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Amelia Oakley

on 16 November 2013

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Transcript of Heracles


Heracles was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity and a champion of the Olympian order against underworld monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules.

Extraordinary strength, courage, ingenuity, and sexual prowess with both males and females were among his characteristic attributes. He is said to have "made the world safe for mankind". His iconographic attributes are the lion skin and the club.

A major factor in the well-known tragedies surrounding Heracles is the hatred that the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, had for him. Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. He and his twin were just eight months old when Hera sent two giant snakes into the children's chamber. Iphicles cried from fear, but his brother grabbed a snake in each hand and strangled them. He was found by his nurse playing with them on his cot as if they were toys. Astonished, Amphitryon sent for the seer Tiresias, who prophesied an unusual future for the boy, saying he would vanquish numerous monsters.
Labours of Heracles
After killing his music tutor Linus with a lyre, Heracles was sent to tend cattle on a mountain. Here he was visited by two nymphs, Pleasure and Virtue, who offered him a choice between a pleasant and easy life or a severe but glorious life: he chose the latter.

Heracles married Megara. In a fit of madness, Heracles killed his children by Megara. After his madness had been cured he fled to the Oracle of Delphi. Unbeknownst to him, the Oracle was guided by Hera. He was directed to serve King Eurystheus for ten years and perform any task Eurystheus required of him. Eurystheus gave Heracles ten labours, but after completing them, Eurystheus he added two more, resulting in the Twelve Labors of Heracles.

Marriage and Death
Hercules was married to Deianeira. One day the centaur Nessus offered to ferry them across a wide river that they had to cross. Nessus tried to abduct her. Hercules chased after him and shot him with an arrow which was poisoned with Hydra's blood. Before he died, Nessus told Deianeira to take some of his blood and semen and said if she ever thought Hercules was being unfaithful, mixture would prevent him from betraying him.

Deianeira heard rumours that Hercules had fallen in love with another woman. She smeared some of the mixture on a robe and sent it to Hercules. Hercules put on the robe and when he did so the blood still poisoned from the same arrow used by Hercules, burnt into his flesh. When he jumped into a nearby river in hope of extinguishing the fire, it only made it worse. When he tried to rip off the robe from his body his organs were also ripped off with it. After that he told his friend Philoctetis to build him a pyre. He was burnt to death on the pyre. Before dying, Hercules offered his bow and arrows as a token of gratitude to Philoctetis. Deianeira, after hearing what she had caused, committed suicide.

After his death, Heracles was made a god. At this point Hera finally overcame her jealousy and offered Heracles her daughter Hebe's hand in marriage.

Other achievements
• Heracles killed Lityerses after beating him in a contest of harvesting.
• Heracles killed Periclymenus at Pylos.
• Heracles killed Syleus for forcing strangers to hoe a vineyard.
• Heracles learned music from Linus (and Eumolpus), but killed him after Linus corrected his mistakes. He learned how to wrestle from Autolycus.
• He killed the famous boxer Eryx of Sicily in a match.
• Heracles slew the giants Cycnus, Porphyrion and Mimas
• Heracles challenged wine god Dionysus to a drinking contest and lost

Twelve Labours
Slay the Nemean Lion.
Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
Capture the Cretan Bull.
Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
Steal the apples of the Hesperides
Capture and bring back Cerberus.
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