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Transcript of Hercules
Connor Greenfield His Early Life: Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmena, the wife of the war general Amphitryon. He was conceived when Zeus came from Olympus in the form of Amphitryon. Hera knew that Hercules was really her husband Zeus' son and was angered by the fact. She set out to kill Hercules by sending two great snakes into his nursery when he was an infant. Hercules killed the snakes by choking them while his brother Iphicles, the son of Amphitryon and Alcmena, cried. Everyone knew from that day on that Hercules was destined to be a great hero and was not the real Amphitryon's son. The Story of Hercules: Hercules was what all of Greece except Athens thought of as ideal. He was incredibly strong and courageous. However because of these traits he developed a larger-than-normal amount of self-confidence. Hercules had a surplus in strength but was lacking in intellect. He often acted on his emotions too quickly and because of this he did things that he would later regret. Hercules put himself on the same level as the gods (although he was not one). However he recognized when he did things wrong and often punished himself for his wrongdoings. When Hercules' anger got out of control, people ended up dead because he couldn't restrain his strength and control his actions. Hercules killed many innocent people when he let his emotions get the best of him. Once when Hera sent madness upon him he killed his children and wife Princess Megara. He went to the oracle (prophet) to ask what he could do to repent and purify himself. The oracle sent him to his cousin Eurystheus where he was given twelve labors that were nearly impossible. Eurystheus gave him these tough tasks under the influence of Hera who never got over her anger toward Hercules for
being Zeus' son. These labors took
Hercules twelve years to complete
and when he was finished
he was labeled as a Greek hero. The Labors of Hercules : The First Labor : Hercules' first of the Twelve Labors given to him by his cousin Eurystheus (King of Mycenae) was to kill the lion of Nemea, which could not be killed with any weapons. Hercules completed the task by strangling the lion to death and bringing its pelt back to Mycenae. The Second Labor : THE HYDRA Hercules' second labor was to travel to the swamps of Lerna and kill the Hydra. The Hydra was very hard to kill because it had nine heads. One of the heads was immortal and the others would grow two back when you chopped them off. Hercules had help from Iolaus, his nephew. Iolaus gave him a burning brand to sear the monster's neck when Hercules chopped off a head. Hercules solved the problem of getting rid of the immortal head by burying it under a large rock. The Sixth Labor The Stymphalian Birds For Hercules' sixth labor, he had to scare a pack of vicious Stymphalian Birds out of a tree deep in the woods. Hercules ended up using a krotala (noise maker) given to him by Athena, to drive the birds away and then shot them with his bow and arrow in the air. The Seventh Labor The Third Labor : THE CRETAN BULL THE STAG WITH GOLDEN HORNS Hercules' third labor was to go to the forests of Cerynitia and bring back a live stag with golden horns. This creature was sacred to Artemis. He apprehended it after a year of hunting. He would've been able to kill it in much less time. When he finally captured it he brought it back to Mycenae. In Hercules' seventh labor, he stole the bull given to Minos from Poseidon in Crete. Hercules tamed the bull and took it back to Mycenae in a boat. Hercules did this easily. THE NEMEAN LION The Eighth Labor THE MAN-EATING HORSES OF DIOMEDES The Fourth Labor : For Hercules' eighth labor he was sent by Eurystheus to go out and get the man-eating mares of Diomedes. Hercules successfully killed Diomedes and brought the mares back to Eurystheus without trouble. The Ninth Labor THE BOAR THE GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTA The fourth labor that Hercules completed was capturing a great boar on Mount Erymanthus. Hercules went after the boar by following it until it was very tired. He then trapped it in the snow on the mountain. In Hercules' ninth labor he was assigned to get the girdle of Queen Hippolyta any way he could. Queen Hippolyta was the best warrior out of all the Amazons. At first the Queen just gave him the girdle but Hera made it look like Hercules was stealing it in the eyes of the other Amazons. They attacked him and Hercules killed Hippolyta thinking she had planned the attack. Hercules made off with the girdle and gave it to Eurystheus. The Tenth Labor THE CATTLE OF GERYON The Fifth Labor: THE AUGEAN STABLES In Hercules' tenth labor, he had to travel to the end of the world to capture cattle from the monster with three bodies living on Erythia named Geryon. Just as Hercules was leaving with the cattle Geryon attacked him. Hercules managed to kill him with his arrows. Hera wanted to make sure he would not finish this labor and once he had escaped she sent a gadfly (flies that bite and annoy domestic animals) to attack the cattle which scattered the herd. Hercules ended up gathering the cows and brought them to Eurystheus in Mycenae. Hercules' fifth labor was to clean the Augean stables. There were thousands of cattle in the stables and the stalls hadn't been cleaned for many years. Hercules had to clean them in one day. Although this task seemed next to impossible, Hercules did it with ease. He made two rivers change courses to go through the stables and they washed the stalls very quickly. The Eleventh Labor THE GOLDEN APPLES OF HESPERIDES To accomplish his eleventh labor Hercules was told to get Zeus' golden apples and bring them back to Eurystheus. On his journey Hercules defeated Antaeus in wrestling, and killed Busiris. The funny thing is he did not even have to go and get the golden apples guarded by Hesperides and Ladon (a hundred-headed dragon)! He just had Atlas go get them while he had to take his role putting the world on his back for the rest of his time to give Atlas a break. After he had gotten the apples Hercules slyly asked if Atlas could hold the world temporarily so that Hercules could put padding on his shoulders. Hercules tricked Atlas and just walked away with the golden apples and gave them to Eurystheus leaving Atlas to hold the world forever. The Twelfth Labor CERBERUS Hercules' twelfth and final labor was the toughest of all. The task bought him to the Underworld. During the labor, Hercules freed his friend Theseus from the Chair of Forgetfulness. The twelfth labor was to bring Cerberus, Hades' three-headed dog, up from the Underworld. Hades gave Hercules permission to take him if Hercules could do it without using any weapons. He used his hands and got the creature up to Earth. Hercules brought Cerberus to Mycenae. Eurystheus did not want to keep the beast so Hercules had to carry him back to Hades. Completing this task completed the Twelve Labors of Hercules. After The Labors : Hercules was hailed as a hero by the Greek for completing the Twelve Labors. He later went on to free Prometheus, help the gods defeat the Cyclopes, bring back his friend Admetus' wife from the Underworld when he was rude, and have many adventures. Hercules was tired in the end of his life, and decided to bring death upon himself. He had people build him a pyre on Mount Oeta and he was to lay on it. He was glad when he died, and the pyre was lit on fire. That was the last of Hercules. The Importance of Hercules' Story : Hercules' story was one to be remembered by the Greek. It showed that strength was nothing without a strong mind. Hercules may never had completed the Twelve Labors if he hadn't thought of smart ways to help him with his tasks. His story also shows you to not let your emotions get the best of you. Hercules killed people when he was mad at them when he wished he had not. This fact shows too that strength is not always the most important thing.