Hercules was known for his strength and courage. He completed legendary adventures which accredited for his heroic status. Son of Zeus and human Alcmene made him a demigod. Hercules suffered relentless rage from Hera for being the baby of her disloyal husband. As an infant Hera sent two serpents to his cradle, but Hercules astonishingly strangled the serpents. These undertakings and additional events would lead to Hercules being regarded as one of the more paramount gods in mythology.
There were many who claimed Zeus as their father, but there were none that were immortal. Hercules maintained immortality as a mishap during birth. Hercules' father was Zeus, but his immortality came from the milk of Hera he drank at birth.
Hercules's real mother however was Alcmene, the wife of King Amphitryon. Zeus, the king of the gods, disguised himself as Amphitryon and visited Alcmene when Amphitryon was off at war. Hera found out that Alcmena was pregnant with Zeus's child and became infuriated.
Hera sent two serpents to kill Hercules while in his cradle. The serpents approached infant Hercules and as they went to execute him he stood up and strangled the serpents with his bare child hands. The failed attempt to kill Hercules made Hera even more livid. People that know of Hercules do not the true story of Hercules, and do not know what he had to go through.
The story of Heracles that comes to people’s mind is not what Heracles had to do during his life. Throughout the life of Heracles, he has shown that he deserved to be remembered as a great hero, through the opposition that he faced from the husband of Zeus, the king of the gods, wife, Hera, because he was the son of Zeus and a mortal woman. Hera is the main reason that Heracles had to complete the 12 labors.
Hera caused Heracles to go mad and kill his family. The only way for Heracles to purify himself was to accomplish the 12 labors that were assigned to him by his cousin Eurystheus. Heracles must have completed these difficult trials to help him return to his usual life the main reason that Hera hated Heracles is because he was the illegitimate son of her husband Zeus. Hera usually would show hatred for woman that Zeus had slept with, but in this case her hatred was for son of the woman. The hatred of Hera is also ironic because Heracles’ names even means “Glory of Hera”, but with Hera’s hatred cause Heracles to become a great hero and made him a god, and made him the man that many Greek men idolize and portray as the man that they should become.
The 12 labors that Heracles had to face were to purify him from killing his family even though his madness that caused him. The madness was caused by Hera because of her hatred for him. The person that assigned the way to purify him was the oracle at Delphi. “To find out how to cleanse himself of his sins, Heracles consulted the oracle at Delphi. The oracle answered, “You must go too your cousin Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, and do whatever he demands of you. Only in this way shall you be cleansed” (Low 94). This was the only way for Heracles to become cleansed and to atone or his sins. Before he set off to go to the city of Tiryns or Mycenae Heracles was visited by the gods. These gods had pity for Heracles and gave him weapons for the trials that his was about to face. The gifts he received were: A robe, a sword, golden breast-plate, a team of horse, and a shield (Dowrick 198). Heracles will not use this equipment in the trials except for the first one. These gifts show the read that Hercules had some Gods of his side. These gods will become helpful to Heracles during his trials because some of the gods, like Athena, will intervene in one of his labors and help him move along and keep going. Hercules faced these Labor with training, as a young boy. Heracles was trained by the famous hero mentor, Cheiron. Hercules went into these labors ready to face the world and to try his best to survive. “Like all heroes,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document