Disney

The Greek Mythology Behind Disney’s Hercules

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Greek mythology was a big interest to me when I was younger. I as a big fan of the Hercules legend and this Disney movie added to that interest. Even to this day, I love reading up on the myths and legends and the stories that were so popular in ancient Greece.

Today, I thought I would share some of the myths and legends surrounding the Gods and Demi-Gods that feature in Disney’s Hercules!

30. Hercules

Hercules

In Greek mythology, his name was Heracles and he was the son of Zeus and mortal woman, Alcmene. Due to Zeus betrayal, Heracles was forever despised by Hera, Zeus’ wife. Heracles is known for slaying the nine-headed Leraen Hydra, capturing the Erymanthian Boar and capturing Cerberus. He also joined the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece.

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Zeus

Zeus is the God of sky and thunder and is often seen holding a thunder bolt in statues and portraits. He is married to Hera (who if legend is correct, is his sister) and the father of Heracles, Ares, Aphrodite and Athena. Many of his children has different mothers due to his erotic escapades. He was chief of the gods and assigned all others their roles.

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Hades

Hades is the God of the underworld. He is the brother of Zeus and therefore Heracle’s Uncle. Hades was often portrayed standing next to Cerberus the three headed dog. Persephone was his consort, but did not do so willingly. She had two of his children.  Hades realm is always portrayed as dark and misty and a place of great gloom. Majority of those who found their way into Hades lair never left. All except Heracles.

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Hera

Hera is the wife and sister of Zeus and the Goddess of women and marriage. She is well known for being extremely jealous and vengeful of Zeus other lovers and offspring. Hera is often portrayed with either a cow, lion or a peacock which are animals she see’s as sacred. In Greek mythology, she is known to have despised Heracles due to being the son of Zeus and a mortal woman.

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Hermes

Hermes is the son of Zeus which makes him the half-brother of Hercles. He is the god of transitions and boundaries. He is described as quick and cunning and able to move freely between the worlds of the mortals and the divine. He is also portrayed as a messenger of the Gods.

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Pegasus

Pegasus is probably one of the best known creatures in Greek mythology; the horse with wings. Zeus instructed Pegasus to bring lightning and thunder from Olympus. He was also a friend to the muses. Pegasus is seen as a symbol of wisdom and poetry.

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Philoctetes

According to Greek mythology, Philoctetes was the son of King Poeas of Meliboea in Thessaly. He was a Greek hero who participated in the Trojan war and was famed for his archery skills. He is known for being the one to light Heracles’ funeral pyre and being gifted with Heracles’ bow and poison arrows. In Greek mythology, he is human.

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Cerberus

Cerberus is a multi-headed dog that guards the gates to the Underworld. He is also known as the hound of Hades and stops the dead from leaving. Cerberus is usually described as having three heads, a serpent for a tail as well as snakes protruding from parts of his body. He was captured by Heracles during one of his twelve labours.

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Muses

The muses are goddesses of literature, science and the arts. They were seen as the source of all knowledge and the embodiment of poetry, lyrics songs and myths. The muses are made up o Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. Each have different emblems such as the globe, a comic mask a lyre, a tragic mask, scrolls, books and a writing tablet.

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Nessus

Nessus was a famous centaur who was killed by Heracles with a hydra poisoned arrow.. He had previously fought in the battle with the Lapiths and was a ferryman on the River Euenos. He was killed by Heracles after trying to force himself onto Deianeira, Heracles’ wife.

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The Fates

In Greek Mythology, The Fates were known as Moirai. They were white robed incarnations of destiny and their number became fixed at three; Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. They controlled the mother thread of life of every mortal from birth to death.

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Titans

In Greek mythology, the Titans were the second generation of divine beings. There were twelve Titans and they were based on Mount Othrys. The Titans were made up of Oceanus, Tethys, Hyperion, Theia, Coeus, Phoebe, Cronus Rhea, Mnemosyne, Themis, Crius and Iapetus. They all had children who became the Olympus deities.

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a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below

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One thought on “The Greek Mythology Behind Disney’s Hercules

  1. Adored this post as I love Greek Mythology as much as you so this was great fun to read! I love the subtle nods to the real myths throughout the film with the different characters, so brilliant. I love what Pegasus symbolises too and The Muses will always be one of my favourite things about the film as well. – Tasha

    Like

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