Achilles (Myths and Legends of the World)
A hero in the war between the Greeks and the Trojans, Achilles was the foremost warrior in Greek mythology. He figures prominent'v in the Iliad, the epiclong poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style by Greek poet Homer that tells the story of the Trojan Warlegendary war between the Greeks and the people of Troy that was set off by the kidnapping of Helen, wife of the king of Sparta; inspiration for Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. Achilles possessed strength, bravery, military skills, pride, and honorll the qualities the ancient Greeks prized as manly virtues. Yet his conduct was also shaped by anger and stubbornness. The tension between Achilles' larger-than-life virtues and his all-too-human weaknesses plays a role in the mood of heroic tragedy found in the Iliad.
Achilles' Heel. Like many mythological heroes, Achilles was part human and part supernaturalrelated to forces beyond the normal world; magical or miraculous being. His parents were Peleus, a king of Thessaly in northern Greece, and a sea nymphminor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful named Thetis. According to Homer, Thetis raised both Achilles and his closest friend and companion, Patroclus....
(The entire section is 1427 words.)
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