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The Hero's Journey:Hercules and Theseus

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Livia Molinaro

on 21 April 2013

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Transcript of The Hero's Journey:Hercules and Theseus

Theseus and Hercules The Hero's Journey Departure Hercules and Theseus were very
different thinkers. Theseus was
very wise and could successfully
rule a city, while Hercules was not the brightest thinker. Hercules often inadvertently killed people with his immense strength and spent much of his time making up for this. If Hercules was a great thinker, then he would have been a perfect hero. Initiation The Return There is not much known about Theseus's death,
except that his friend, King Lycomedes, killed him.
On the other hand, Hercules's death is much more
descriptive. His wife, Deianira, heard that Hercules
fell in love with a captive, Iole. Deianira rubbed
Centaur blood given to her from a Centaur whom
Hercules killed. The Centaur told her to use it if Hercules was ever disloyal to her for another woman.
She did just that, and it brought him much pain, but could not kill him. Deianira killed herself after discovering the pain she put upon her husband. Hercules knew that death could not encounter him, so he encountered death. He killed himself in flames. An Unusual Birth Hercules Theseus Zeus disguised himself as Alcmenas's husband, Amphitryon, and had Hercules with Alcmenas. Alcmenas also had Hercules's brother, Iphides,with Amphitryon. Hercules had an unusual birth because he was not blood related to his father, Amphitryon, yet his brother was. He was not all mortal, which is unusual. His blood- related father was Zeus, which was also not typical. It is somewhat unusual that Theseus did not grow up with his father, and did not even know him for many years. The only thing he knew about his father is that he left him a stone for him to roll away. When he was strong enough, he could roll away the stone and would be worthy enough to visit his father in Athens. As a child, Hercules
choked a snake that climbed
up his crib in the middle of the
night. This was also a quite unusual
aspect of his childhood. Call To Adventure Hercules Theseus Hercules's massacre of his family initiated his call to adventure. The next step in his call was to see a priestess and gain penance. She assigned him the "12 Labors of Hercules." By deciding to do these tasks, he had made the decision to live his live in penitential acts. Through this decision he realized that he could use his strength for the good of other people. One of these labors was to bring the priestess back a stag with horns of gold. After rolling away the stone that his father left him, Theseus accepted his call to adventure. He knew that he was worthy to go see his father in Athens. When Theseus was strong enough, he
lifted the stone, which uncovered
a sword and a pair of shoes that his father left for him. He then knew that he could go visit his father in Athens. Crossing the Threshold Hercules Theseus Theseus decided to visit his father in Athens the difficult, perilous route of land as opposed to taking a boat. He wanted to be as heroic as his cousin Hercules. He accepted the challenge and call to being a hero by going through places he had never been before and not knowing what awaited his journey. Along the way he encountered many dangerous creatures. Completing the "12 Labors of Hercules" separated a man from a hero, so by completing those tasks Hercules stepped out of his comfort zone and into the unknown. He successfully fought many dangerous creatures. The Challenges Hercules Theseus Theseus overcame a challenge by killing the bandits on his way to Athens. By attempting to enter a nearly impossible to escape labyrinth with a man-eating monster inside (the Minotaur), Theseus surely accepted a challenge that would be difficult to overcome. He also plotted to kill the Minotaur, which was even more difficult. Athens Theseus faced a challenge by accepting his father's death and ruling Athens. This unfortunate death bestowed him a huge responsibility, but he handled it well. Theseus's father, Aegeus, killed himself
by jumping in the sea (which later became
the Aegean Sea.) Theseus accidentally signaled
to Aegeus that Theseus was dead, and Aegeus
felt terrible and jumped in the sea. At his good friend's
wedding, Theseus fought
off many centaurs in an attempt to save his good friend's wife. Unfortunately, she still was killed. Pirithous, fell in love with Persephone, who dwelled in the underworld with Hades. Theseus,
who wanted to help his friend, accepted the
nearly impossible challenge. This endeavor
ended unfortunately because Pirithous and
Theseus got stuck in the Chair of Forgetfulness.
Hercules saved Theseus, however Pirithous
never escaped. This is a picture of the battle at Pirithous's wedding. One of Hercules's first challenge was completing the "Twelve Labors of Hercules." To gain penance after unintentionally killing his wife and children, he felt obliged to perform these twelve grueling penitential acts given to him from a priestess. These twelve nearly impossible tasks separate a man from a hero. This is an image of Hercules
performing one of his twelve
labors: obtain the "Golden Apples
of Hesperides." After completing his twelve labors, Hercules was still not satisfied with himself. As a result, he
took on many challenges to help others during
his life. Some of which were killing Antaeus, saving princesses, and freeing Prometheus. This is a picture of Hercules
freeing Prometheus. Both of these heroes had unusual childhoods, but they were both very different. Hercules was the son of a god, while Theseus was the son of a prince. Hercules's call to adventure was a result of him killing his family. It was a penitential act. Differently, Theseus's call to adventure was not a result of a wrongdoing. Also, Hercules refuses his call to adventure at first by attempting to kill himself after killing his family, while Theseus never refuses his call to adventure. After Being struck with madness by Hera, who plotted to kill Hercules out of jealousy that Zeus had him with another woman, Hercules unknowingly killed his wife and children. For penance,Hercules saw a priestess who assigned him, with the help of Hera, the "12 Labors of Hercules." Crossing the threshold for Hercules was more structured; he performed each assigned task one at a time. Theseus performed his tasks not knowing how many he would complete, or even who or what he was going to battle. Both heroes fought many dangerous creatures. A difference is that they completed their challenges for different reasons. Theseus completed challenges because he wanted to be a hero just like Hercules and help other people. Hercules completed challenges because he felt bad about a mistake he believed he made in the past.The motives for each hero are quite different. Helper/ Mentor Hercules By convincing Hercules to pursue his entire life, Theseus helped Hercules and guided him to his fate. If it wasn't for Theseus, Hercules
would never have been able to help so many people. Theseus The priestess that Hercules went to after he killed his family acted as a helper of Hercules. By assigning him the 12 Labors of Hercules, the priestess helped him realize the
great things he could do for other people with his immense strength. Ariadne helped Theseus escape the deadly labyrinth, and in that way she was one of Theseus's helpers. Like typical helper archetype, she ended up dying along the course of Theseus's journey. Theseus's father helped him by
bestowing him a challenge that
helped him ultimately discover his fate. He also gave Theseus a secret treasure of a sword and sandals.
Like the typical helper archetype,
Theseus's father ended up dying over the course of Theseus's journey. There are two similarities between the helpers of Hercules and Theseus. The first similarity is that the helpers of both heroes helped them discover their fate. The second similarity is that the helpers of both heroes helped them in a single situation, not the hero's entire journey. A difference in the helpers of Hercules and Theseus is that Theseus's helpers died on his journey, while Hercules's helpers did not die on his journey. Illustrated above is Ariadne helping Theseus
escape the labyrinth. Special Weapon There are one similarity and one difference in the secret weapons of Hercules and Theseus. Hercules was born with his gift of strength and willpower while Theseus was also born with his strength and wisdom. In this way, both heroes were born with one or two of their weapons. Hercules was born with immense strength. The Transformation Hercules Theseus After Theseus's father killed himself, Theseus had to take the throne. Theseus successfully filled his father's shoes and became a great ruler of Athens. He was loved by his people. At this moment in his journey, he became a true leader and hero. To make up for his mistake of unintentionally getting drunk at a funeral, Hercules battled Death himself. He went to the Underworld and made Death give his friend's deceased wife back. At this point in Hercules's journey, he showed the
world that he had no match of strength. By believing that he could battle anyone- even Death, Hercules became a true hero. The transformations of both heroes are very different. Hercules battled Death and brought back someone from the dead while Theseus filled his father's shoes. This is an image of Hercules battling Death to bring Alcestis back to life. Reconciliation with Father Figure Hercules Theseus After Hercules died, he
went to heaven and
reconciled with Hera who plotted to kill him his entire life. Although he was not related to Hera, she was
the wife of Zeus, who was
Hercules's father. In a way,
she was like family to him. After they reconciled, Hercules married Hera's daughter, Hebe. Pictured above is
Hercules and Hebe. Hercules and Theseus's reconciliations were quite different. Hercules reconciled with someone who hated him his entire life, while Theseus
reconciled with someone who didn't despise him. Theseus mistakenly signaled to his father that Theseus was dead.
As a result, Aegeus killed himself. To reconcile with his father, Theseus became king of Athens and was a great ruler. He created a democracy, and he was love by his
people. Thinking The Hero's End Theseus had to earn his sandals and sword by rolling the stone away. Hercules did not have
to earn his weapons. The End More Comparison
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