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Heracles as a Paradox at Women of Trachis Essay

Project id 1000316
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 3042
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Heracles as a Paradox in Women of Trachis Together with the portrayal of Hercules in Sophocles' tragedy Women of Trachis, a vexing image of this Greek hero emerges. The majority of the myths of Heracles depict him as a ferocious warrior, tamer of beasts and a master of everything he attempts. This myth however, shows honorable characteristics juxtaposed with quite negative areas of the same man. Heracles is a paradox because even though he is a very excellent man and perfect enthusiast, in some ways he is barbarous, highly emotional and even vulnerable. Sophocles' version of Heracles' lifetime, or at least portion of it, made Heracles seem less like a Greek hero and much more like an ordinary Greek warrior. There are a couple of exceptions though. For one, Zeus was his dad. Not many of the children of gods were thought of as ordinary. All of these had some excellent power or ability such as Hercules. Second, his ability to fulfill his assigned tasks from the manner by which he does shows in no uncertain terms he's more than a common man is. Lastly, Hercules is granted immortality as a reward for impressing the gods on Mount Olympus. This last item is of special significance because it itself is a paradox. Was Hercules a Greek hero was he a God? These items all cause me to see Hercules the guy clearly but his connections to matters outside his epic motif are a mystery. Let's start by identifying the purpose of identifying Hercules as a fanatic. There are eight identifiable traits that have to be present so as to declare a person a Greek hero. The first point is celestial birth. Hercules being a son of Zeus meets this requirement. He's threatened almost immediately by a jealous Hera but saved by his own strength and adventuresome valor. His upward bringing was an outsider, really.

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