Tag Archives: heracles

Hercules is Home… Again! (By Harrison)

The famed hero Hercules has once again returned home after completing his twelfth task of capturing the malevolent hellhound Cerberus from Hades, the kingdom of the dead itself.

The seemingly impossible task was made possible simply through Hercules’ unrivalled strength and bravery. The modest hero pointed out in an interview with Pierce Morgan “without the impenetrable skin that I cut from the Nemean lion”, which he acquired during his first labor, “I would not have been able to capture Cerberus”. Whether true or not, it speaks to the character of Hercules. After twelve of the most epic of tasks King Eurystheus orchestrated, the man somehow remains modest.

 

As the son of the supreme deity Zeus, Hercules seemed destined for greatness. Hera, who many people speculate as being simply jealous of him (and let`s face it who isn’t), has endlessly tried to foil his destiny. These attempts include sending snakes to kill him as a baby, starting rumors suggesting the Greeks had captured the Amazonian queen, and entrusting a multi-headed dragon and a group of nymphs called Hesperides with guarding apples. These apples were later retrieved by Hercules in his eleventh labor.

 

Because of the troubles Hera caused, many people were not surprised when Hercules seemed to go mad and murdered his own children. When Peirce Morgan asked him about his trouble past, Hercules responded by saying, “what happened in the past is the past. I cannot change it. But I regret my decisions, and have since learned from it, and am now better equipped to handle Hera`s tyranny“. The murder of his children is what forced him to complete the twelve impossible quests for Eurystheus.

 

When asked what he plans to do now that his labors are completed, the hero simply replied, “I plan to continue embarking on adventures, travel, and spend time with my wife Deianara“. I`m sure he`ll be spending a lot of time healing his battle wounds (or lack thereof!), in his new home on Mount Olympus.

 

Hercules is set to be accepted as a god by virtue of his spectacular adventures, unmanageable for any mortal man

 

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Mythology

What is the function of mythology?

  • Explains the world and natural phenomena
  • Teaches us lessons and values
  • Entertains
  • Provides authority and legitimacy, establishes a unified identity
  • A means of exploration

The Monomyth

An American psychologist  and anthropologist, Joseph Campbell, wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), where he researched heroic narratives from around the world and noted some interesting patterns. Campbell discovered several common basic stages that almost every hero goes through on his/her quest. This structure is called the MONOMYTH.

Since Campbell’s original thesis, other scholars have formulated the monomyth in different ways. We will be examining a few heroic myths:

  • Heracles
  • Perseus
  • Theseus
  • Jason
  • Odysseus

Mythweb is A helpful resource that recounts Greek myths in a very user friendly manner.

HOMEWORK: Read your assigned heroic myth and complete the monomyth chart. Tomorrow we will be sharing these myths with the class.

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