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The Myth of Hercules: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Trenton Judson

Trenton is an assistant English professor with a Master's degree in English.

Hercules is one of the most talked about people in all of history. From his famous father to his famous might, Hercules is a mythological character who's hard to forget.

Hercules: From Myth to Movies

You might have seen Percy Jackson talk to his dad, Poseidon, or Hercules train with Phil the satyr in the Disney cartoon Hercules, but did you know that the basis of these stories is over 2,000 years old?! Ancient Greeks told these myths to help instruct each other about the challenges of life and to entertain one another. One of the most famous myths of all time is that of Hercules.

Hercules: Half Man and Half God

Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Zeus was the most powerful of all the ancient gods and ruler of the skies, rain, and law and order. Zeus ruled on Mount Olympus, which is where all the gods lived. Alcmene was a beautiful human woman. Zeus saw how beautiful Alcmene was and disguised himself as her husband.

Because Zeus was a god and Alcmene was a human, their son Hercules was half god and half human. Someone who has powers that are more than human, but not quite as powerful as a god is called a demigod. Hercules was a demigod because of his more-than-human strength.

Hera, the wife of Zeus, was very jealous of young Hercules and she sent two snakes to kill him after he was born. Hercules was so strong that he strangled both the snakes, one in each hand!

Hercules Grows Up

As Hercules grew, so did his strength. He also became an unbeatable wrestler and master of the bow and arrow.

When Hercules was a teenager, a lion was terrorizing his hometown by stealing cattle. Hercules went into the nearby mountains and killed the lion, freeing the town and becoming a hero.

The Twelve Labors of Hercules

Hercules wearing the skin of a lion
herculeslion

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