You’re probably familiar with the mythological tale of Hercules (or “Heracles” as the hero was originally called) from books, comics, and movies. But while Hercules is often rendered as a kind of one-dimensional superhero in popular culture, my guest today argues that he’s actually quite a complex character, and that the story of how he completed twelve epic labors has a lot to teach us about endurance, revenge, mental illness, violence, punishment, trauma, bereavement, friendship, love, and masculinity.

His name is Laurence Alison, and he’s a forensic psychologist and an expert in interrogation, who’s created a written and oral retelling of the classic myth. At the start of the show, Laurence shares how he’s been using the story of the twelve labors of Hercules to facilitate reflection and discussion amongst military personnel and first responders, and how the labors can provide life insights for everyone. We then dig into the details of many of the labors of Hercules, from slaying a lion to cleaning out stables, and discuss what they can teach us about grappling with life’s highs and lows, and what it means to be a man.

Resources Related to the Podcast

Our last podcast with Laurence about what he’s learned from his work in interrogation about building rapportAoM Podcast #660: The Theater of War With Bryan DoerriesAoM Series on Greek MythologyAoM Manvotional: The Choice of Hercules

Find Laurence Alison’s Hercules Retellings

The Heracles Project on the Grand Truth websiteDirect access to the oral retelling of the labors of Hercules (this is an audio experience with music, sound effects, illustrations, and guided interpretative diary exercises)Print copies of Laurence’s written, illustrated retelling of the labors, as well as a novella Laurence wrote on the entire life of Hercules, are available to purchase by contacting Andrew Richmond. You can get a feel for the former book here.

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Transcript Coming Soon!

The post Podcast #744: What the Labors of Hercules Can Teach You About Life and Masculinity appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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