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Hercules' Film Characters and their Mythological Source
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A sweetened story:

The Story of Hercules comes from ancient Greek Legend. Hercules is the son of Zeus. He was robbed of his divine birthright by the evil Hades who stole him from his cradle and fed him a potion that made him mortal. With only his great strength and his trusty flying horse, Pegasus, Hercules must prove himself a true hero to regain his rightful place among the gods on Mount Olympus. Around every corner lurks the evil Hades.

Hercules adventures include -- wrestling ravenous serpents, blinding the dreaded cyclops, and beheading the multi-headed Hydra. The cynical citizens of disaster-prone Thebes hail him as a superstar!

Bulfinch's Mythology

Greek Gods

Hera was so annoyed at Heracles' growing fame that she cast a spell of madness over him. Out of control, Heracles killed his own wife and children.
His remorse was so profound that when he returned to his senses he could find no peace of mind. He visited the oracle of Delphi to see how he could demonstrate his remorse.
The oracle advised him to obey the orders of Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae. Eurystheus ordered Heracles to accomplish twelve difficult tasks (the so-called Twelve Labors of Heracles).
Heracles completed the twelve labors and is celebrated to this day for his great courage and strength.

The Fates
Clotho Spinned the thread
Lachesis Measured it
Atropos Cut it

Hades Lord of the Dead is perhaps the most popular of the characters in this Disney Animation. There are dozens of fan pages dedicated to this character. Why is this?
Is it our fascination with death, evil, or perhaps with the power of cynicism represented by the voice of James Woods. Here's what animator Nik Ranieri has to say about the hotheaded Hades:

What was your inspiration for Hades?

"Hades was based on a Hollywood agent, a car salesman type. A lot of that came from James Wood's dialogue."

Where did you get the idea for his blue-flame hair?

"Actually, the directors came up with that idea. I think they originally wanted his hair on fire, but the blue gas flame gave him a cooler look."

What was the hardest part of animating Hades?

"He wouldn't shut up! Every scene he's in, he's like, "Hey, how ya doing'? Lookin' good. Nice dress." It took me two weeks to animate a one second scene.

Greek Mythological Stories


Persephone's Underworld


The Brighter Stars of Hercules

Encyclopedia Mythica

Greek Mythology

The Muses
Clio History
Urania Astronomy
Melpomene Tragedy
Thalia Comedy
Terspichore Dance
Calliope Epic Poetry
Erato Love Poetry
Polyhymnia Songs of the Gods
Euterpe Lyric Poetry
Fama --- Goddess of Fame/rumor
Asclepius Aesculapius God of healing/medicine

Heracles was the son of the sky god Zeus and the queen of Tiryns, Alcmene.
When Hera discovered Zeus' infidelity, she decided to kill the child born from the Zeus' relationship with Alcmene. That child was Heracles.
Hera placed two serpents in Heracles' cradle, but the child strangled the snakes with his bare hands, clearly revealing his divine nature.
This and many other heroics made Heracles famous throughout the ancient world.

Panic and Pain

The Tragic New Marriage of Hercules

After his labors Hercules married Deianeira, the daughter of
King Oeneus. The couple did not live happily ever after, though.

One day in their travels Hercules and Deianeira had to cross a river swollen by floods. Hercules swam across but left his wife to be ferried across by a centaur boatman, who attempted to rape Deianeira. Hercules then shot the centaur with one of the arrows poisoned with the Hydra's blood.

The dying centaur extracted his revenge by offering Deianeira hisblood, promising that it would act as a love ointment to keep her husband faithful to her.

One day Deianeira began to suspect that Hercules was interested in another woman. So she gave Hercules a shirt on which she had spread some of the dying centaur's blood. Of course the blood was poison, since it was mixed with the blood of the Hydra, which hadcoated the arrow that struck the centaur down.

The Death of Hercules

When Hercules put on the shirt the poisoned blood began to do itswork, burning Hercules' flesh to the bone.
Hercules could not die.So he built himself a funeral pyre.
He spread his lionskin cloakon the pyre and lay down on it.
The flames burned up the mortalpart of him,
while the immortal part ascended to Mount Olympus,
where Zeus set him among the stars.

Satyr (half man, half goat) The lecherous but lovable.
Who does this character remind you of?
Is anyone in your life a satyr?