Presentation on theme: "Alcmena was married with Amphytrion. But Zeus felt in love with her and he appeared in the form of the general Amphytrion and slept with his wife Alcmena."— Presentation transcript:
Alcmena was married with Amphytrion. But Zeus felt in love with her and he appeared in the form of the general Amphytrion and slept with his wife Alcmena.
Alcmena gave birth to two children, Hercules and Iphicles. One of them was Zeus’ son and the differences between the two were immediately clear.
Hera was Zeus’ wife and she was jealous and she was determined to kill Hercules. One night when both children were sleeping, Hera sent two great snakes into the nursery.
Iphicles screamed and tried to get out of the cradle. Hercules sat up, grabbed the snakes by the throat, and killed them.
He was the strongest but not the smartest man. Hercules thought that his strength could solve any problem. Once Hercules was too hot and he pointed his arrow at the sun and threatened to shoot it.
Hercules marries princess Megara and they have three boys. But Hera strikes Hercules with madness and he kills her and the children. He then wakes from this and finding the dead bodies before him, he feels extremely guilt. The oracle at Delphi tells him that to be purified, he would have to do labors for his cousin, king Eurystheus.
Each of the tasks were nearly impossible to perform; these 12 tasks lasted 12 years. 1.The Nemean lion. 2.The Lernean Hydra. 3.The female deer with golden horns. 4.The Eurymanthian boar. 5.The Augean stables. 6.The Stymphalian birds. 7. The Cretan bull. 8. The mares of Diomedes. 9. The belt of Hyppolita. 10. The cattle of Geryon. 11. The golden apples of the Hesperides. 12. The Cerberus.
This animal couldn’t be killed with weapons. Hercules choked it to death. Since then Hercules is depicted wearing a lion skin.
The hydra lived in a swamp and had nine heads. One was inmortal and if any of the others were cut off two would grow in its place. With the help of his nephew, he burned the neck of each head after it was cut off. The inmortal head was buried under a great rock.
The third labor was to bring back alive a female deer sacred to Artemis. He could have easily killed it but bringing it back alive was far more difficult. It took him a year.
Hercules had to capture a great boar. He chased it until it was tired and then he drove it into deep snow and trapped it. Eurystheus, again frightened by the hero's powers, hid in a bronze jar.
For the fifth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas' stables. Hercules knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things. Augeas was very rich, and he had many herds of cows, bulls, goats, sheep and horses. The stables had not been cleaned for years. Hercules diverted the course of two rivers and cleaned it out in one day.
For the sixth Labor, Hercules was to drive away an enormous flock of birds which gathered at a lake near the town of Stymphalos. The goddess Athena came to his aid, providing a pair of bronze krotala, noisemaking clappers similar to castanets. Hercules clashed the krotala loudly, scaring the birds out of the trees, then shot them with bow and arrow.
Hercules had to go to Crete and fetch the white bull that Poseidon had given to Minos. Hercules mastered him, put him in a boat, and drove it back to King Eurystheus.
Eurystheus sent him to get the man-eating mares of Diomedes. He killed Diomedes and then drove off the mares. The hero took the mares back to Eurystheus, but Eurystheus set them free. The mares wandered around until eventually they came to Mount Olympos, the home of the gods, where they were eaten by wild beasts.
This was no ordinary belt and no ordinary warrior. Hippolyta was queen of the Amazons, a tribe of women warriors. The Amazons lived apart from men, and if they ever gave birth to children, they kept only the females and reared them to be warriors like themselves. Queen Hippolyta had a leather belt that had been given to her by Ares, the war god, because she was the best warrior of all the Amazons. Hercules' friends realized that the hero could not fight against the whole Amazon army by himself, so they joined him. Hercules and the Greeks fought the Amazons in a great battle. Hercules drew his sword, killed Hippolyta and took her belt.
Geryon was a monster with three bodies. He had a two-headed dog that helped him guard the oxen. Hercules killed him and the dog and then returned them to Eurystheus.
On his way to his 10th labor, Hercules reached the end of the Mediterranean sea. He split a mountain into two forming the pillars of Hercules or strait of Gibraltar.
This was the most difficult task. Eurystheus commanded Hercules to bring him golden apples which belonged to Zeus, king of the gods. Hera had given these apples to Zeus as a wedding gift, so surely this task was impossible. Hera, who didn't want to see Hercules succeed, would never permit him to steal one of her prized possessions. These apples were kept in a garden at the northern edge of the world, and they were guarded not only by a hundred-headed dragon, but also by the Hesperides, nymphs who were daughters of Atlas, the titan who held the sky and the earth upon his shoulders. Atlas hated holding up the sky and the earth so much that he would agree to the task of fetching the apples. Atlas went to get the apples while Hercules was stuck in Atlas's place, with the weight of the world literally on his shoulders. Atlas returns with the apples but does not want to carry the weight again. He tells Hercules that he will return the apples for him. Hercules tells Atlas he agrees with the plan but asks him to hold the weight up for a moment so that he can pad his shoulders. Hercules then picks up the apples and leaves.
Eurystheus ordered Hercules to go to the Underworld and kidnap the beast called Cerberus. Cerberus was a beast that guarded the entrance to Hades. Cerberus had to submit to the force of the hero, and Hercules brought Cerberus to Eurystheus.
After he completed the 12 Labors Hercules got married a second time, to the beautiful Deianira. Once a centaur named Nessus gave her a cloak. The centaur told Deianira that anyone who put it on would love her forever. But when Hercules received the cloak and tried it on, his body immediately began to burn with excruciating pain. He tried to pull the cloak off, but the pain burned even harder and deeper.
His mortal side goes down into the underworld. His immortal side ascends to the stars where he becomes a constellation and lives immortally.