The Twelve Labors of Hercules Story With Moral Lesson/Summary

THE TWELVE LABORS OF HERCULES – Let us journey into the story of the life of Hercules and his twelve labors with a moral lesson and summary. Heracles (Greek), or Hercules (Latin), is an all-around action hero.

Being the greatest hero in Greek mythology, Hercules overcame all the twelve labors King Eurystheus gave him. With the help of his friends and the goddess Athena, he mightily slayed and captured the most notorious beasts in Greek mythology.

We assure you that you will enjoy this long ride of mythical stories, so get your eyeglasses and let us dive deep into the great stories of Hercules.

The Twelve Labors of Hercules

In ancient times, Hercules, a demigod, was the son of Zeus and Alcmene, granddaughter of Perseus. Zeus swore to the Perseid house that the next-born son would become the ruler of Greece. But his jealous wife, Hera, tricked him, so another child was born first, the sickly Eurystheus.

Hera hated Hercules, for he reminded her of her unfaithful husband, Zeus. When Hercules was still a baby, vengeful Hera sent two serpents to kill him in the cradle. But he quickly strangled the snakes.

Hera didn’t stop her vengeance there; when Hercules grew up, she continued to do so. At some time, Hercules started a war with the kingdom of Orchomenus in Boeotia and married the daughter of King Creon of Thebes, Megara.

Together they had children and loved them so much. But the vengeful Hera sent madness upon Hercules, which pushed him to kill his wife and children.

When he regained consciousness, he was devastated, realizing what he had done. He went to the oracle of Delphi and asked Apollo how he could atone for his actions.

Apollo told him to go to Tiryns to his cousin, King Eurystheus, to make up for his wrongdoings for 12 years.

Hera, determined to get rid of Hercules, suggested to Eurystheus, who was loathing for his cousin, to order Hercules to fulfill 12 unfeasible labors. She believed that Hercules would die as he did all these things.

Here are the twelve labors of Hercules. Just click each one to learn more about Eurystheus and the reasons for Hercules’ labors.

  1. Slay the Nemean Lion
  2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra
  3. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis
  4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar
  5. Clean the Stables of Augeas in one day
  6. Defeat the Stymphalian Birds
  7. Capture the Cretan Bull
  8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes
  9. Obtain the Girdle of Hippolyte
  10. Steal the Cattle of the monster Geryon
  11. Steal the Golden Apples of Hesperides
  12. Capture and bring back Cerberus

After completing his twelve labors, Hercules had many more fighting adventures. He once fought Achelous, the river god, and married Deianeira.

At one time, while walking home, Nessus, the Centaur, fought with him, but Hercules shot him with a poisoned arrow. Then, the dying Centaur told Deianeira to keep the blood from his wound in a garment, for if Hercules wore it, he would love her forever.

Sometime later, Hercules fell in love with the daughter of King Eurytus of Oechalia, Iole. Iole was a dangerous rival to Deianeira, so she sent the garment smeared with the blood of Nessus to Hercules.

The garment with the blood with a potent poison killed Hercules. His corpse was placed on the pyre of Mount Oeta, and his divine body ascended to heaven and became a god.

With his death, Hera relieved of Zeus’s unfaithfulness, reconciled with Hercules. There she married Hebe, the goddess of youth and the prime of life.

Story Analysis of the Twelve Labors of Hercules

Hercules is a fearless, strong, and a man of action who finished twelve death defying labors. These are his act of penance for killing his wife and children.

It took him months to voyage and finish each labor and at some point he looks like set to be killed. But like any other heroes, Hercules manages to get back up and succeed despite the many problems in his quest.

The Twelve Labors of Hercules Moral Lesson

  • Make friends because they have ideas and advice in times of need.
    • Throughout his twelve labors, Hercules has friends who give him ideas and advice that help him accomplish each one. He has strong support that makes every challenge manageable.
  • Every overcome challenge equips one to become more along the way.
    • Our hero, Hercules, manages to complete each task. Each time he does, he becomes more courageous, skillful, and cunning and masters the art of fighting all the odds.

The Twelve Labor of Hercules Summary

Hercules is a Greek hero who is the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Hera, the wife of Zeus, hated Hercules for he was the product of her husband’s unfaithfulness.

She sent madness upon Hercules, who killed his wife and children. As an act of penance for his deed, the oracle of Delphi told him to go to King Eurystheus and serve him for twelve years.

Eurystheus, with the guidance of Hera, gave Hercules twelve impossible labors. These are the slaying of the Nemean Lion, the killing of the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra, capturing the Golden Hind of Artemis, capturing the Erymanthian Boar, cleaning the Augean stables in a single day, and so on.

Hercules managed to accomplish all twelve labors and had many more adventures until he died the cause of a garment with blood with a potent poison of Nessus, the Centaur.

With his death, Hercules ascended to heaven and became a god. Hera relieved of Zeus’s unfaithfulness, reconciled with Hercules. There she married Hebe, the goddess of youth and the prime of life.

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