Two different people, two different fates.
Hercules and Perseus are two different mortals that played an important role in Greek mythology. While the heroes are known for their differences, they share their traits as understandably the reason why the Olympian gods favor them.
Aside from different birth mothers, there are more differences than lie ahead between the two mortals that are still waiting to unlock. If you’re now ready to meet them, buckle up, we have a journey right ahead of us.
Hercules and Perseus: Who are they?
The two Greek heroes, Hercules and Perseus, were mortals who had the same father, Zeus. But there are different sides to the story, and here goes the story of their family and origin.
Perseus is known to be older than the hero Heracles. His mortal father is named Danaos, and his mother was princess Danae. But it is known that he had Zeus as his real father.
Perseus was perceived by his mother when Danae was jailed by her father. Acrisius did it because of the fear that his grandson would kill him. But Zeus was relentless, showing up in front of Danae in a golden shower form.
And because what Akrisios feared still happened, he locked them up in a wooden chest and still threw them in the ocean, away from civilization.
Zeus convinced Poseidon to make Perseus and Danae’s journey safe enough until they reached the island of Seriphos.
Skipping to his married life, he met his wife, Andromeda, who was helplessly chained to a rock. The princess was the daughter of King Cephus and Queen Cassiopeia, who angered the sea god Poseidon because of her vanity.
Her mother instantly made Andromeda a human sacrifice to appease the god. Then the two mortals had their very first meet-cute, saving the crying damsel in distress that Poseidon sent her. After successfully setting the monster to the stone with Medusa’s head, Perseus and Andromeda spent the rest of their lives happy in their marriage.
He and Andromeda had a life together, and they shared a bountiful life with their seven sons, namely Alcaeus, Electryon, Heleus, Mestor, Cynurus, Perses, and Sthenelus. The two also had two daughters named Gorgophone and Autochthe.
Alcmene gave birth to Heracles or Hercules, and she was the granddaughter of Perseus, which makes him also a descendant of Perseus. Therefore, Hercules and Perseus are related to each other in more numbers than one.
Disguising himself as Alcmene’s husband, she carried his son, and Zeus couldn’t be any more proud. Because of that, Hera’s wrath fueled, and so, she messed with the orders of birth, leaving Zeus the chance to make Eurystheus the king instead of Heracles.
The mortal hero also had a brother named Iphicles, who was born one night after him. Iphicles’ father was Amphitryon, while Heracles had Zeus as a father.
Even though queen Hera was thrown into a fitting rage, Heracles was adamantly strong for his young age. He choked the snakes that Hera sent to him in his crib when he was still an infant, and when he turned young adult, the hero also suffered from momentary madness because of her spell.
The momentary madness cost him the life of Megara and his two children. Deianira was his second wife, and their story began with him rescuing the princess from a centaur trying to kidnap her.
Heracles lived with her, and Deianira was given a gift by the centaur before its inevitable death. The tunic that the centaur gave made her believe that one rub of it on Hercules’s skin could stop him from meeting other women. However, it only brought him again to madness, and because of that, she killed herself.
And after being made a god, the final wife that Heracles had was his stepsister, Hebe, who was the god’s cupbearer.
What Are Their Important Roles in Greek Mythology?
In the lives of Hercules and Perseus, you can see that the two mortals have a share of gods who also helped them in their journey. So here are their important roles that shaped Greek mythology.
His tales are more than his most notable slay of the gorgon Medusa.
Being thrown into the vicious seas, Perseus and his mother, Danae, had been gently sent to the island of Seriphos and received shelter from a great man named Dictys. Not much later on, king Polydectes fell in love with Danae, but she rejected his profession of love.
The king was so humiliated by the rejection, but he’s not the one to let go so quickly. He sent Perseus out on a quest to still get Danae after all.
Polydectes required each Seriphos to bring a gift to his fake proposal to Hippodameia, but Perseus was poor, and he could not afford to get him a horse. The hero asked the king to ask anything he wanted, and he would gladly bring it to him, so Polydectes said that Perseus should bring him the head of the cursed Medusa.
Medusa is known for her ability to make anybody turn into stone. Polydectes seems to know this as well, and so he thinks that his ploy could then dispose of Perseus.
But with the help of Hermes’s winged sandals, Athena’s guidance, and the helm of the darkness of Hades, Perseus successfully presented the head of Medusa.
He was also known to make Atlas a stone to end his misery of holding the world on his bare knees, and finally, he killed King Polydectes and Danae’s father, Acrisius.
The same goes for the hero turned God, Heracles.
Before achieving the life that brought him his loving goddess of youth wife, Hebe, he went through many trials, one of which is called The Heroic Labors of Hercules.
His father, Zeus, already predetermined this quest to ensure that the hero can rightfully become a god. But this also happened after Heracles begged Apollo, the god of truth and prophecies, to atone for his sins of killing his wife and children, and so the Heroic Labors of Hercules came.
Heracles had to overcome the twelve obstacles, which consisted of fighting the lion, hydra, stag, boar, birds, bull, mares, cattle, and even the Cerberus. He also had to attend to the stables, get the girdle of Hippolyte and the apple of Hesperides.
He also appeared in the Gigantomachy, where he and the gods fight off the giants who are out to harm mortals and the gods out of Gaia’s vengeance. He dragged the giants out of its land with all of his might and successfully slain them, earning the right to become an Olympian god shortly after this matter.
Hercules and Perseus saved a lot of their loved ones from the cruelty of life even though they also faced bitter fate by themselves. The gods can either help or smite them in their journey, which only shaped their accomplishments because of their incredible strength.
Even though the two came from different mothers and generations, it is undeniable that the two heroes have bravery in their blood.