Hence, in conclusion, as evidence from various first-hand accounts of sailors, officers and indentured laborers suggest, the myth of Hercules is very misleading to say the least. To the contrary, the oppressed subjects of the empire are more closely aligned to Hercules in terms of their courage and endurance. The colonial masters, on the other hand, with their multifarious methods of control and repression, are easily associated to the Hydra. The ruling elite that masterminded the systematic plunder of the trans-Atlantic economy found it convenient to revive and embrace the immortal mythic hero Hercules to their own narrow goals. Though not backed by facts, the myth served a symbolic purpose in projecting the power, order and prosperity brought about by the image of Hercules. (Linebaugh & Rediker, 2000)
Hence, the officially circulated version of the Hercules-Hydra analogy is not merely false, but the opposite of the truth. It is important that students of history and political science understand the exaggerations and counter-positions created by the myth, for the truth is very far from it. It is only by heeding to the subaltern viewpoint will the discerning student of history come to comprehend it accurately. It is thus fair to say that the deconstruction of the Hydra myth is a useful exercise for students and policy-makers alike.
Frethorne, Richard, The Experiences of an Indentured Servant, First Hand Accounts of Virginia, 1575-1705, retrieved from the virtual Jamestown Project on 13th September, 2012.
Smith, John, What Happened Till the First Supply, Chapter 2, From the General Historie of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles, Colonial Settlements, p.110-120
Linebaugh, Peter & Rediker, Marcus. The Wreak of the Sea-Adventure, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, Published by Beacon Press in 2000.