June 10, 2013
CLA204 Week 12
Heracles: Man and God
Weirdest Threesome Ever: Alcmene, Zeus and Amphitryon
Alcmene-mortal mother married to Amphitryon-mortal father
Alcmene tells Amphitryon that he has to go take vengeance for her brother by killing
pirates meanwhile Zeus decides he likes Alcmene, Zeus disguised as Amphitryon
brings spoils to show he defeated the pirates so Alcmene has sex with him. And then
again 1hr later with her real husband who has returned she conceives twins, one
half immortal son clearly from Zeus and other twin born from mortal father
Amphitryon. Hera jealous finds out what happens determined to make it difficult for
Alcmene, gets goddess of childbirth on her (Hera’s) side then she is tricked into
allowing Alcmene to give birth (similar to Leo).
Zeus says his son who is born today will be a mighty ruler, so Hera prevents
Heracles from being born but makes sure his cousin is born on this day that way he
gets to be the mighty ruler and not Heracles. Hera is good at long-term revenge
scheme like Medea and Jason story.
Hera sends snakes against baby Heracles and Iphicles
Iphicle=not imp to remember he is the mortal son.
Hera sends snakes, Iphicles screams doesn’t know what to do, Heracles even as a
child picks up snakes and strangles them he is already strong beyond what you
would expect from a grown up even though he’s only a child.
The Milky Way when Heracles shows he has killed the lion, Eurystheus is so terrified
that he runs away, so recognizing the rest of the labours will be scary as well he
creates a bronze chamber to hide in.
2.Lernean Hydra (with Iolaus)
Nephew son of his twin brother Iolaus, sidekick, hero quality, human companion.
The two go after 9 headed Hydra snake when you cut off a head 2 more grow back
center 9 head is immortal. Heracles chops off heads and Iolaus burns stumps so
cant grow back. Heracles chops off immortal head and hides it under a rock. *Dips
his arrows in deadly poisonous arrows taken from Hydra
Has to capture dear intact, know if you harm deer of Artemis things will be bad for
you (ex. Oresteia-Agamemnon). When delivering deer bumps into Artemis and
Apollo, asks if can borrow deer, they says its okay as long as Heracles brings it back
(mortals would never get away with this but he does) captures deer brings deer to
Eurysueus returns it to the woods.
Dangerous Boar not sacred. Theseus has the same labour had to kill Crommyonian
sow. Theseus labours could be copycats of Heracles labours to make him great.
Heracles chases boar in snow bank it cant get out so he succeeds in capturing it.
Encounters centaur Pholus typically centaurs are not friendly but there are
exceptions like Pholus. Pholus is a hospitable host, Heracles is staying with him,
Pholus has a cask of wine that he keeps away from other centaurs. Causes them to
become violent. Heracles says give me wine, Heracles opens cask even though
Pholus tells him bad things will happen. All centaurs show up thinking Heracles is
steeling it. First example Heracles being bad guest doesn’t respect Xenia, not
civilized behaviour. Pholus dies in process.
Takes boar to Eurystheus.
Augeus has an enormous herd of cattle and has never cleaned the stables in his
entire reign as King. Heracles doesn’t tell him he’s been assigned to do labour,
Heracles says will clean it out in one day but that if he does that Augeus must give
him one 3 of herd. Heracles diverts an entire river so it flows through stable cleans
it out. Augeus doesn’t want to give herd. Heracles kills him and his entire family in
retribution for going back on his promise. June 10, 2013
6. Stymphallian Birds.
Beaks penetrate iron, wings shoot arrows. Athena gives his castanets terrible noise
they fly out of forest and Heracles shots them with his arrows.
(talks about locations of first 6 compared to last 6)
7. Cretan Bull
Same bull that a woman fell in love with. Heracles captures bull rides it on sea to
Eurystheus releases bull which settles somewhere where Theseus then kills the bull.
Modeled Theseus’ labour closely with Heracles.
8.Horses of Diomedes
Horses are flesh-eating horses, which belong to Diomedes
Heracles defeats them by feeding them flesh of their own owner Diomedes. After
feeding them they calm down and he can bring them to Eurystheus.
Side deed- Alcestis, Heracles and Thanatos.
Thanatos comes to lead Alcestis to the underworld. Heracles wrestles with death
and brings women (Alcestis) back from the dead. Happens while journeying for
9.Girdle of Hippolyta
Theseus was with Heracles. Amazons go back and attack Athens. Heracles role in
labour is minimal. Persuasive explains wants girdle and he gets it.
Amazons-same category as beasts and monsters. They are women very war like,
avoid marriage, have sex outside bounds of acceptable. Keep men as sex slaves. Only
keep women babies kill boys. Violent, invert all stereotypes of Greeks. Not civilized
Not imp-ppl though they meant women with no breast, that they cut off one breast
to be better archers. Amazon is the female article plus the word man. So female man.
(Last three labours goes to the ends of the world)
10. Cattle of Garyon
Heracles not worried about defeating Garyon bigger problem is bringing cows from
Italy to Greece. He’s walking across dessert, shoots arrow at the sun, if normal
human this would be bad disrespecting son but Heracles is exceptional. Helius is
amused forgives him and gives him what he needs to get cows back to Greece, a
giant golden cup, which Heracles fits all the cattle in to bring back to Greece.
Busiris was sterile and the oracle told him if he sacrificed a foreigner would be able
to have a child so sacrifices every foreigner, Heracles allows himself to be taken to
the altar but then releases himself and kills them all on altar. Xenia. June 10, 2013
Heracles Frees Prometheus
15 generations have passed since he was chained to rock, because he stole fire, gave
back to humans even though Zeus had taken it away. Heracles feels sorry for him
uses poison arrows to kill eagle, frees Prometheus from chains who tells him were
apple are and says that Heracles cant get apples himself because then he will die.
11. Apples of the Herperides.
Golden Apples. Zeus gave tree to Hera when they got married. Heracles doesn’t
know where apple tree is so he wanders around asking ppl were he can find garden.
Performs a number of side deeds
Hercules asks Atlas to get apples, while Heracles holds up the world. Atlas gets
around dragon that’s guarding apples, brings