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Herakles / Heracles Lesson Plans


Herakles, known more commonly by the Latinized name Hercules, is one of the greatest heroes... ever! We get the word "Herculean" in English, meaning "requiring enormous effort", from the story of Hercules, who had superhuman strength and accomplished twelve seemingly impossible tasks.

Student Activities for Greek Mythology: The 12 Labors of Hercules Include:




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"Hercules" is the hero's name that most people are familiar with. The name "Herakles" actually means "Hera's Glory". This name is ironic as Hera hates Hercules, and certainly would not consider him a gift of hers. Hera's husband, Zeus, had an affair with Alcmene, and Hercules is a constant reminder of her husband's infidelity. Sadly for Hera, Hercules would not be the last by far.


Hercules was very popular in Greek mythology, and continues to be popular in the modern age. Many surviving artwork from ancient Greece have Hercules as the subject, and there have been several films and television shows modeled after him. He is one of the mightiest heroes in mythology, and his character reflects many of the attributes that the Greeks admired, such as great strength, skills in combat, and guile.


Essential Questions for Hercules Myths

  1. What is atonement?
  2. What is the significance of completing the Twelve Labors?
  3. What made Hercules a hero?

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