Essay - Hercules Was the Son of the God Zeus and Was...

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Hercules was the son of the god Zeus and ***** born in Thebes to Alcmena. Zeus's wife, Hera, was jealous of Alcmena and sent serpents to kill Hercules when he was an infant. The infant ***** killed ***** serpents. However, Hera was not satisfied to leave Hercules alone. In fact, it is Hera's continued interference in Hercules' life that led to his status as Greece's ultimate hero. (Wikipedia).

***** legend of Hercules would be *****complete without the stories of ***** 12 labors. However, though the ***** made ***** Greece's most famous hero, they were rooted in tragedy. Hercules only performed the labors as punishment for kill*****g his wife and children in a fit of insanity. After praying to Apollo for guidance, ***** was ********** that he would have to serve Euryst*****us ***** 12 years, in ***** for the murders. (Crane). As part ***** his punishment, Hercules performed 12 Labors, which were difficult feats that appeared impossible. (*****).

********** first labor was to kill ***** lion of Nemea, ***** was made more difficult *****cause the lion's skin could not be penetrated by spears or arrows. (Skidmore). The second ***** was ***** kill a nine-headed hydra. Hercules' third labor was to capture ***** Cerynitian hind, which ***** sacred to Artemis. Hercules' fourth labor was to capture and bring back a huge boar, the Erymanthian ***** alive. Hercules' fifth labor was to clean out King Augeas stables in a single day, which Hercules accomplished by re-routing two rivers. *****' sixth labor ***** to eradicate the Stymphalian birds, which inhabited a marsh near Lake Stymphalus in Arcadia, and may have eaten human flesh. Hercules' seventh labor was ***** rid Crete of a fire-bre*****thing bull. Hercules' eighth ***** was to ***** Eurystheus Diomedes' mares, which dined on the flesh of travelers who accepted ***** assistance. (Skidmore). ***** ninth labor ***** to retrieve Hippolyta's (the Queen of the Amazons) girdle, which would ***** been easy, except ***** Hera *****ld the Amazon that the Greeks had *****d Hippolyta. The tenth labor was to retrieve cattle belonging ***** Geryon. Hercules' eleventh task was to steal golden apples from the Hesperides. ***** final labor was ***** capture Cerberus ***** bring him up ***** the underground.

In addition to his labors, Hercules completed several other heroic ventures. He freed ********** and Prometheus. In *****, he wrestled death in order to return his friend Admetus' ***** from the dead. (Hamil*****n, 240). Hercules also continued to get into trouble; after accidently killing a servant, Hercules was given to a ***** ***** act as her *****, and she made him dress like a wom*****n. In addition, he ***** death in order to return his friend Admetus' wife (Hamilton, *****).

Al***** ***** survived all of his adventures, Hercules ***** not immortal. In *****, it was common *****y ***** killed him. His wife, Deianara, believed Hercules was in love with a*****her. A centaur had given her a ***** potion, which she used on Hercules' robe. The potion was ********** poi*****, and when Hercules donned the


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