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Theme of Violence in Heracles (Hercules): Later Adventures and Death

Pretty much every story of Heracles has the same ending: "And then Heracles slaughtered [insert nasty monster or villain]." There's no getting around the fact that he was an incredibly violent guy. The dude just seriously loved to kill stuff. Sometimes he even got out of control and killed innocents. Of course, most of the time the people and beasties he killed were a threat to all humankind and Heracles is remembered and worshipped as a hero.

Questions About Violence

  1. Which story of Heracles seems the most violent to you? Why do you think so?
  2. What is an example of a time when Heracles is violent without cause?
  3. What is a good reason to use violence?
  4. Heracles seems to lose control and go berserk on a regular basis. Do you think that made him seem more heroic to the ancient Greeks or less? Why? Are you a fan of any modern heroes who have a dark side?

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