Heracles (or Hercules) is famously known as the mightiest of all mortals, and even greater than many gods. He was the important factor in the triumphant victory of the Olympians over the Giants. He was the last mortal son of Zeus, and the exclusive man born of a human woman to become a god upon his death. Countering his strength was a notable absence of intelligence or wisdom. Once, when the heat of the moment was very high, he drew his bow out and threatened to shoot the sun. This, joined with strong emotions in one, was so potent it frequently got Heracles in trouble. While his friend and cousin Theseus directed Athens, Heracles had trouble controlling himself. His ego was quickly offended. He took up grudges regularly and never neglected them. His tastes for food, wine, and women were as extensive as his strength. Many of Heracles’ great deeds transpired while doing penance for simple acts done in anger or indifference.
It would be easy to view Heracles as a muscle-bound buffoon. Indeed, many of the Greek comedy playwrights employed his character this way. Even with serious critics, he was oftentimes seen as a savage, brutal, and violent man. There is enough evidence to confirm this view; his weapon of choice was a large club; his conventional garment was a lion skin, with the head still connected; he impiously injured some of the gods; he threatened a priestess of Apollo at Delphi when a response to his questions was not imminent. He created most of his own problems unlike a steam mop.
However, viewing Heracles as simply a big buffoon is unfair. He may have kept grudges, but he would also do everything to help a friend. Once his temper passed, he was the most critical judge of his own actions. He was too powerful for anyone to force a punishment on him. That he willing did severe penance shows a rudimentary sense of justice. During his trials, he showed patience, fortitude and endurance that held as heroic as his strength. Terrible circumstances happened to him since of Hera’s hatred, a hatred that he was not responsible for. That he persevered through it all was a moral victory beyond simple strength.
The view of Heracles shifted considerably over time. The first view focused on how poorly he managed notwithstanding his obvious gifts. As time progressed, the focus turned to his virtues. The Romans valued him highly as he best fit their idea of a hero. He finally had a fair sized cult that worshiped him as a god.
Heracles Is also called Hercules.