Why did Hercules have to perform the 12 labors? Was he successful?
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Hercules' mother Hera was not happy when she saw his happy life with his wife Megara and his children. She sent a fit of rage that made Hercules not realize what he was doing and in his senselessness he killed his Wife and children.
To atone for his sins he approached the God Apollo and asked him what he should do. Apollo commanded Hercules to do certain tasks so that his sins would get cleansed.
Hercules had to go the king Eurystheus and do the ten tasks that he was ordered to do by the king. Hercules not only completed the ten tasks he had to do originally but completed two other very difficult tasks that Eurystheus added later.
Hercules' success in completing the tasks let him purify himself from the grave sin of spilling his family's blood.