Calling for a Hero II Heracles (Hercules) Part 1 the Beginning
Heracles was son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene, who the god seduced in the shape of her husband Amphitryon, king of Thebes. Zeus made love to her after disguising himself as her husband, Amphitryon, home early from war (Amphitryon did return later the same night, and Alcmene became pregnant with his son at the same time and fathered Iphicles)
Nine months after Zeus' visit, Zeus boasted that a day had come where a child would be born with his lineage that would rule the land around him. The goddess Hera's implacable hatred for all of Zeus' children had fathered on mortal women, made him swear that it would be so.
No sooner Zeus had sworn this vow, Hera arranged with her daughter Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth, to delay the delivery of Alcmene. Eileithyia sat outside of the room where Alcmene was in labor. By sitting with her legs cross and fingers intertwined, Eileithyia prevented Alcmene from pushing the babies out of her womb, for seven agonizing days. Hera saw to that Eurystheus was born before Heracles. Eurystheus was born prematurely. Therefore, Eurystheus would be king of Mycenae and Tiryns, Zeus was furious at Hera, but could not revoke his vow.
She would have permanently delayed Heracles' birth had she not been fooled by Galanthis, Alcmene's servant, who lied to Eileithyia, saying that Alcmene had already delivered the baby. Upon hearing this, she jumped in surprise, loosing the knots and inadvertently allowing Alcmene to give birth to Heracles and Iphicles.
Fear of Hera's revenge led Alcmene to expose the infant Heracles, but he was taken up and brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who played an important role as Protectress of Heroes. Hera did not recognize Heracles and nursed him out of pity. Heracles suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. But with divine milk, Heracles had acquired supernatural powers. Athena brought the infant back to his mother, and he was subsequently raised by his parents
Heracles was sent to tend cattle on a mountain by his foster father Amphitryon. he was visited by two nymphs—Pleasure and Virtue—who offered him a choice between a pleasant and easy life or a severe but glorious life: he chose Virtue. Later in Thebes, Heracles married King Creon's daughter, Megara. In a fit of madness, induced by Hera, Heracles killed his children by Megara. When he returned to his senses, he suffered from great sorrow and remorse. The king and the Theban citizens were unwilling to punish the hero, so Heracles exiled himself from Thebes. Thespius purified him for the murder. The young hero would have committed suicide, but his cousin and friend, Theseus, persuaded Heracles that suicide would be cowardly act. Theseus took the Heracles to Athens where he was purified for his crime.
Heracles still saw the need to expiate his grave crime or sin, so he went to Delphi to consult with the oracle. The oracle of Delphi told him that he needs to serve his cousin, Eurystheus, King of Tiryns and Mycenae, who would devised ten labors (later twelve), as his punishment for his crime of murdering his own family.