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What is Hercules famous for?

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Quick Answer

Hercules is famous for his 12 labors and for the manner of his death. A demigod, he was a child of the god Zeus and a mortal woman. Hera, queen of the Gods and Zeus's wife, resented Hercules.

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Full Answer

In a fit of rage at Zeus's betrayal, Hera sent a curse of madness upon Hercules that caused him to kill his wife and children. Even though the madness wasn't Hercules' fault, he was sent to King Eurystheus to perform penance.

The penance was the 12 labors, which were so daunting that only a demigod such as Hercules could possibly accomplish them. They were killing the Nemean lion, killing the hydra, capturing the Cerynitian stag, killing the Erymanthian boar, cleaning the Augean stables, killing the birds of Stymphalus, capturing the Cretan bull, capturing the man-eating horses of Diomedes of Thrace, stealing the girdle of the Amazon queen Hippolyta, capturing the oxen of Geryon, retrieving the apples of the Hesperides and retrieving the three-headed dog Cerberus from Hades

Hercules died after he put on a shirt or garment stained with the blood of the centaur Nessus, who ferried people across the River Euenos. The blood was poisonous and caused Hercules to die in agony.

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