Why I Identify So Strongly With Hercules’ Megara

“Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least they would if I had any friends.”

Disney’s Hercules is and always has been one of my favourite movies. You know why? Because the character Meg shares my name and because she’s a strong female character that shows vulnerability and that it’s okay to sometimes need rescuing.

For anyone that isn’t familiar with the movie, it’s a story of the son (Hercules) of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera having been stripped of his immortality as an infant by Pain and Panic under the instruction of Hades, God of the Underworld in a plan to overrule Zeus, because to be honest, Hades is pretty sick of his job.

Hercules is raised on Earth by the elderly couple that found him and must become a true hero in order to reclaim his immortality and rejoin his parents on Mount Olympus. Herc becomes a famous hero with the help of Pegasus and Phil by battling monsters of all kinds but the true heroic act was his self-sacrifice to save the life of his true love, Meg.

Hercules: “Aren’t you… a damsel in distress?”

Meg: “I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle this. Have a nice day.”

Meg is cynical and world-weary, unusual for a lead Disney’s female. She’s a heroic part in the movie, classed as a heroine rather than just a romantic interest. A bit of backstory; Meg sold her soul to Hades in order to save the life of her boyfriend who shortly afterwards left her for another woman, abandoning Meg as a prisoner of Hades and leaving her embittered towards men. Having been fucked over at least twice, that we know of (the ex boyf and Hades), by guys in her life she’s the character that girls will identify with the most.

Hercules: “Uh, so how’d you get stuck with the…”

Meg: “Pinhead with hooves? Well, you know how men are. They think “No” means “Yes” and “Get lost” means “Take me, I’m yours.””

Her character is first seen being harassed by Nessus (the blue centaur guy in a river) who quite clearly is a perv, which is why Hades had chosen Meg to charm Nessus into being captured and brought to the Underworld. Herc steps in trying to be the hero, fighting off Nessus, however, Meg then spills the beans to Hades that Hercules is in fact alive when Hades had ordered Pain and Panic to turn him mortal and kill him off aaaages ago. So now of course Hades is piiiiissssssseeedddd and recruits Meg to help him get rid of Herc properly.

She doesn’t let people treat her like shit, she’s learnt from past life experiences, she stands up to perverts and fuck boys, she’s a bad ass. Yes she does need rescuing at the end of the movie but us strong ladies need to learn that we are allowed to be weak and we are allowed to accept help. Even from guys!

“I’m a big tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything.”

She’s a sarcastic, dry humoured, wonderful character, she’s snarky and flirty and she didn’t fall at the feet of Hercules as soon as he looked her way like most female characters did. She made sure they cared for each other before allowing herself to get her heart involved in the situation. She’s a good role model for any age and growing up I’ve seen more and more of her character in myself.

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