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Achilles - The Story of Blind Rage and an Arrow.

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17 Jul 2017 03:05 #1 by ARLewis
ARLewis ► Achilles - The Story of Blind Rage and an Arrow.
Achilles - The Story of Blind Rage and an Arrow.

Achilles - arguably the most famous warrior of ancient legend. Famous for his skill in battle, his temper, but most famously known for what eventually brought him down. (for which his shade would probably kill you for even hinting at mentioning). But what makes a warrior? Is it skill alone? Is it the tools that one is able to use? In the case of Achilles, it was a combination of a mother’s love and gifts from above. However, a sword and shield can be defeated by rage.

The Great Warrior was almost the son of Zeus or possibly even Poseidon as both pursued the sea nymph, Thetis. However, a prophecy from Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned them that Thetis would “bear a son greater than his father.” Given the fact that they had overthrown their own parents, neither wanted to risk the same happening to them so they arranged for her to marry a human, Peleus, king of the Myrmidons. When Achilles was born, Thetis took him to the River Styx and, in order to make him immortal, dipped him into it. Unfortunately for her, Achilles did not become immortal, but tougher and practically invulnerable. Years later, Thetis tried again by anointing him with Ambrosia and setting him atop a fire to “burn away the mortal portions of his body”. During one of these rituals, Peleus interrupted her when she was placing him atop a pyre and she left them both in a fit of her own rage.

During the great Battle of Troy, King Agamemnon had taken a lovely woman named Chryseis, who happened to be the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Chryseis’ father begged for her return, but Agamemnon refused, which caused Apollo to send a plague which crippled the Greeks. A prophet protected by Achilles decried that she had to be returned to end the plague. Agamemnon gave in but demanded a prize that Achilles won in battle, a beauty named Brisels, to be his in exchange. Achilles then refused to fight or even lead his men in battle. Achilles then prayed to his mother Thetis to persuade Zeus to help the Trojans gain ground so Achilles could regain his honor. As the battle turns, Agamemnon is forced to appease the warrior but Achilles turns him aside and tells the army to leave as he was planning to do.

As the Trojans are pushing the Greeks to the Sea, Achilles’ best friend and most trusted companion, Patroclus, dons Achilles’ armor and leads the Greeks back into battle, pushing the Trojans almost all the way back to Troy itself. However, Patroclus is killed by a Trojan named Hector. When Achilles hears this, his grief nearly overtakes him. After the funeral, he flies into such a rage that he nearly goes to fight the entire Trojan army with just a spear. Thetis has Hephaestus create him a new set of armor and shield to replace the armor that Patroculs was wearing but had been claimed in battle by Hector. Achilles began killing any Trojan he could find, mainly in search of Hector. The gods themselves become worried that Achilles will sack Troy before it’s appointed time, almost to the point of hubris. Achilles finds Hector before they can act and chases him around the entire city of Troy itself three times before Hector gave in and begged, not for his life, but for Achilles to honor his body after death. Achilles slays him and ropes his corpse to the back of a chariot and drives it around the city.

Hector had no hope of defeating Achilles due to his skill with weapons and the near invulnerability of his metallic and River of Styx infused armor. However, after Achilles flies into another murderous rage over the death of another companion by the hand of Memnon, king of Ethiopia, who had come to aid the Trojans. In answer to his hubris brought about by his extreme temper, an arrow, shot from the bow of Paris, brother of Hector, and guided by the god Apollo, struck Achilles in the one place he was not nigh invulnerable...in the heel of his left foot...the same place that his mother Thetis held him by when she dipped him into the River Styx. The arrow was poisoned and quickly took him down.

The moral of the story of Achilles is simple. Skill with a sword or spear can help you defeat your foe. Great armor can protect you from the blows of your enemies. But blind rage can defeat you from within. Take a deep breath. Take in your surroundings. Examine your enemies. And then discover their Achilles Heel...and exploit it.

ARLewis

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