Shirt of Nessus  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Shirt of Nessus, Tunic of Nessus, Nessus-robe, or Nessus' shirt in Greek mythology was the poisoned shirt that killed Hercules. It was once a popular reference in literature. In folkloristics, it is considered an instance of the "Poison Dress" motif, Aarne-Thompson motif D1402.5.

In Greek mythology, it is the shirt (chiton) daubed with the tainted blood of the centaur Nessus that Deianeira, Hercules' wife, naïvely gave Hercules, burning him, and driving him to throw himself onto a funeral pyre.

Metaphorically, it represents "a source of misfortune from which there is no escape; a fatal present; anything that wounds the susceptibilities"

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shirt of Nessus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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