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Transcript of HERCULES
Of all the Greek heroes, hercules was most famous. He was a mortal man, who through hard work became immortal and joined the gods of Olympus. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Alcmene’s husband Amphiteryon was out avenging her brother’s death at the hands of pirates. Zeus, disguised as Amphiteryon, came to her and told her stories of how he killed the pirates to avenge her brother’s death. That night Zeus went to bed with Alcmene and impregnated her.
As the story goes, Athena and Hera came upon a baby abandoned at the walls of Thebes. Athena suggested to Hera to suckle the poor abandoned baby. After Hurcules grew up, he killed his own wife and children. For the crime he committed, Hercules was required to carry out 12 labors set by his enemy; Eurystheus, the 12 labors Hercules accomplished were...
Kill the Nemean Lion
This monster of a lion had hide so tough that no arrow could pierce it. Hercules stunned the beast with his olive-wood club and then strangled it with his bare hands. It is said that he skinned the lion, using the lion's sharp claws, and wore its hide.
Kill the Lernean Hydra
The evil, snakelike Hydra had nine heads. If one got hurt, two would grow in its place. But Hercules quickly sliced off the heads, while his charioteer, Iolaus, sealed the wounds with a torch. Hercules made his arrows poisonous by dipping them in the Hydra's blood.
Capture the Cerynian Hind
The goddess Artemis loved and protected the little deer, which had gold horns. Hercules found it a challenge to capture the delicate hind without hurting it (and making Artemis angry). After following the hind for an entire year, he safely carried it away.
Capture the Erymanthian Boar
The people of Mount Erymanthus lived in fear of this deadly animal. Hercules chased the wild boar up the mountain and into a snowdrift. He then took it in a net and brought it to King Eurystheus, who was so frightened of the beast that he hid in a huge bronze jar.
Clean the Augean Stables
Thousands of cows lived in these stables belonging to King Augeas. They had not been cleaned in 30 years, but Hercules was told to clean them completely in a single day. To do so he made two rivers bend so that they flowed into the stables, sweeping out the filth.
Kill the Stymphalian Birds
These murderous birds lived around Lake Stymphalos. Their claws and beaks were sharp as metal and their feathers flew like darts. Hercules scared them out of their nests with a rattle and then killed them with the poison arrows he had made from the Hydra's blood.
Capture the Cretan Bull
This savage bull, kept by King Minos of Crete, was said to be insane and breathe fire. Hercules wrestled the mad bull to the ground and brought it back to King Eurystheus. Unfortunately, the king set it free, and it roamed Greece, causing terror wherever it went.
Capture the Horses of Diomedes
King Diomedes, leader of the Bistones, fed his bloodthirsty horses on human flesh. Hercules and his men fought and killed King Diomedes and fed the king to his horses. This made the horses tame, so that Hercules was able to lead them to King Eurystheus.
Take the Girdle of the Amazon Queen Hippolyta
Hercules went to the land of the Amazons, where the queen welcomed him and agreed to give him her girdle for Eurystheus's daughter. But Hera spread the rumor that Hercules came as an enemy. In the end he had to conquer the Amazons and steal the golden belt.
Capture the Cattle of Geryon
Geryon, a winged monster with three human bodies, had a herd of beautiful red cattle. He guarded his prized herd with the help of a giant and a vicious two-headed dog. Hercules killed Geryon, the giant, and the dog and brought the cattle to King Eurystheus.
Take the Golden Apples of the Hesperides
The Hesperides were nymphs. In their garden grew golden apples protected by Ladon, a dragon with a hundred heads. Hercules struck a bargain with Atlas, who held up the earth. Hercules shouldered the earth while Atlas, the nymphs' father, fetched the apples.
Hercules was ordered to capture Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the underworld, without using weapons. Hercules fought the dog's three heads, and eventually the three headed dog agreed to go with him to King Eurystheus. Cerberus was soon returned unharmed to the underworld.
After the 12 Labors
Hercules did marry a second time. To very beautiful woman, Deianira. When Hercules returned from his last adventure, Deianira gave him a homecoming gift. This was a cloak that she had made herself. Deianira had a magical potion which a centaur gave her. The centaur told Deianira that this potion would make anyone love her forever. The potion was really a poison and this poison was smeared on the cloak by Deianira.
Hercules put on the cloak and immediately his body began to burn. He tried to pull the cloak off but the pain was tremendous and it burned deeper. Hercules figured that death would be the best alternative. As he was in pain, Hercules told his friends to build a huge pile of wood on top of Mount Oeta. This would be known as Hercules' funeral pyre. He laid down on to the pyre and told his friends to light it. Hercules burned alive. Zeus then sent Athena to take Hercules from the pyre. Athena did so and brought Hercules back to Olympus on her chariot.