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Heroes (Theseus and Hercules)
Transcript of Heroes (Theseus and Hercules)
-Call to Adventure
-Crossing the Threshold
-Challenges or Trials
-The Abyss or Temptation
Yet, while these charachters have the same archealtype similarities, the situations themselves are very different. -Most heros in greek myths only have one big challenge, but not Hercules. He had twelve labors that his cousin, King Eurytheus, created specifically for his case. These labors were difficult and could not be achieved by an ordinary man, but eventually all twelve were fullfilied and Hercules considered himself clean again. The Abyss or Tempation: The word "tempation" doesn't really apply for either of these heros. But the word "abyss" does... -Theseus' "abyss" in his tale is when he confronts the Minotaur, and having nothing to kill the beast with, Theseus resolved to using his fists, beating it to death. This being the most perioulus part of Theseus's journey, certainly qualifies it as an abyss. -The abyss of Hercules's tale would be the last two tasks he must complete. In Hamilton's "Mythology", she writes "The eleventh labor was the most difficult of all so far. It was to bring back the golden apple of the Hesperides." The apples were well protected and Hercules did manage to complete the task. "The twelfth labor", Hamilton contiues, "was the worst of all." For this labor, Hercules must venture down into the Underworld, where the biggest abyss of all lies--Tartarus. Although our strong hero does not venture there, he must chain up Cerberus, the three headed dog, truly an abyss. The Transformation: -Theseus' transformation took place was when he followed the magical golden string of Araidne, after defeating the Minotaur. Theseus escapes the Labyrinth, and the others (who were also being sacrificed) follow the string and escape with Theseus and Araidne to the ship, leaving Crete. -The transformation in Hercules' story occurs when this hero defeates Cerberus, chains the monster up, and takes it to his cousin. King Eurytheus orders Hercules to return the beast to the underworld, after seeing the task was completed. All the labors are completed and Hercules consideres himself free to live a life of tranquility. The Speacial Weapon: The hero also has a weapon, often one only he can yeild. The Return Home: This step is basically what it sounds like. In order to prove himself a changed person the hero must return home. The may not stay there... but they will usually return at least temporarily. An Unsual Birth: There is something unusual about the hero's birth or childhood--something that sets them apart from the begining. An Unusual Birth: Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmena. He was raised by General Amphityon. Hera found out that Hercules was Zeus's son, so naturally, she wanted to kill him. Hera sent snakes after Hercules and his brother. Baby Hercules killed both snakes. It was plainly obvious this hero would be great. The Speacial Weapon: -The string of Araidne is Theseus's speacial weapon. Although it is not deadly it is very specific to this tale. Araidne's string led Theseus out of the maze after killing the Minotuar. The Return Home: -Although both heros did return home, Theseus is the person who actually stayed there. On his voyage home his father saw the black sails raised, and assumed his son was dead. (If Theseus defeated the Minotaur, white sails would be raised, but our smart hero wasn't so smart in this particular instance.) Upon finding his father dead, Thesues became King of Athens, and was considered wise. Intelligence: -Theseus was definitly more intellgent than Hercules. He thought situations through, before acting upon instinct. This hero had compassion for a foolish friend, and forgave his wrongdoings, simply because he was able to examine the situation wisely. Semi-Stupidity: -Hercules had everything Theseus didn't, so in otherwords he was the strongest man ever, and wasn't the brightest bulb. Hercules, although strong, didn't listen very well to reason. After Hera caused him to go insane, in which he killed his wife and his children, he sought penance, which was unnecessary. Theseus, the smart one, thought about the issue and decided that Hercules was innocent, But Hercules didn't listen to reason, and set off to complete the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Life After the Quest: -After Thesues' big quest was completed, he returned home, and found himself being crowned king. Theseus was a wise king and Athens was a peaceful city. He set up a new type of government with citizens in leading positions. Then buried the dead Argive people and even ventured to see the Amazons. Antiope bore him a son, and he was called Hippolytus. Theseus went on yet another quest with a friend, and only returned to Athens thanks to Hercules. After marrying Pheadra, and finding her dead by her own hand, Theseus cursed Hippolytus who was killed by a sea serpent. Now alone and still king, Theseus journeyed to see King Lycomedes, who is said to have killed him. Theseus was honored like no other hero. Life after the Quest: -After this hero had finished his twelve labors, he was by no means finished with life. Hercules, although his penance was completed, continued to challenge and fight. This hero fought Antaeus, a giant who forced strangers to fight with him. Hercules killed the giant by lifting him off the ground and strangeling him. He also fought Acheleous, who was in love with the girl he wanted to marry. Besting Acheleous in battle, Hercules won the hand of Deianiva.
-Hercules rescued a maiden, freed Prometheus, and did several penances because of idiotic mistakes and people he accidentally killed. Later in Hercules' life, thinkin Hercules had fallen in love with another woman, his wife, Deianiva, doused a robe in Centaur blood and sent it to Hercules. Hercules put the robe on and it tourtured him. Realizing what she had done, Deianiva commited suicide, whilst Hercules instructed Philoctetes, a follower, to kill the hero, which he did. Pictures: Speacial Thanks to: Mythology,
by Edith Hamilton
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