I think Hercules would qualify for the Working Class hero. When his life hung on balance he chose to find work than go under. You see he lived before Freud. He knew how to get the most out of self-analysis- work. He hit upon the wonderful idea: work is a therapy. Hercules must have come through a wringer to conclude work made him sane. In these days work made you sick with the high expectations of your boss. If out of work you made yourself ill by the least expectations your loved ones build up about you. Hercules must have been through a rough patch till he realized a way forward.
Did he not kill his whole family? It was too late get them back to life. May be work will keep him sane and alive.
Work was like arc lamps, beamed at your eyes. Either you worked your butt off or you felt like a chump.
He pored over Classified Ads which in those days meant consulting oracle at Delphi and found an ideal employer. He did not have to read ‘How to find a boss and work your way up!’or ‘ Be your Boss!’ The priestess found the ideal boss for him. The priestess didn’t warn him though the office culture was far out and the poor slobs in workplace dumped all their filth around the cooler and coffee dispenser. The Priestess was doing him a favor, for Zeus sake!
Hercules was not deterred by the issues of hygiene of the office or personal habits of his boss. He was there strictly on work. Nothing else would matter. I find he would not miss any trick if he were alive now.
Now for the legend.
Hercules, (or Herakles as he is known in Greek Mythology,) was the son of Zeus and Alcmene [Alk-ME-ne]. Zeus disguised himself to look like Alcmenes husband, Amphitryon [Am-FIT-ri-on] and tricked her into an amorous tryst. She realized that she had been deceived when her husband returned home on the day after this liaison. Alcmene bore a second son at the time of Hercules birth. His name was Iphicles and he was the son of Amphitryon. He accompanied his brother on several of his adventures, but was killed during one of Hercules labors. In an attempt to dispel the wrath of Zeus wife, Alcmene named her first son Herakles (which means glorious gift of Hera in Greek) in her honor. Unfortunately, this only served to further infuriate Hera.
The greatest dangers to Hercules came from Hera’s wrath, not from -Hades as the Disney version implies. She was jealous of her husbands many infidelities with mortals and immortals, alike. She was particularly vengeful toward this handsome son of her husband, perhaps because of his strength, prowess and good looks. She tried throughout his life to do away with him. In his infancy, she sent two snakes to strangle him in his cradle. The baby Hercules was able to take the two snakes and squeeze them to death. In his youth, he learned to sing and play the lyre. When his teacher, Linus, scolded him for playing out of tune, Hercules hit him on the head with the lyre and killed him. His family realized that he was too strong to live at the palace so he was sent to the mountains to serve as a shepherd. While tending his flocks, he killed all of the lions and wolves that menaced the area. As a reward, the King of Thebes gave his daughter Megara in marriage to Hercules. Together, they had several children and settled in for a peaceful life.
This good fortune further infuriated the goddess Hera and she sought vengeance by making him mad. In his insanity, he killed his wife, Megara, as well as their children, swatting them down as though they were wild animals. When he recovered his sanity and realized what he had done, he was filled with remorse. He went to Delphi and asked the oracle there how he could atone for his sins. He was told to serve his cousin Eurystheus [You-RISS-theus], King of Mycenae and perform ten labors for him. Hera was pleased with this penance, for Eurystheus was a weak man who was jealous of Hercules great strength and noble birth. Hera knew that he would choose only the most difficult tasks he could devise.
(to be continued)ack:Hercules (http://yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum)