If there's one theme that keeps popping up throughout Heracles' life, it's "Strength and Skill." In pretty much every story, he performs some kind of superhuman act that shows off just how awesome he truly is. Even after he completed his super-famous Twelve Labors, Heracles kept on wowing the ancient world with one amazing feat after another. From sea monster to dragons, Heracles defeats them all.
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.
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.
From his birth to his death, Heracles has been plagued by jealousy. As a mortal son of Zeus, Hera has seen him as a hated reminder of her husband's cheating ways. She has hounded the hero for years. (Be sure to check out our thoughts on jealousy in our guides to Heracles' birth and early adventures and his Twelve Labors.) In Heracles' later adventures, another lady in his life has some jealousy issues: his wife Deianira. Worried that she's going to lose Heracles to a pretty, young girl, Deianira poisons her husband with a potion that she thinks will make him love only her. Though Heracles' mortal self dies as a result of his wife's jealousy, he's made a god on Mount Olympus, where he finally reconciles with Hera and even marries her daughter, Hebe.
It is easy to lose track of how many wives Heracles has. Remember how he gave his wife Megara away? And he then marries Queen Omphale after becoming her slave? After living happily with Queen Omphale, Heracles leaves her and marries Deianira. Deianira accidentally kills him after catching him eyeing another lady. Heracles moves to Mount Olympus where he marries Hera's daughter, Hebe. It sure seems like Heracles takes after his old man, Zeus, when it comes to the ladies.