Hercules was the son of Zeus and his mistress Alcmene. Zeus’ wife Hera held an
undying grudge against Hercules for being Zeus' illegitimate son. Of all the Greek heroes, he was by far the most famous. He was acknowledged as a hero of superhuman strength and great courage in Greek mythology. He was a mortal man, who through hard work became immortal and joined the gods of Olympus.
He had lots of unusual characters which made him a contradictory figure. On the one hand, he had the admirable quality. I’ll support my point of view from the
following 3 facets. Firstly, in terms of the mythology as a whole, the most outstanding merit of Hercules is his self-awareness. He values himself more than the gods. Although the tasks were given by the oracles, he was told to do these tasks to purify himself, he said to himself that he did these things only for himself not for the god, and later these attributes he did indeed contributed to his fame and prestige among the citizens, also helped him to win back the crown which belongs to him. Secondly, it’s worth paying attention to his perseverance.
There is no denying that it is the most shinning virtue of him. A particular example for this is when he saw his teacher was pushed up by the monster, he insisted on pushing up the horse for many years in order to gain strength, and later he won the battle with that monster. Efforts did repay. Last but no least, Hercules is brave enough to acknowledge his mistake and does everything to smooth over it. On the other hand, although full of impressive adventures, he also had violent and cruel character. A good case in point is that he took revenge on people who had offended him. When King Laomedon of Troy didn’t fulfill his promise for rescuing his
daughter from a sea-monster, Hercules was plotting a severe revenge against Troy and killed the King. In a word, there seems to have been a kind of schizophrenic quality to his make-up.
As a matter of fact, Hercules was desperate for some semblance of normality, so he married a beautiful princess who bore him two sons. Nevertheless, his domestic bliss was short-lived. In the dead of night, Hercules committed an unspeakable horror. When Hercules waked up from this madness, he found himself covered in the blood of his own family under a spell cast by his stepmother, Hera. When his blind rage subsided, it was replaced with intense remorse, a horrible anguish that would plague
him forever. After committing so many crimes, he was driven to take on twelve impossible challenges that the King Eurystheus ordered him to impose in a quest for
redemption. Only by this way could he purify himself, his hands and his soul. The Twelve Labors can thoroughly show his enormous strength, intelligence and even cruelty. Hercules was honing the skills necessary to survive in a hostile world, such as physical strength, mental toughness and relentless endurance. The King Eurystheus laid out a series of monstrous challenges sure to put an end to the hero. For example, In his 6th Labor, Hercules must face a flock of ferocious man-eating birds who symbolize mankind's unreachable goals. He drove them off with his poisonous arrows and reached an important milestone, the half-way mark in his 12 Labors. For his 12th and final Labor, Hercules must found his way to the mysterious underworld of the dead, Hades. There he must capture Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog at the gates. Hercules' final Labor was by far the most outrageous. Hades agreed on one condition--Hercules must overpower the beast with nothing but his fists. By all rights, he should finally be in peace. Hera held an undying grudge against Hercules for being Zeus' illegitimate son. He built a huge funeral pyre. His life on earth ends just as he endured it. In the end, Zeus invited Hercules to join the immortals on Mount Olympus and his nemesis, Hera, finally relented. Hercules was resurrected, and joined his father in the eternal kingdom. It is an ending with an eerie similarity to another divine mortal Jesus Christ.
As far as I’m concerned, the weaknesses and faults are human nature that we couldn’t avoid. Perhaps we aren’t able to describe Hercules as a flawless figure, but
what he shows us is his great strength and courage. No matter what crimes Hercules had committed, I will admire and respect him. There is no doubt that, as a heroic figure, he has taught us to be brave and intelligent when we are faced with the “Herculean tasks”, and nothing is more important than to be perseverant. Just as the saying goes, genius only means hard-working all one’s life.