Essay about Heracles: The New Jesus

Essay about Heracles: The New Jesus

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Most mythologies contain borrowed aspects from older accounts of the same stories. Myths serve to answer the questions mankind was and is unable to answer simply. Because of the yearning for knowledge mankind has always held, those who were looked towards for answers often had similar explanations based on what they were once told. This sharing of information has given historians an array of mythologies from across the world that can be placed on a semi-clear time line as they adapted and parts changed to better suit a single cultures demands. These oral traditions, later to be written, also found their way onto much art through the ages that now are often open to interpretation since the artists are long passed. The vase's image and text make it clear the setting of the depiction. The vase's imagery is based in The Garden of The Hesperides, at the tree that bears golden apples. Surrounding the tree are Atlas's daughters, the Hesperides, who are picking the forbidden fruit owned by Hera. The serpent in the tree is Ladon, sent by Hera to protect it's fruits from the girls and any other interested thieves. This entire scene is lightly described in the story of Heracles’s Eleventh Labor as told by Apollodorus from 2nd century BCE.
The Eleventh Labor is a traditional Greek myth that can be told in a variety of ways. In Apollodorus' version, Heracles is shown as a trickster figure as well as the hero. He is portrayed as intelligent as well as strong in his diverse trials to get the apples from the Garden. First he must discover where the garden is located which he does by entrapping the Old Man of the Sea, Nereus who is a shape shifter and not easily restrained. Following Nereus' directions, Heracles finds himself wrestling with Anta...


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...e loses her immortality while in the Garden of the Hesperides eating the apples will cause immortality. Despite this minor difference, in both stories the apples distinctly represent mortality.
Greek mythology is a well known religion and the twelve labors of Heracles are to some degree common knowledge. It is not often compared to monotheistic religions however due to its polytheism nature. When reading the details of the well known Greek myths it is hard to miss it's roots in much older religions of monotheism. Greek mythologies heroes, morals, and stories all contain borrowed aspects of much older religions such as Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Sumerian religions. Although Heracles may be the most famous demi-god in modern popular culture, he is simply an adaptation and combination of older and more mysterious heroes from other religions throughout the world.

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