Greek Mythology and Hera Essay Sample

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In Greek Mythology, there are many different gods and goddesses but only one Hera. Hera is known for being the queen of all the Greek gods and being the main wife of Zeus, who is king of all the gods. Hera was goddess of childbirth and marriage. Known for many different things, Hera is considered the most jealous and quarrelsome goddess in all mythology.

There are many stories about Hera punishing women involved with Zeus and kids of Zeus that were not Hera’s but one specific story is that of Hercules who is Alcmene’s son. Hera had persecuted him since before he could talk only because she was jealous and hated the fact that Zeus was his father. Even though Hera had tried so many different ways to kill him, like sending snakes to him while he was a newborn, she was his nurse while he was a young child. Hercules is one of many people that Hera hated or tried to punish.

Hera did not just punish the mistresses of Zeus. She also punished Zeus. Once, she got some other gods to help her plot against Zeus. Hera had put drugs in Zeus’s drink and her and the other gods had cornered him while he slept. They bound him up in rawhide thongs and stole his thunderbolt. Zeus was saying he would destroy all of them but he could not get out of the rawhide thongs. His cousin, Briareus, was working in his garden and saw that Zeus needed help. Briareus reached through the window that he was looking at Zeus through, with his hundred arms and unbound the knots to free Zeus. Right when Zeus freed himself, he got his thunderbolt back and hung Hera in the sky for rebelling against him. Because Hera was always jealous and quarrelsome, none of the other gods went to help her. Hera wept the whole night to try and get to Zeus to let her come down. Zeus said he would let her come down if she had promised she wouldn’t pull a stunt like that again. Hera promised but Zeus and his wife still kept their eyes on the other always aware if the other did something bad.

Hera is daughter to Cronos and Rhea, who were Titans. Cronos and Rhea had another kid and that was Zeus, Hera’s husband. It was very common for siblings to marry to keep the royal blood in the family and to contain power. A lot of the gods and goddesses were related in some way. Zeus and Hera’s sister was Demete, the earth-goddess. Their brother was Poseidon, god of the sea. Their other brother was Hades, who ruled the underworld which was known as the land beyond death. Hera and Zeus had three children together. Zeus had others, like Hercules, but with other goddesses that weren’t Hera. Hera and Zeus had Ares, Hephaestus, and Eris. Ares was the god of war. Hephaestus was the smith-god. Eris was the goddess of discord. She would shriek beside Ares in his battle chariot. Hera and Zeus’s children were in the Pantheon. A pantheon means “a temple of all gods” (Rouse 6).

Even though Hera is considered very quarrelsome and jealous, a poet wrote a poem for her and called her “Golden-throned Hera… Chief among them in beauty…” (Hamilton 27). Hera was not all bad. She was also a protector of the gods in the Quest of the Golden Fleece. She is also the goddess that married women turned to for help.

Hera is known as Juno in Roman Mythology. Hera was said to have a favorite city and two favorite animals. Argos in the Peloponnesus was her favorite city and the cow and peacock were important to her. According to Shmoop, one of Hera’s favorite quotes would’ve been “All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner” by Red Skeleton. This quote shows that Hera punished Zeus and made sure he knew he messed up when he cheated on her. Hera also had a temple dedicated to her called Heraeum that was five miles northeast of Argos, her favorite city.

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