Heracles (Hercules)

Whoever said heroes don't bask in their own glory clearly never met Hercules. But was his arrogance justified? We'll let you be the judge.

HumanitiesMythology
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureWorld Literature

Transcript

00:22

I'm ridiculously full of myself.

00:24

I had a hard life, y'all, and I earned every ounce of fame

00:28

with my amazingly awesome...um...awesomeness.

00:31

Seriously, just check me out.

00:33

My life was tough even before I was born.

00:36

See, Hera was jealous of my mom, Alcmene <<alc-MEAN-ee>> when she was pregnant with me,

00:40

since my dad, Zeus, was...you know...Hera's husband.

00:45

To get back at my Mom, Hera made it super hard for her to give birth.

00:49

When I finally did make it into the great wide world, Hera put snakes in my cradle.

00:54

Did I whine about it like a little baby though?

00:56

Hades, no!

00:58

I strangled the heck out of those little things. Aw...baby's first rattler...

01:02

Hera never let my life get any easier, either. Seriously, that lady is dark.

01:07

When I got older, she was so jealous of my growing fame

01:10

that she made me go nuts and kill my own children.

01:14

Now, I could've pointed fingers, but instead

01:16

I manned up and took the blame.

01:18

I even embarked on my famous 12 Labors to atone for my crime.

01:23

Hera was totally behind all the crazy stuff I had to do for the Labors, which she assigned

01:27

to me through my wimpy, shill of a cousin, King Eurystheus. <<yur-ISS-thee-iss>>

01:31

These tasks were cray-cray.

01:34

There were plenty of beasts to slay or capture: a lion, a hydra, a boar, a stag, a bull,

01:39

an entire herd of sacred cattle, a herd of ill-tempered horses, some seriously evil birds,

01:46

and worst of all... Cerberus <<SIR-burr-iss>>, the hellhound.

01:50

There was also just some really gross stuff, like mucking out the Augean <<aw-GEE-inn>> stables.

01:55

So, long story short, even though Hera was trying to bring me down,

02:00

I completed all my labors and

02:05

I did a stint with the Argonauts on Jason's Quest for the Golden Fleece.

02:12

I sacked Troy, without having to pull that wussy wooden horse trick.

02:19

And too many other awesome things to even mention.

02:22

Eventually, though, like every great hero, I had to fall.

02:26

And what brought me down, folks? Some hideous, terrible monster? Some impossible task?

02:32

Nope. Turns out the only thing that could bring down this guy... was his own wife.

02:38

Her name was Deianira <<die-uh-NEAR-uh>> which means something like "man destroyer."

02:42

Guess, I should've seen that one coming.

02:45

True, I was about to dump her for a pretty young thing named Iole <<i-OH-lee>>,

02:48

but that's what she gets for getting old.

02:51

Am I right, fellas? Hello? Is this thing on?

02:54

To try and keep this gorgeous hunk of a man in her life, she gave me a robe covered in

02:58

a magic potion that was supposed to make me fall in love with her all over again.

03:02

What she didn't realize, however,

03:04

was that the potion came from a Centaur I killed--to save her, by the way.

03:08

I'd killed him with my Hydra-poisoned arrows, and he made the potion with his tainted blood.

03:14

Let me tell ya, that stuff was toxic.

03:16

So, instead of making me fall madly in love with Deianira all over again, it made my flesh

03:21

melt off my body.

03:24

Bad scene.

03:26

So, to end my pain, I set myself on fire.

03:28

Might as well go out in a blaze of glory, right?

03:31

The flames burnt my mortal body away, and my immortal soul

03:34

ascended to Olympus, where I became a full-fledged god.

03:38

I was a little worried about seeing Hera up here,

03:41

but she chilled out and even let me marry her daughter,

03:43

Hebe <<HEE-bee>>, the goddess of youth.

03:46

Woo hoo! I never have to worry about her getting too old! What a relief.

03:50

So, there you have it, folks: my awesome life. Am I conceited? Oh, most definitely.

03:55

But the way I see it, somebody has to be perfect.

03:57

Otherwise, what will the rest of you people have to aspire to?