The Myths and Legends of Achilles

The Trojan War hero Achilles

The Trojan War hero Achilles was invincible except for his heel, which made him invulnerable everywhere but the point where he was killed by an arrow. While the story of Achilles' killing spree seems bleak, it's important to remember that this mythical figure was also deeply human. Fortunately, the myths and legends of Achilles were not lost in time, and we're now able to read about the man behind the myths.

Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War

The Greek hero Achilles became part of the Achaean army during the Trojan War, a ten-year battle over Helen of Troy. Helen was kidnapped by the Prince of Troy and his brother-in-law Agamemnon led an army to Troy to rescue her. Achilles fought alongside his brothers and won, killing many of the Trojans. In the final battle, Achilles killed Hector in a face-to-face duel. He then drags the lifeless body of Hector for eleven days. During the eleven days, the gods helped Priam reach Achilles' tent. Achilles agrees to take Hector's body, which Priam then offers to Priam, the King of Troy.

He was invulnerable everywhere but at the heel

The Greek hero Achilles was dipped into the River Styx by his mother. After the dip, Achilles became invulnerable everywhere but at the heel, and an arrow that pierced the heel killed him. The story of Achilles' heel has inspired many popular phrases. The phrase "Achilles was invulnerable everywhere but at the heel" has become a cliché.

He was a model of brutality

In the story of Achilles, there is a conflict between humanity and brutality. Achilles is described as a ruthless killer who sacrifices Patroclus. He later tries to save his friend Helen by killing her. Ultimately, it is unclear which of these two sides won the battle. But there is no doubt that the actions of Achilles did alter the outcome of the war. Throughout history, Achilles has served as a model for violence.

He was killed by an arrow

The Iliad does not mention the fact that Achilles was killed by an arrow. However, many later legends have it that Apollo guided the arrow to a weak spot in Achilles' body. This arrow killed Achilles and ended his life. This savage act was avenged by the god Apollo. Hector, the son of Priam, accompanied the Trojans to the battle and fought with Achilles.

He was a model of cowardice in Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno portrays Achilles as a portrait of the wrathful and sullen souls of the fifth circle of hell. In Dante's book, Achilles is a prime example of this. He devolves into an individual in rage. Like other souls in this circle, Achilles was filled with uncontrollable wrath and betrayed his country. Those who would seek to do evil were condemned to spend eternity in a river of blood.

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