Study Guide

Heracles (Hercules): Later Adventures and Death

  • Introduction

    What happens after the happily-ever-after ending? 

    What happens after the cowboy rides off into the sunset?

    What happens after the athlete wins an Olympic gold medal?

    What happens after the hero completes his quest?

    In general, we aren't too interested in finding out the answers to these questions. We prefer the happy ending and the big Hollywood finish. End of story. However, Heracles' story doesn't wrap up so neatly. Just when we think he's about to ride off into the sunset after completing the Twelve Labors, he gets himself into trouble again. And again. And again.

    This later phase in Heracles' life is full of many little adventures, and each of these adventures teaches Heracles something new. While they pale in comparison to the Twelve Labors, it's interesting to see that a great hero like Heracles continues to struggle through life. He's still very human and pretty darn flawed. Completing the Twelve Labors was a HUGE, godlike accomplishment. However, the story of Heracles' Later Adventures and Death shows us that he wrestles with the ups and downs of life just like the rest of us.

    From tragic love affairs, to brutal wars, to a stint as a cross-dresser, Heracles' life wasn't dull even for a second. Sit back, relax, and check out the final years of the guy who put the H in hero.

    • Best of the Web

      Heracles (Hercules): Later Adventures and Death Resources

      Websites

      The Life and Times of Hercules
      This great site on Hercules, brought to you by Tufts University, offers lots of great info on Herc, including maps, details on the ladies in his life, and much more.

      Theoi
      A great source for all things ancient Greek. We're linking to the page on Heracles.

      Movie or TV Productions

      Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (TV Series)
      Kevin Sorbo was the man in this popular series about Hercules' adventures.

      Hercules (Animated Movie)
      When Heracles got Disnified... In this movie, Hera isn't the bad guy (she's actually Hercules' mom), Hades is. In other words, this movie isn't faithful to the original myth, but it's still fun.

      Hercules (Animated Series)
      As if a movie wasn't enough, Disney also made a TV series about Herc.

      Video Games

      The Glory of Hercules
      A game for the Nintendo DS.

      God of War III
      Heracles gets a whipping from Kratos, Mr. God of War, in this video game.

      Historical Documents

      The Library
      An ancient source of the tale of Heracles.

      Library of History
      Another old-school source for all things Heracles.

      Videos

      Disney Movie
      Watch the trailer for the 1997 animated Disney movie.

      Hercules: The True Myth
      The History Chanel digs into the history of the real man behind the myth. This might be bogus – we're just not sure – but it sure is interesting.

      Books

      Hercules (Digital Comic)
      Marvel Comics gives the hero of heroes his very own series.