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Euripides' Heracles is an extraordinary play, innovative in its treatment of the myth, bold in its dramatic structure, and filled with affective human pathos. The play tells a tale of horror: Heracles, the greatest hero of the Greeks, is maddened by the gods to murder his wife and children. But this suffering and divine malevolence are leavened by the friendship between Heracles and Theseus, which allows the hero to survive this final and most painful labor. The Heracles raises profound questions about the gods and mortal values in a capricious and harsh world.