Hercules Essay

Topics: Heracles, Labours of Hercules, Hera Pages: 7 (2601 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Adrianna Barnhart
Mrs. Browning
Blk. 6 English 10

The Story of Hercules
Hercules, aka Herakles, was a buff god. He was the god of power. His father Zeus was the god of the skies, his mother a mortal, making Hercules a demigod. Alcmene, Hercules mother, wasn’t the wife of Zeus, Hera the goddess of earth was, and she was livid. In fact, Hera was so livid she threatened the baby’s life by sending in to Hercules crib two serpents. According to the legend, the serpents were sent in to strangle the baby, but Hercules just sat up wrapped his baby hands around their necks strangling them. His failure to die in this scenario would affect him for years to come. (Carr, Karen PhD) Hera was determined to make Hercules’ life hell for being born and killing her prized snakes, so when Hercules married and had two kids, she sought it a good time to make Hercules, literally, crazy. She summoned madness on him, causing him to lose his mind and kill his wife and children. When he came back to his normal state, he was upset to see his love along with his children lifeless in their home. He sent for Apollo to help him rid his woes. Apollo told him in order to liberate him from his sins, Hercules had to report to King Eurystheus and partake in 10 labors. Hercules, wanting be released from his depravities, walks to King Eurystheus’ palace, ready to perform his first task. (Carr, Karen PhD) His first mission was to kill The Nemean Lion, and bring King Eurystheus the hide. The Nemean Lion lived in Nemea, where he terrorized the hills and villages with the area. He hiked for a long time until he eventually stopped in a town known as Cleonae, where he stayed with a man named Molorchus. Under the company of Hercules, Molorchus proposed the suggestion of sacrificing an animal for a good hunt. Intrigued by the idea, Hercules recommended that they wait 30 days for Hercules to come back, where they would sacrifice the animal to Zeus; however, if Hercules didn’t return, Molorchus would sacrifice the animal to him, the man who died a hero. With the plan intact, Hercules left for Nemea. Hercules arrived in Nemea and located the lion. He soon found his arrows were pointless against the lion so he would need to find a better strategy. He followed the lion to a cave with two entrances; he blocked one with sticks and stones and went inside through the other. Without any hesitation, he threw his arms around the lion and strangled him. He then headed back to Cleonae and caught up to Molorchus on the 30th day, where they sacrificed to Zeus together. (The Nemean Lion) After the sacrifice, Hercules went back to Mycenae to deliver the lion to King Eurystheus. The king impressed and frightened Hercules completed the labor, built himself a little room made of bronze under his palace, so Hercules couldn’t reach him. He then banished Hercules from the city and started giving him tasks through a herald. (The Nemean Lion) His second duty was a bit more challenging. Hercules was required to slay the Lernean Hydra. The hydra lived in the swamps of Lernea, where it enjoyed bullying the townspeople. A hydra is a poisonous serpent with eight mortal heads and one immortal head and when one head is chopped off two grow back in its place. Knowing the assignment was nearly impossible, he acquired help from his trusty nephew Iolaus. When they reached the monster, Hercules went straight up and bashed it in the head with his club. He discovered the hydra wouldn’t die from chopping its heads off, so he told Iolaus to torch the neck of the hydra after Hercules cut it off. They continued this strategy until the last head came off. When it came down to the immortal head, Hercules buried it in the ground then laid a boulder on top of the dirt. They then traveled back to Mycenae to tell the king, however, Eurystheus wouldn’t accept this labor because Hercules had help. (The Lernean Hydra)...
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