Mythological Heroes
The subject of mythology deals mainly with the notion of battle, or good
versus evil. In this struggle many individuals are singled out for either the
evil they cause, or from the good they bring to people. When you mention heroes
in mythology, there are two distinct names that a majority of people bring up,
those names are Achilles and Hercules. Achilles was born to King Peleus and the
sea-nymph Thetis. Soonafter Achilles was born his mother dipped him in the River

Styx, she was told, by doing this, that the water would make every part of his
body that it touched invincible. Little did she know that the one part of his
heel which he was held by would not touch the water. When Achilles mother found
out about the war in Troy between the Greeks and the Trojans she did not want
her son to fight because she knew that he would eventually be killed there. The
way that she tried to preventhim from going into the army was to hide him among
the women of the court sothat he could not be persuaded by his close friend

Odysseus to join the Greek forces. While trying to find Achilles, Odysseus
easily spotted him among the women, and persuaded him to join the Greek army.

After many years of battle with the Trojan forces, Achilles ended up ina famed
duel with Trojan hero Hector, over the slaying of Achilles close friend

Patroclus. After killing Hector, Achilles tied his dead body behind a chariot
and dragged around the walls of Troy seven times to show his hatred and anger
towards the Trojans and their hero. Shortly after the famed battle, Achilles was
killed when he was struck, with a poisonous arrow, in the one small spot on his
heel which was vulnerable. The arrow was fired by the Trojan prince Paris and
was guided by the sun god Apollo. Hercules was the strongest and swiftest man
ever to walk the earth. As the son of Zeus and mortal woman Alcmene, Hercules
was destined to be a hero. This destiny was shown before he was one year old.

Enraged at his affair with a mortal woman, Zeus\' wife Hera set out on a plot to
kill Hercules. One night after Alcmene put her children to bed, Hercules\' twin
brother Iphicles was awoken by two huge serpents that were sent by Hera to kill
the son of Zeus. When Hercules awoke he grasped the two snakes in order to play
with them, and squeezed the life right out of them. When Alcmeneawoke to see
what all the commotion was about, she was amazed at the sight of her infant son
holding two snakes that he had killed with his bare hands. When Hercules grew to
manhood, he married and had six sons, and again fell victim to Hera\'s hatred
towards him. What Hera did was send a fitof madness upon Hercules who mistook
his wife and children for enemies and killed them. When his sanity returned he
realised what he had done he shut himself up from the world for a long time.

After a long time in seclusion Hercules finally emerged and went to the Oracle
of Delphi to beg for punishment for his crime. Hercules was sent to King

Eurystheus and toldthat the king would assign a punishment to Hercules. The
punishment was to perform twelve nearly impossible tasks which are known as the
twelvelabours of Hercules. The first of these tasks was to kill and skin the

Nemean Lion, whose skin could not be punctured by any weapon. His second labour
was to killthe Hydra of Lerna which had numerous heads, one of which was
immortal. Every time one of the mortal heads was cut off two or three new heads
would growin its place. The third of his tasks was go to the Ceryneian Hill and
capture a beautiful bronze-hoofed hind without spilling one drop of its blood.

For his fourth task Hercules was to capture alive a huge wild boar which often
killed humans and lived on Mount Erymanthus. The fifth task assigned to Hercules
was to clean the filth of many years out of the stables of King Augeias of Elis.

The sixth labour of the great Greek hero was to get rid of a flock of birds
which resided in the Stymphalian Marsh. The birds had long straight bronze
beaks, sharp bronze claws, and a taste for human flesh. For his next labour,

Hercules was to capture the wild bull of Crete. For the eighth task Hercules was
to bring