Last article.
(Read article one: Hercules: why is a disgusting man a movie hero? and article 2: Reputation parasitism – how the psychopath Heracles / Hercules got his heroic status)

In an earlier article it has become clear that the hero Heracles (in later Roman tradition called Hercules) was actually a psychopath – a murderer, pedophile, and rapist. But he still managed to do some good things during his lifetime. In addition, he was mixed up with various stellar myths and legends that made him appear in a better light. His descendants probably also took the time and effort to promote and praise him in order for themselves to be looked upon as noble and important persons.

When a person is described as a role model, the risk is that people are also inspired by their bad traits. Many of those who have been described as heroes prehistorically, historically, and in modern times show obvious psychopathic traits. They are manipulative, lie readily, are narcissistic, ruthless, have no empathy, but are also charming and charismatic. We let ourselves be seduced and charmed by these psychopaths – people that we, in normal cases, would never look up to.

It’s here somewhere that the psychopath becomes a hero. We’re so charmed that we don’t reflect on their bad traits but neglect them. An important lesson is not to have a one-sided opinion of a person. For example, a person may be competent in his or her job, but isn’t a role model as a person. This applies to everyone, from athletes, politicians, and celebrities to former heroes and religious role models. The sooner we understand what they actually are, the less is the risk that they can hurt us and destroy our lives.

So, back to Heracles – what was he really like?
Heracles – A Psychopath’s Tale

Read also: The 12 Labors of Hercules – the Dawn of Civilization

Copyright Annika Lagerhorn, Malena Lagerhorn