Do you know how Hercules died?

Do you know how Hercules died?

We all have watched Hercules , The animated series and few must have played the game too. Dwayne Johnson(The Rock) played the role of Hercules in the movie Hercules (2014). Well Hercules was not just a fictional character but was believed to be a real demigod who walked among us as per Greek mythology

hercules Do you know how Hercules died?

The hero Hercules (or Herakles) was a symbol of strength and warrior ship in Greek mythology, son of Zeus and his wife a mortal queen Alcmene(wife of King Amphitryon), being the son of Zeus he was a demigod and possessed superhuman vigour. Hercules would be known as one of the strongest heroes in Greek mythology, as the story of his life includes determination, tragedy, and betrayal.

In order to understand how Hercules died, we have to understand how he lived. Hercules’s life was not easy, and so is his manner of death which was tragic and unexpected.

Hera ruined Hercules’s first marriage

Hera was married to Zeus when he had an affair with Alcmene and Hercules was born from the affair, Hera was constantly reminded of Zeus’s disloyalty and she hated Hercules for it.

His marriage to Megara would be the first step that would lead to Hercules’s death. Hercules actually loved his wife and children and wouldn’t intentionally do anything to harm them, but Hera inflicted a madness to him and made Hercules believe that Lycus (enemy) was still in the home in the form of his sons and that Megara was actually Hera, who was trying to kill Hercules again. In order to defend himself and his family, Hercules has to kill them all. The 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 and magara Do you know how Hercules died?
Statue of Hercules and Megara -Megara was the oldest daughter of Creon, king of Thebes. In reward for Heracles’ defending Thebes from the Minyans at Orchomenus in single-handed battle, Creon offered his daughter Megara to Heracles and he brought her home to the house of Amphitryon. She bore him a son and a daughter, whom Heracles killed when Hera struck him with temporary madness.

When he got up from his madness, he was struck with regret and sorrow and sought answers from the Greek god Apollo, then Apollo guided Hercules to visit King Eurystheus to serve him and he was further assigned by 12 labours to repent for what he had done to his wife and children

Marriage to Deianeira

The daughter of King Oenus and Queen Althaea, making her princess of Calydon. The princess Deianeira (name in Greek means “man-destroyer”) was courted to river monster Acheloüs. As requested by her father Hercules fights Achelous and ultimately wins Deianira’s hand in marriage.

Hercules Kills Nessus the Ferryman

In the first version of the story, Hercules and Deianira did get married. However, in order to bring his bride home, he had to cross River Evenus, where the centaur Nessus acted as ferryman, transporting people who required help, across the river. 

350px Pollaiolo ercole e deianira Do you know how Hercules died?
Ercole e Deianira – Antonio del Pollaiolo (1475-1480)

However, while crossing Evenus, Nessus actually tried to rape her and this made Hercules 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 Nessus convinced Deianira to save his blood in vial to use on her husband Hercules if he ever looked at another woman. This would keep Hercules faithful to her.

Heracles got a Painful Death

As their marriage prospered Hercules has left his wife for a new set of labours, conveyed her that he would be gone for 15 months   as the time passed, Hercules had not returned, and Deianira eventually became jealous of Iole, princess of Oechalia Whom she thought had captured Hercules love.

She thought that this was the time to use the centaur’s blood to woo Hercules back into her arms. Deianira prepared a cloak by coating the poisoned blood from Nessus. She sent it to Hercules, asking him to wear it as she didn’t know that the centaur’s blood was actually poisonous to Hercules and, he immediately agonized to burning which caused excruciating pain. His skin starts to flay from his bones, and Heracles understood that he is dying. But he did not die as quickly as a mortal being a demigod

1891 004 039 o2 Do you know how Hercules died?
Nessi Veste Rabidus Se Comburit Hercules (Hercules on His Funeral Pyre) from the series Labors of Hercules, 1548 . Source

So he had people build a funeral pyre on top of Mount Oeta; however, nobody was willing to light the pyre. Then he asked for help from the gods to end his life, and the Greek god Jupiter sent lightning to consume the Hercules’ mortal body.

The Apotheosis

apoth Do you know how Hercules died?
François Lemoyne: The Apotheosis of Hercules, Source

Hercules was a demigod, Zeus honoured his son by giving his immortal half and a place on Mount Olympus to live with the gods.
Heracles was now a god of the Greek pantheon and became the physical protector of Mount Olympus, and Heracles got married again with Hebe, daughter of Hera and became his divine wife.

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