The courageous and unimaginably strong son of Zeus, was known as Hercules. He strangled to serpents to death in his cradle, and killed a lion before reaching manhood. Hercules’ infidelity caused him to be detested by Zeus’s wife, Hera. Hercules had a peaceful life with his children and wife. However; Hera caused him to have an awfully nightmare during which Hercules killed his entire family. terribly grieved, he exiled himself. He was frightened and felt it important to go to the Oracle of Apollo, to ask the gods what he could do to repent for his crime, and was sent to serve as a slave for king Eurystheus. There was a way for Hercuols to be freed from the fate of killing his family, and this was offered to him by the king. The king sent him to do 12 labors, and only by completing these tasks would he be free from Hera’s vengeance. They were to:
1. Kill the lion of Nemea, whom he strangled.
2. To kill the nine-headed hydra, who’s head would grow back from every flesh wound, and one head was immortal. Hercules burned each flesh wound so it would be unable to grow back, and caged the immortal head under a rock.
3. This task was to capture the Ceryneian. After chases it for several months, he finally got it, and brought it back to the king.
4. Capture the wild boar of Erymanthus.
5. Clean the stables of Augeas in one day, he did so by washing the filth away with a river.
6. Kill the Carnivorous birds of Stymphalis, with their toxic dung, metal beaks and feathers.
7. Capture the wild white bull of Crete.
8. Capture the Maneating Mares of Diomedes.
9. Get the Gridle of Hyppolyta, queen of the amazons.
10. Capture the chestnut oxen of the monster Geryon.
11. Take the golden apples from the garden of Hesperides, which was garden by the dragon Ladon. Hercules did not kill the dragon, but tricked Atlas into getting them for him. Hercules convinced Atlas to do so by telling him that he would hold up the heavens for him. Once he came back with the apples, Atlas asked Hercules to hold them so he could get a pillow for his aching back, whilst doing so Hercules left with the apples.
12. Last but not least, to bring Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Hades, to the surface world.
After these 12 tasks were accomplished, he was freed back to Thebes, where he married Deianara. However; Hercules wasn’t the only trickster. The centaur Nessus tried abducting Deianara one, but Hercules shot him in the face with a poisoned arrow. With Nessus’ last breath, he told Deianara to keep his blood, for it would always keep Hercules’s love. She believed the evil centaur, and when she feared she was going to be left for Iole, she gave Hercules a cloak soaked in Nessus’s bloom. This did not make him love her any more, but made him burn and get killed from poisoning.