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Heracles The Man Of The Hour

1182 words - 5 pages

Heroes are found in fiction from every place on earth, they differ in many aspects, but key elements transcend through stories. These elements are instrumental in differentiating between a hero and a legend. The Greeks had many legends, but few were truly considered heroes. The most famous heroes were Achilles, Odysseus, Jason, and Theseus. However, the greatest legacy has been left by Heracles, the son of Zeus, but Heracles is indeed more than a legend, he is a hero. Heracles willingly risks his life to preform heroic acts, has a destiny which is set in stone from birth, and crosses several thresholds through his heroic journeys.

Heracles’s life is at risk in his numerous acts as a ...view middle of the document...

edu); Heracles readily complies to Zeus’s request. Heracles willingly risks his life to defend the Gods’ home,and this action shows the type of hero he is. In conclusion, Heracles readily preforms countless heroic acts, all of which question his survival, therefore he satisfies Carl Jung’s definition of a willing hero.

The destiny, which Heracles upholds through his life is sealed from the day of his birth. Destiny is a key part of the heroic journey, and a prominent indication of a hero, because destines are only given to those who will achieve greatness. Primarily, when Heracles is born, the Fates rule “that his life would be of suffering, but his legacy would be remembered.” ( Lottridge & Dickie, 87). This represents Heracles’s destiny, because it foretells how his life will be and that he is destined to be great. Secondly, Heracles has a divine destiny, because of his connection with the gods. Heracles’s main connection with the gods is “ Zeus [is] [his] father.” (Lottridge & Dickie, 87). This demonstrates that Heracles has a greater destiny, because he is no mere mortal, he is a demigod, the son of the king of gods, and his life is forever intertwined with the lives of the Olympian gods. Heracles is born with supernatural strength, the first known display of his strength is when Hera tried murder Heracles as an infant by sending “ two snakes to kill the infant Heracles as he lay in his crib. [Heracles] laughed and strangled them.” Heracles’s divine strength shows that he had a noble destiny to fulfil. Lastly, when Heracles was born with the name “ Heracles. It means glory of Hera, yet Hera was his deadly enemy.”( Lottridge & Dickie, 87). To have Hera, one of the most powerful gods, as your enemy shows that he has a relation to the gods and by a further extent has a great destiny. In short, Heracles has a heroic destiny, which was evident through his father being Zeus, the Fates ruling on the fate of his life , and him possessing celestial strength.

Heracles faces nearly insurmountable thresholds through his heroic journeys, one of the most important elements of a hero. Thresholds are a fundamental and prevalent part of the heroic pattern, because they act as obstacles in the hero’s quest, test whether a hero is worthy of attaining what they seek, and heroes must face numerous threshold’s in their heroic journey. The crossing of the first threshold in Heracles’s heroic journey is when Lord Eurystheus commands Heracles to “kill the great...

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