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Hera (pronounced /ˈhɪərə/; Greek Ήρα, Hēra, equivalently Ήρη, Hērē, in Ionic and Homer) is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology. She serves primarily as the goddess of women and marriage. In Roman mythology, the equivalent mythical character is Juno. The cow, and later the peacock, is sacred to Hera. Hera's mother is Rhea and her father is Cronus.

Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high, cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera is often depicted bearing a pomegranate in her hand, an emblem of fertile blood and death and a substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy. A scholar of Greek mythology Walter Burkert writes in Greek Religion, "Nevertheless, there are memories of an earlier aniconic representation, as a pillar in Argos and as a plank in Samos."

Hera is known for her jealous and vengeful nature, most notably against Zeus's paramours and offspring, but also against mortals who crossed her, such as Pelias. Paris offended her by choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess, earning Hera's hatred.[1]

Connection to Class Themes

Hera is a character found in many different areas of literature. She is commonly a representative of strong, independent women. Though she is Zeus's wife, she acts of her own accord in many myths and sometimes even defies Zeus. Nora, Vera, and many other female characters in our readings display characteristics of a typical Hera figure.

In [Schismatrix]], Nora is intially the main connection between Lindsay and the FMD and the Mavrides clan on ESAIRS XII. She and Lindsay fall in love while he and the miners are attempting to take over ESAIRS XII, eventually causing the destruction of both clans. Before the arrival of the FMD, Nora followed Kleo's instructions and orders. When the conflict between the FMD and the Mavrides clan breaks out, both Nora and Lindsay make personal decisions to turn on their comrades in order to defend each other. This shows Hera's independent spirit being demonstrated in Nora. Later in the novel when Nora and Lindsay have established new lives on Goldreich-Tremaine, Nora's genelines are what give Lindsay and her political power and prestige.

Vera plays a very short but important role in Schismatrix. She commits suicide as part of a plan set forth by Lindsay, Constantine, and herself, showing her independence and will to think for herself. She is Lindsay's lover, most likely a fact that was well known even by Lindsay's current wife. This is ironic considering Hera was a goddess of marriage. The relation between Vera and Hera was most likely not a connection that Sterling consciously made.

In NeuromancerMolly displays the least Hera-like characteristics compared to Nora and Vera. While she is independent and eventually leaves Case to go out on her own, she has points in the novel where she would not have survived without Case's emotional support.

In He, She, and It, Shira displays many characteristics unlike Hera, such as her divorce (which goes against Hera's love of marriage). In the beginning of He, She and It, she is very dependent upon Josh's ranking and status, and as much as she claims to be strong and independent, she is not. Possibly this will change throughout the book and with her interactions with Yod.


  1. "Hera." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 21 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hera
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