Mythology

How Did Hercules Die?

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The Greek myths surrounding Hercules paint him as a demigod who had a remarkable amount of strength. His father, Zeus, was king of the gods. His mother was a mortal woman by the name of Alcmene. It is said that Zeus was taken with her beauty and the two had a son together. Unfortunately, Zeus’s wife, the goddess Hera, is known for her jealous nature. She especially hated Hercules and as the stories tell it, she went out of her way to make his life miserable. Still, he endured the challenges that she put forth all of his strength and did conquer each of the tough challenges that were thrown his way.

Despite his strength, he was half mortal and he did eventually face his death. His downfall came because he was unlucky in love.

Here’s a look at not only how he died, but also the events that led up to the death of Hercules:

Hercules Killed His First Wife

Hera’s wrath and jealousy essentially caused Hercules to kill not only his first wife, but the two kids he had with them, as well. Hercules actually loved his wife and children and wouldn’t intentionally do anything to harm them. However, Hera hated Hercules so much that she didn’t want to see him experience that amount of happiness. Th goddess caused Hercules to suffer from madness and in a haze, he murdered his wife and kids. He lived with that guilt for a long time.

Hercules Meets His Second Wife

After some time passed, Hercules met the woman who would eventually be his second wife – a woman named Deianira. He spent some time courting her and he eventually won her over. The two made plans to get married and it was his involvement with her that eventually caused his death.

Hercules Kills Nessus the Centaur

In the first version of the story, Hercules and Deianira eventually did get married. However, in order to bring his bride home, she had to cross a river. A centaur by the name of Nessus offered to help her get across. However, instead of being helpful, he actually tried to rape her. Naturally, this didn’t make Hercules happy and he tried to kill the centaur in retaliation. He shot and killed the centaur but before he died, the creature convinced her to take some of his blood to use as a love potion if she should ever need it.

Hercules Dies By Poison

As their marriage progressed, Deianira eventually became jealous of a young maiden whom she thought had captured Hercules interest. She decided that this was the perfect time to use the centaur’s blood to woo Hercules back into her arms. What she didn’t realize is that the centaur’s blood was actually poisonous to Hercules. They both realized far too late what had actually happened. Hercules was in so much agony after he took the potion that he wished he were dead.

Hercules eventually died and after he did, his mortal portion perished. Zeus took his “god” half back to Olympus where he made amends with Hera. Hercules stayed in Mount Olympus from then on and then married Hebe, Hera’s daughter.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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