Study Guide

Heracles (Hercules): Later Adventures and Death Marriage

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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.

Questions About Marriage

  1. Why does Heracles marry so many women? And why does he leave them so frequently?
  2. A marriage occurs sometimes out of love, sometimes for political purposes, and sometimes for economic reasons. Marriage is the union between two people, and this union is meant to represent peace and stability. Why does Heracles choose to marry the women that he marries?
  3. Do Heracles' wives share any similarities?
  4. How does Heracles' love life compare to that of other heroes? Think about Odysseus, Jason, and Perseus, in particular. How do you feel about each of these heroes based on their treatment of their wives?

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