The 12 Labours of Hercules

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The 12 labours of Hercules

“The Labours Of Hercules” one of the most well known stories from Greek history. A story about a boy that grew into greatness. Son of Zeus, god of the sky, and Alchmene, granddaughter of Perseus. Hercules had never felt as much sorrow as he did on the day Hera, the goddess of marriage and his jealous step mother, had finally paid him a visit. She drove him mad making him kill his family. He instantly fell into grief when he had regained control of his mind after Hera was done what she planed to do. As Hercules stared at his children whom he just slaughtered in cold blood he had to wrestle with his mind to keep from going mad with grief. After releasing that this was no dream or vision he requested for Delphi, a priestess, to tell him what he must do to atone for such a sin. “Go to Tiryns. Serve King Eurystheus. For twelve years you will perform labours. In reward you will be granted immortality” (Creighton 97). All in all Hercules is a myth that overall follows the traditional hero cycle in Greek mythology but still is found to stray off the straight path of other myths.

The birth in a Greek myth is normally the time when the hero is weak and at times not very wealthy, but with Hercules this step is one of the steps that he does not follow. Hercules was born powerful; he had the ability to strangle two large snakes to death as a mere month old. It had been foretold by elders that he would perform great deeds for his mankind before he had even grown into manhood, “There bodies became limp ropes. Hercules, a mere eight month old had killed them” (96). With the elders foretelling of Hercules’ great deeds came his growth into which he proved the wise men right for he had grown seven feet tall and with strength that was unmatched by mortals. The discovery of a hero’s destiny is usually the start of training for the hero but in Hercules’ case he was already for life’s obstacles… or so he thought. After Hera had attacked his...
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