golden apples of the Hesperides

golden apples of the Hesperides

a wedding gift to Hera; Hercules stole some in the course of his labors. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 451]
See: Apple
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Through her influence he is commanded to carry out twelve labors, in hopes that he will be killed in accomplishing one of them: (1) he must strangle the Nemean lion; (2) he must kill the nine-headed hydra; (3) he must capture the dread Erymanthian boar; (4) he must capture a stag with golden antlers and brazen feet; (5) he must get rid of the carnivorous Stymphalian birds; (6) he must cleanse the stables of Augeas; (7) he must capture the sacred bull of Minos; (8) he must drive away the carnivorous mares of Diomedes; (9) he must secure the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons; (10) he must bring back the oxen belonging to the monster Geryoneus; (11) he must bring back the golden apples of the Hesperides; and (12) he must bring back Cerberus, the three-headed dog of the Underworld.
Compare, for example, the dragon-guarded golden fleece with the dragon-guarded golden apples of the Hesperides (the eleventh labor of Hercules); the beautiful young princess who aids her father's enemy and is eventually cast aside (as was Ariadne by Theseus); the journey to Aeaea, the island of Circe (Odysseus); a kingdom usurped (Hercules) and regained with a vengeance (Odysseus).