Known From: The Iliad
Notable Quotes about Achilles:“Sing Goddess, Achilles’ rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades’ dark”
“For my mother the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, tells me that twofold fates are bearing me toward the doom of death: if I abide here and play my part in the siege of Troy, then lost is my home-return, but my renown shall be imperishable; but if I return home to my dear native land, lost then is my glorious renown, yet shall my life long endure, neither shall the doom of death come soon upon me.”
Achilles is the central character and most ferocious warrior in Homer’s classic epic The Iliad. He is often portrayed as being a mighty warrior who is often filled with grief and remorse. The grief and suffering of Achilles is recounted several times throughout the poem and is often cited as one of the major themes.
Achilles was born to the sea nymph Thetis and the mortal king Peleus. He was raised by the centaur Chiron and taught to be a great warrior. As a young man he ate the innards of lions and wild boars. It was predicted by Achilles’ teacher that he would be a fierce fighter who would kill many men and sack many cities.
In The Iliad, Achilles is found to be in conflict with Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks. His feud with Agamemnon is caused by the theft of Briseis, whom Achilles believes is his rightful trophy of war. Achilles is so angered that he considers leaving Troy and returning home.
Before Achilles can make the trip back, his dear friend Patroclus is killed by Hector, the Prince of Troy. Achilles is so distraught by the death of his friend that he quickly forgets his thoughts of home and pursues Hector on the battlefield. Achilles finds Hector and slays him outside the Walls of Troy. Achilles then drags the body of Hector behind his chariot as he circles the city.
Achilles is eventually killed by an arrow to the heel from the bow of Paris. This is revealed to be his weakness. He is cremated and his ashes are put in an urn… along with the ashes of his dear friend Patroclus.
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