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Theme of Perseverance in Heracles (Hercules): The Twelve Labors

Twelve ridiculously hard labors that no normal human could possibly perform? Not a problem for Heracles. The mortal son of Zeus shows off just how amazing he is with each new task. It's important to remember, however, that getting all these jobs done requires more than just big muscles and battle skills, you've also got to have perseverance. For real, there must have times where Heracles was like, "Seriously? Another one? You've got to be kidding me." But still he pushed forward despite impossible odds. Sometimes a hero's perseverance is even more important than his strength and skill.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Why does Heracles persevere through the twelve tasks? What motivates him to perform them?
  2. Is there ever a moment where Heracles' perseverance falters? If so, when does this moment occur?
  3. What are some examples of modern heroes who show the same kind of perseverance as Heracles?
  4. Which labor do you think requires the most perseverance from Heracles?
  5. How does Heracles respond when King Eurystheus tells him he must complete two additional labors?
  6. Hera has been haunting and hunting Heracles since he was a tiny baby. Why does she persist in tormenting him? What does her persistence tell us?

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