Greek Heroes: Achilles, the Formidable Warrior

Greek Hero - AchillesWe all have that one hero story that we usually recall every now and then. There’s something about these stories that somehow compels us to be inspired and intrigued at the same time. Whichever way it is, people just love to hear and know about stuff that’s impressive- maybe even supernatural. And to most of us, I’m sure that Greek heroes in Greek Mythology top the list of these kinds of stories.

Greek Mythology’s Influence

Greek Mythology focuses on the myths and legends of gods, heroes and the nature of the world that were dated back in the ancient times. Modern studies refer to Greek mythology as a basis or a light for many religious and political institutions back then. And if you come to look at it, there are significant philosophies of Greek Mythology that are used as bases of many institutions today.

One of the most famous Greek heroes has to be Achilles. His greatness was known all over the world and is still studied in Literature classes today. Known for being the formidable warrior who led the Trojan War, Achilles was the main character of Homer’s Iliad.

Achilles’ Story

Zeus and Poseidon were rivals for Thetis’ hand but when it was foretold that she would bear a son that’s greater than his father, both of the gods ceased to pursue. Achilles was destined to be the son of Thetis and Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. According to the Achilleid, when Achilles was just an infant, Thetis dipped him in the river of Styx to make him immortal. However his heel was the only part that was left vulnerable because it was where his mother held on to him at the time. Later on, Achilles’ heel led him to his demise.

Speaking of his demise, Peleus was presented a prophecy that Achilles would die in Troy. He did everything in his power to never send his son there. However, fate seemed to overrule. Achilles met Odysseus who persuaded him to venture out to Troy.

Achilles’ Journey to Troy

In the first few lines of the Iliad it read: “Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans.”

Achilles’ was known for his raging temper and lack of fear in battle. He arrived in Troy with 50 ships and started the Trojan War that lasted for ten years. The war began when Paris of Troy kidnapped the love of his life, Helen of Sparta who happens to be the wife of King Menelaus.

A True Greek Hero

Aside from his god-like attributes, Achilles’ was considered a hero in his time. Although he was known for his uncontrollable temper and his love for war and confrontations, there were some instances in the Iliad where he was portrayed as someone who follows mores and respects the higher deity.

Achilles’ bravery, skill and passion are great qualities of being a hero in one’s own way. However, it was also evident that too much ambition and anger can wear a man down. In the end, Achilles showed that every hero has their own weakness. Unfortunately, his own lead him to his only death where he was destined to turn back to immortality.

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