Theme of Death and Immortality in Heracles (Hercules): Later Adventures and Death
Heracles was never just a mere mortal. He was born with a divine blood. His father is the greatest god of all, Zeus. But he was still mortal. One thing that makes the end of Heracles' life stick out from the rest is the fact that he becomes a god. Heracles eventually heads up to Mount Olympus and becomes immortal. Not all heroes get to be gods, so this is an extra super special event.
There are conflicting reports about when, exactly, Heracles headed up to the land of the gods. Some say that he became a god after completing his Twelve Labors. Others say that he became a god after a period of wandering around and marrying lots of different women. In fact, it seems like the only thing people can agree upon is that Heracles did, at some point, make it to the land of nectar and ambrosia.
Questions About Death and Immortality
- What do you think immortality meant to Heracles? Based on your research do you feel like he wanted to be a god? Did he care about becoming an immortal being?
- Why do you think Heracles was made a god while other mortal heroes – even other sons of Zeus, like Perseus – were not?
- For a guy who can't seem to stay in one place for too long, do you think Heracles would be bored in Olympus?