Herakles Mutability Of Myth

Decent Essays

Mutability of a myth occurs between two myths, two similar myths which have a similar story or characters, however, there are contradictions or noticeable differences with in the story or with the characters. Herakles is a prime example to examine and see the mutability of myth in these texts Women of Trachis by Sophocles and Herakles by Euripides. Both of the texts have Herakles as the main character but the plot and Herakles’s character are totally different. In Women of Trachis Herakles is disconnected from his family and doesn’t care. In Herakles he loves his family, and would do anything for them. Under close examination we can see that Herakles’s family and family’s background are different, the characters who die, and the reason and …show more content…

As we know in Women of Trachis Herakles the main character, and is the first victim to start their death. Herakles has moved on without his family, like any wife Deianeira just want things go back to normal. When the robe is given to Herakles his skin starts to burn, we know this is not intention, Deianeira just tried to make him fall in love with her again. When news reaches Deianeira of what occurred, she takes her own life with a blade. Sophocles uses Deaneries’ death to humiliate the great Herakles, the way in which she dies is considered manly, dying by a blade. On the other end of the spectrum Herakles dies a women’s death by being poisoned. This is an insult to Herakles and his family’s name. Herakles’s slow feminine death is emotionally traumatizing to him for the remainder of the day he has left to live. In Herakles he does not die but becomes emotionally strong. Unfortunately for Herakles’s family, they die by Herakles’s doing. Herakles has just killed his family and is now contemplating suicide, but the King and his father motivate him and give him purpose in life once again. The tone then changes because Herakles is going to Athens with the King (not the labors) to help out the city. This is surprisingly a positive “pick me up” tone, and Herakles does just that. Herakles moves on from sadness to perform deeds for the city, showing how strong Herakles is by …show more content…

In Women of Trachis, Herakles is outperforming the 12 labors, the reason is because he is clearing the blood guilt he has from killing his first family. This makes Herakles sound like a man who heart is good who wants to be a good person, however, he is no longer interested with his current family. Herakles finds a new woman to be with while he is away, showing no respect for his current family. This shows Herakles to be not such a good person after all, abandoning his kid and his wife. In Herakles, Herakles is initially perceived as a good hearted person as did Herakles in Women of Trachis. We know Herakles is a good person because he is clearing the blood guilt for his father by performing the 12 labors, an act which is not directly correlated with him. Herakles is risking his life for his stepfather and his family name, this also shows courage. Upon his return he is happy to see his family and saves them once again. Herakles also commits one more selfless act by saving the King from the underworld. This shows Herakles is a person with a good heart, and it stay that way though the time away. The two myths both have similarities and differences, but it’s those differences which make Herakles separate from each other in the myths. The authors depict Herakles character in different way, Sophocles tends to make Herakles look emotionally weak, not masculine, and in general

Get Access