Characteristics Of A Classical Hero Demonstrated In The Labours Of Hercules

560 words - 2 pages

“The Labours of Hercules” introduces the most famous Greek hero in mythology, Hercules. He completes twelve immense tasks at an early age for killing his family while under a curse from Hera. The story of his labours contains many reasons why Hercules is classified as a classical hero. Hercules exhibits many of the traits of a classical hero, including numerous guides, hazardous journeys and several hardships and afflictions.
Hercules demonstrates one trait of a classical hero by asking for or accepting assistance from other characters throughout the story. Two of his most obvious moments of assistance were when he asks the King of Thebes for his twelve tasks and when he needs help during the search for one of Hera’s treasures. He asks King Eurystheus to aid him in creating twelve tasks to make up for his misfortune in murdering his wife and family while driven mad by Hera, the king gave Hercules the twelve labours. He then asked for help during one of his labours: retrieving the Golden Apples of Hera. Hercules sent Atlas to find the Apples while he held up the sky for him. The many advisors along Hercules’s quest therefore reflect an important quality in a classical hero.
Hercules demonstrates a second characteristic when he embarks on his twelve incredibly dangerous labours. By completing these tasks, Hercules would be forgiven for the killing of his family while under Hera’s spell. An instance of one of these tasks is when he must destroy Hydra, a creature with many heads, one of which is immortal. He fulfills this task by cutting off most of its heads and then laying...

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