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The Story of Heracles by Greek Mythology

The story of Heracles (better know as Hercules) begins with his birth. Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus made love to her after disguising himself as her husband, Amphitryon, home early from war (Amphitryon did return later the same night, and Alcmene became pregnant with his son at the same time, a case of superfecundation, where a woman carries twins sired by different fathers). Thus, Heracles' very existence proved at least one of Zeus' many illicit affairs, and Hera often conspired against Zeus' mortal offspring, as revenge for her husband's infidelities. His twin mortal brother, son of Amphitryon was Iphicles, father of Heracles' charioteer Iolaus.

On the night the twins Heracles and Iphicles were to be born, Hera, knowing of her husband Zeus' adultery, persuaded Zeus to swear an oath that the child born that night to a member of the House of Perseus would be High King. Hera did this knowing that while Heracles was to be born a descendant of Perseus, so too was Eurystheus. Once the oath was sworn, Hera hurried to Alcmene's dwelling and slowed the birth of Heracles by forcing Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth, to sit crosslegged with her clothing tied in knots, thereby causing Heracles to be trapped in the womb. Meanwhile, Hera caused Eurystheus to be born prematurely, making him High King in place of Heracles. She would have permanently delayed Heracles' birth had she not been fooled by Galanthis, Alcmene's servant, who lied to Ilithyia, saying that Alcmene had already delivered the baby. Upon hearing this, she jumped in surprise, untying the knots and inadvertently allowing Alcmene to give birth to her twins, Heracles and Iphicles. A few months after he was born, Hera sent two serpents to kill him as he lay in his cot. Heracles throttled a snake in each hand and was found by his nurse playing with their limp bodies as if they were child's toys.

Driven mad by Hera, Heracles slew his own children. To expiate the crime, Heracles was required to carry out twelve labors set by his archenemy, Eurystheus, who had become king in Heracles' place. If he succeeded, he would be purified of his sin and, as myth says, he would be granted immortality. Heracles accomplished these tasks, but Eurystheus did not accept the cleansing of the Augean stables because Heracles was going to accept pay for the labor. Neither did he accept the killing of the Lernaean Hydra as Heracles' cousin, Ioloas, had helped him burn the stumps of the heads. Eurysteus set two more tasks (fetching the Golden Apples of Hesperides and capturing Cerberus), which Heracles performed successfully, bringing the total number of tasks up to twelve.
1. To kill the Nemean Lion.
2. To destroy the Lernaean Hydra.
3. To capture the Ceryneian Hind.
4. To capture the Erymanthian Boar.
5. To clean the Augean Stables.
6. To kill the Stymphalian Birds.
7. To capture the Cretan Bull.
8. To round up the Mares of Diomedes.
9. To steal the Girdle of Hippolyte.
10. To herd the Cattle of Geryon.
11. To fetch the Apples of Hesperides.
12. To capture Cerberus.

Director Results

Director Total Votes: 1

  1. 1. Peter Jackson 100% 

Cast Results

Heracles Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. John Cena 33% 
  2. 2. Eric Bana 33% 
  3. 3. Liev Schreiber 33% 

Zeus Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Sean Connery 33% 
  2. 2. Sean Bean 33% 
  3. 3. Viggo Mortensen 33% 

Hera Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Julianne Moore 66% 
  2. 2. Lindsay Duncan 33% 

Alceme Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Helen Mirren 66% 
  2. 2. Roxanne McKee 33% 

Amphitryon Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Robert Duvall 33% 
  2. 2. John Hurt 33% 
  3. 3. Scott Adkins 33% 

King Creon Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Rufus Sewell 33% 
  2. 2. Val Kilmer 33% 
  3. 3. Ivan Kaye 33% 

Iolaus Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. James Franco 66% 
  2. 2. Jack Huston 33% 

Megara Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Sienna Miller 33% 
  2. 2. Diane Kruger 33% 
  3. 3. Lauren Cohan 33% 

Artemis Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Anne Hathaway 50% 
  2. 2. Evangeline Lilly 50% 

Apollo Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Jude Law 50% 
  2. 2. James Franco 50% 

Pholus Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Karl Urban 50% 
  2. 2. John Hawkes 50% 

Chiron Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Mel Gibson 33% 
  2. 2. Sean Bean 33% 
  3. 3. Rade Serbedzija 33% 

Prometheus Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Matt Dillon 50% 
  2. 2. Kyle MacLachlan 50% 

Athene Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Marion Cotillard 50% 
  2. 2. Cate Blanchett 50% 

Hephaestos Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Brian Cox 50% 
  2. 2. Ron Perlman 50% 

King Minos Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Tom Hanks 50% 
  2. 2. Alfred Molina 50% 

King Diomedes Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Daniel Kraig 50% 
  2. 2. Christopher McDonald 50% 

Hippolyta Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. Polly Walker 33% 
  2. 2. Eva Mendes 33% 
  3. 3. Shannyn Sossamon 33% 

Geryon Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. David Bradley 50% 
  2. 2. Mickey Rourke 50% 

Nereus Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Ian McKellen 50% 
  2. 2. Alan Rickman 50% 

Eleusis Total Votes: 1

  1. 1. Ed Westwick 100% 

Hermes Total Votes: 2

  1. 1. Simon Woods 50% 
  2. 2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt 50% 

Hades Total Votes: 3

  1. 1. John Malkovich 33% 
  2. 2. Joaquin Phoenix 33% 
  3. 3. Vincent Cassel 33% 


  • kaspergutman: Why is Eurystheus not listed? That's gotta be a plum role!

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