The 12 Labors: Hercules, the son of the Greek god Zeus and mortal Alcmene

The 12 Labors: Hercules, the son of the Greek god Zeus and mortal Alcmene

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Hercules, the son of the Greek god Zeus and mortal Alcmene, was one of the most famous hero in Greek mythology. He is known for his super strength and his many adventures he went on. When Hercules was born, Hera became furious that her husband had sired another child with a mortal. Hera punished Hercules by putting a spell on him that made him mad. While Hercules was under the spell, he slaughtered his own wife and six kids. After Hercules’s sanity returned, he deeply regretted the actions that he had taken. To pay for the crimes of murder that he had committed, Hercules was sent to the land Tyrin, where he was sentenced to perform 12 years of labors that were assigned to him.

The first three labors that Heracles’s performed includes; Slaying the Nemean Lion, Slaying the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra, and Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis. “The first task that Eurystheus gave Heracles was to destroy the Nemean lion.” (Page 121) This creature, who was brought to the land of Nemea by Hera, could not be killed by anything because of its golden fur. Heracles brought along arrows and a club to use to slay the creature. “Realizing no weapon could kill this monster, he rid himself of them and fought the monster with his bare hands.” (The Twelve Labors) The only way for Heracles to kill the Nemean Lion was to wrestle it death. He was able to grip the lion between his arms and choke it to death. After succeeding in killing the beast, Heracles brought back the dead body of the Nemean Lion to Eurystheus. “Eurystheus now sent Heracles on a more tricky mission, to kill the Hydra of Lerna.” (Page 123) The hydra was a powerful, nine-headed water snake that had a poisonous breath. The hard part of this task was that the hydra had only on...


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... to please her father by helping out Heracles. “Persephone told Heracles that he could take Cerberus up to the world of the living, if he could do so with his bare hands.” (Page 131) With no weapons allowed, Heracles had to use his famous wrestling moves on Cerberus. Heracles was able to overcome Cerberus, and the three-headed dog was soon brought up to the surface. Cerberus did not stay long in the upper lands as the King was terrified of the beast.

Hercules performed many labors to pay for his sins. He dealt with many challenges from killing creatures to taking different items. All of these labors he performed were not simple and each task could have been the end of Heracles. As the 12 years of labors went by, each of the tasks were accomplished. Through these labors, he payed for the sins he had done and was bestowed with the gift of immortality.

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