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Mythology > Hercules September 10, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.

Hercules is the figure of a mighty hero in Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Hercules was all muscle, but he also had a big heart for most of his life. When he was a teenager, he fell in love with the beautiful but conniving Princess Megara. They were married soon after they met, but the honeymoon didn’t last very long.

Arguments were easy to come by, and it seemed to Hercules that there was nothing he could do to please his new bride. She nagged at him until Hercules blew his stack and temporarily lost his sanity. With his mighty hand, he choked Princess Megara and all her attendants.

Immediately after the murders, Hercules came to his senses and realized the extent of his horrible deeds. Sick with guilt and shame, he turned himself in, leaving his fate up to Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae.

The wise and just king was devastated by the loss of his daughter, Megara, but believed his son-in-law was truly sorry for his crime. Nonetheless, Hercules had to be punished. So, Eurystheus assigned Hercules to perform 12 great labors to atone for his crime.

The first task was to slay Leo, the lion, the king of the king of all beasts. Using all his strength and brains, Hercules killed the monster lion. Then, he went on to complete all his other labors.

Eventually, Zeus, king of the gods, and all his buddies on Mount Olympus rewarded Hercules at the time of his death by placing his body in the heavens as the constellation we see through the summer and early fall.

They didn’t want Hercules to receive full honors, though, because of his murderous past, so they hung his body upside down in the heavens.

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