of them. After that affair all knew he destined for greatness. This is an excellent example of Hercules' character because it demonstrates his ability and will power to rise above a troubling situation. This particular event can act as a significant lesson, because it exemplifies the approach one should take in order to overcome difficulty. That is the approach of attacking a difficult situation with confidence and the goal of success in mind.

Later on in life, but early in his adulthood, Hercules was faced with the worst trial any person could imagine. Hera sent insanity upon Hercules and in an act of madness he killed his wife Megara and their three children. After regaining his senses and coming to realization with what he had just done, Hercules immediately sought out atonement for his actions. "Shall I Spare my own life then?' ‘I will avenge upon myself these deaths". These are the words which Hercules spoke in reaction to the catastrophic event that had just taken place. His great friend Theseus though saved Hercules from doing such a thing. In order to seek purity, Hercules conferred with an oracle to find out what it is he must do. The oracle told him to seek is cousin...
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