Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Hector of Troy: The Battle for Peace and the Wrath of Achilles

Homer’s epic Illiad tells the mythical story of the legendary 10-year Trojan War between the Trojans and the Greeks, which erupted after the beautiful Helen, wife of King Menelaus, was taken by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy. In classical mythology, Hector was a heroic super-warrior, who tried to protect his city from the havoc caused by his brother’s actions, all the while dealing with the meddlesome gods who took sides and intervened at will.

Most of what we know about the peace-loving Trojan hero comes from Homer’s epic poem in which Hector defends Troy as its greatest warrior. The Iliad also portrays Hector as the ideal warrior, not only in terms of his fighting prowess, but also in his moral character. In spite if all this, Hector meets a tragic end, as he is used by Zeus to bring the Greek hero Achilles back into battle.

The Trojan War was instigated by rage and the desire for revenge after the abduction of Helen by Paris, the son of Priam and brother of Hector. Hector of Troy had to then defend his city from the infuriated Greeks.

The Peace-Loving Warrior: Hector and His Battle for Troy

Hector was the oldest son of Priam, the King of Troy, and his wife Hecuba. According to some later accounts, Hector’s true father was actually the god Apollo. This is because in the Iliad, Hector is depicted as a favorite of this god, who provides him with divine aid on numerous occasions. As the eldest son of Priam, Hector was heir apparent to the throne of Troy. The hero was married to Andromache, and the couple had an infant son, Astyanax, known also as Scamandrius.

Although Hector was Troy’s greatest warrior, he did not approve of the war with the Greeks in the first place. Indeed, Hector was a man of peace. Nevertheless, Hector took up arms when his homeland came under siege. According to Gaius Julius Hyginus, a Latin writer who lived between the 1 st century BC and 1 st century AD, Hector is reputed to have killed the first Greek warrior in the Trojan War, the first Greek casualty being Protesilaus. Although this warrior was Hector’s first victim, he was certainly not his last. Troy’s greatest warrior went on to slay many of his Greek enemies as the war dragged on.

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Returning to Protesilaus, in his Fabulae Hyginus reports that an oracle had prophesized that the first Greek to step on the shores of Troy would also be the first to die. Protesilaus, originally known as Iolaus, was the son of Iphiclus and Diomedia. He was the first Greek to disembark form the ships, and was immediately killed by Hector, thereby fulfilling the prophecy. Since he was the first to set foot on Troy, and also the first to perish, Iolaus became known as Protesilaus ( protos meaning “first”).

Legend has it that when Protesilaus’ wife, Laodamia, heard of her husband’s death, she was overcome by grief and prayed to the gods to allow her to speak to her husband. The gods took pity on Laodamia, and granted her request. Laodamia spoke to her husband for three hours, after which his shade was led by Hermes back to the underworld.

Hector mocked his brother Paris for his cowardice and convinced him to fight a duel with Menelaus in the hope that the war would finally come to an end. (Folger Shakespeare Library / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

As Paris Faces Menelaus, Hector Hopes for Peace

Still, Hector genuinely desired peace, and this is evident, for instance, in Book 3 of the Iliad. Here, Hector is shown mocking his brother, Paris, for his cowardice. Paris had challenged the Greeks heroes to mortal combat, but fled back to the Trojan lines as soon as Menelaus appeared. Hector’s taunting had its desired effect, and Paris agreed to face Menelaus in a duel. The winner of the duel would gain Helen and all her treasures. More importantly, the duel would end the war:

“The rest will seal in blood their binding pacts of friendship.
Our people will live in peace on the rich soil of Troy,
our enemies sail home to the stallion-land of Argos.”

When Hector heard this, he was immensely pleased, as peace would soon be achieved, whatever the outcome of the duel. Therefore, Hector approached the Greeks to announce Paris’ challenge. He did so whilst risking his own life, as the Greeks began firing arrows at him when they saw him walking towards them.

Agamemnon realized that Hector was coming with a message, and therefore commanded his men to stop firing at the Trojan hero. The duel was fought, and Paris was easily defeated. Through Aphrodite’s intervention, however, Paris was rescued, and brought back to the city of Troy. It was also through divine intervention that the truce was broken, and the war between the Greeks and Trojans continued. Thus, the hope for peace was dashed.

Hector and Ajax being separated by Talthybius, a Greek herald, and Idaeus, a Trojan herald.

Hector vs. Ajax: Toxic Masculinity and Battles Orchestrated by the Gods

The duel between Paris and Menelaus is not unique, as one-to-one combats between a Greek and Trojan hero is a recurring motif in the Iliad. In Book 7, for instance, Hector engages in a duel with the Greek hero Ajax. According to Homer, it was Athena and Apollo who orchestrated this duel. Just before Hector and Ajax fought in single combat, the Trojans were gaining the upper hand in their battle against the Greeks. Athena, who supported the Greeks, saw this, and descended from Mount Olympus, intending to bring aid to the Greeks.

Apollo, on the other hand, supported the Trojans, and did not want Athena to turn the tide of battle. Therefore, he proposed to temporarily halt the battle between the Greeks and Trojans by having Hector duel with one of the Greek champions. Athena accepted Apollo’s proposal, and relayed their plans to the mortals through Helenus, one of Hector’s brother.

Helenus, who was divinely inspired by Athena, suggested to Hector that he should challenge one of the Greeks to mortal combat. Hector was pleased with this idea. Even though the duel would not end the Trojan war , it allowed temporary respite for the men on both sides. The Trojan prince walked to the middle of the battlefield, and issued his challenge to the Greeks. The terms set by Hector were as follows:

“If that man takes my life with his sharp bronze blade,
he will strip my gear and haul it back to his ships.
But give my body to friends to carry home again…
But if I kill him and Apollo grants me glory,
I’ll strip his gear and haul it back to sacred Troy
and hang it high on the deadly Archer’s temple walls.
But not his body: I’ll hand it back to the decked ships.”

Well-aware of Hector’s reputation as Troy’s greatest warrior, the Greeks were “ashamed to refuse, afraid to take his challenge.” The silence of the Greeks caused Menelaus to admonish his men, and the Spartan king prepared to face Hector himself, knowing that he was no match for the Trojan champion. The other Greek commanders stopped Menelaus by physically seizing him, and Agamemnon, his brother, convinced him not to face Hector in single combat.

Once Menelaus had yielded to his brother’s counsel, it was Nestor’s turn to taunt the Greeks. As a result, nine warriors volunteered to accept Hector’s challenge – Agamemnon, Diomedes, Ajax the Great, Ajax the Lesser, Idomeneus, Meriones, Eurypylus, Thoas, and Odysseus. Ajax the Great was chosen by lot to fight Hector.

Before the duel itself, a description of Ajax’s famous shield is provided. The shield was made by Tychius, whom Homer calls “the finest leather-smith by far,” and consisted of seven layers of ox hide topped off with an eighth layer of bronze. Ajax’s shield was so sturdy that it was able to stop the spear hurled by Hector:

“that awesome seven-layered buckler, right on the eighth,
the outside layer of bronze that topped it off,
through six hides it tore but the seventh stopped
the relentless brazen point.”

Ajax in turn hurled his spear at Hector, which went straight through his shield, ripped through his breastplate, and tore his war-shirt. The spear would have pierced through Hector’s side, had he not swerved aside. The two warriors then then engaged in melee combat. At one point, Ajax hurled a huge rock at Hector, which not only shattered his shield, but also knocked him off his feet. Apollo, however, quickly intervened, and picked Hector up.

The two men were about to attack each other with their swords, when they were stopped by Talthybius and Idaeus, the former a Greek herald, and the latter a Trojan herald. The two heralds urged Ajax and Hector to stop fighting, on account of the onset of night. The two heroes agreed to end their duel and exchanged gifts. Hector gave Ajax his sword, whilst Ajax gave Hector his girdle. Ironically, these gifts would later be connected with the deaths of both heroes. Ajax would commit suicide by plunging Hector’s sword into his breast, whereas Hector’s corpse would be attached by Achilles to his chariot with Ajax’s girdle.

Achilles beside the body of Patroclus as his mother brings him armor to avenge his death. The relationship between Patroclus and Achilles has historically caused speculation.

Incurring the Wrath of Achilles: The Death of Patroclus

Indeed, it was Hector’s fate to perish at the hands of Achilles, and once more the gods had their part to play in the events that unfurled. At the beginning of the Iliad, we learn that Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior, decided to withdraw his support for the war effort, following a dispute with Agamemnon. Without Achilles, the Greeks were eventually forced back to their ships by Hector and the Trojans. Still, Achilles would not budge. Even the delegation, led by Odysseus, was unable to bring the hero back to the field of battle.

Although the desperate situation of the Greeks had no bearing on Achilles, it affected his companion, Patroclus, who pleaded with the great hero. Achilles was moved by his companion, and permitted him to lead the Myrmidons into battle. Therefore, Patroclus put on Achilles’ armor, and led the Greeks against the Trojans. Patroclus, disguised as Achilles, succeeded in forcing the Trojans away from the Greek ships, and in the process, killed many of the enemy’s warriors.

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Prior to the battle, Achilles had commanded Patroclus to withdraw once he had pushed the Trojan back from the ships. In his frenzy however, Patroclus did not obey Achilles’ command and continued his assault on the Trojans. It was due to this that Patroclus ultimately lost his life. Although he reached the walls of Troy, the city was defended by Apollo who stood on its ramparts. Patroclus charged the walls three times and was hurled back by the god each time.

On the fourth assault, Apollo shouted at Patroclus to back down and the warrior finally gave ground. In the meantime, Hector was debating whether to drive back the rout, or to rally his men within the ramparts. Apollo, taking the form of Asius, one of Hector’s uncles, persuaded the prince to go on the offensive. Therefore, the Trojans renewed their attack and Hector went for Patroclus.

Once they were out on the battlefield, Patroclus was struck by Apollo leaving him stunned. Then he was harmed by Euphorbus’ spear. When he encountered Hector, the Trojan warrior dealt him the final blow. As he was dying, Patroclus prophesized Hector’s death:

“you too, you won’t live long yourself, I swear.
Already I see them looming up beside you – death
and the strong force of fate, to bring you down
at the hands of Aeacus’ great royal son…

Achilles riding his chariot over the body of the slain Hector. (Antonio Raffaele Calliano / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

Hector vs. Achiles: A Tragic End for the Trojan Hero

Once Achilles learned of Patroclus’ death, he was filled with grief, and prepared to return to the war. Since Hector had stripped his armor from Patroclus’ corpse, and was now using it himself, Hephaestus forged Achilles another set of armor on request of Thetis, the hero’s mother. Although the armor is a magnificent piece of work, Hephaestus is well-aware that it would not save Achilles’ life, as the hero would himself lose his life shortly after defeating Hector.

In any case, Achilles and Hector finally meet on the battlefield. When Hector first caught sight of Achilles, he lost his nerve, and for a moment he contemplated surrendering to the hero. As the Greek hero drew closer, however, Hector began to flee, and was chased by Achilles around the city walls. After running three times around Troy’s walls, Hector finally found his courage and faced Achilles. Athena too was there, disguised as Deiphobus, Hector’s brother, though she was there to delude Hector and to aid Achilles.

Although Hector tried to negotiate terms with Achilles, as he had done with Ajax, but the Greek warrior refused. After the duel began Hector was eventually killed outside the gates of Troy. Before his death, however, Hector prophesied Achilles’ impending death:

“But now beware, or my curse will draw god’s wrath
upon your head, that day when Paris and lord Apollo –
for all your fighting heart—
destroy you at the Scaean Gates!”

Despite Hector’s pleas that his body be treated with respect, after slaying Hector Achilles lets loose his wrath on the dead Trojan hero. First he slit the hero’s heels, passed Ajax’s girdle through them, attached the cadaver to his chariot, and returned to the Greek camp where the corpse was dragged around Patroclus’ tomb three times. Despite all the mistreatment over twelve days, Hector’s corpse was kept intact by Apollo and Aphrodite, after which Priam visited the Greek camp and succeeded in retrieving his son’s body from the Greek hero. The Iliad ends with Hector’s lavish funeral.

Andromache lamenting the death of her husband Hector of Troy. (Sailko / CC BY 3.0 )

There is no doubt that Hector has been remembered as Troy’s greatest hero. Throughout the Illiad he is depicted as a noble figure, and in later literature and artwork, this reputation is reiterated. The Trojan hero is included amongst the Nine Worthies in the 14 th century romance Les Voeux du paon by Jacques de Longuyon. These nice legendary heroes were said exemplify the ideals of chivalry of the Middle Ages. Hector appears as one of the three pagans accompanied by none other than Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Additionally, in his Divine Comedy, Dante places Hector in Limbo, rather than in Hell, as he considers him to be one of the truly virtuous pagans.

Troy (film)

Troy is a 2004 epic historical war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by David Benioff. Produced by units in Malta, Mexico and Britain's Shepperton Studios, the film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. It is loosely based [3] on Homer's Iliad in its narration of the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War—condensed into little more than a couple of weeks, rather than just the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the ninth year. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sack of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad, but rather from Quintus Smyrnaeus's Posthomerica as the Iliad concludes with Hector's death and funeral.

Troy made over $497 million worldwide, making it the 60th highest-grossing film of all-time at that point. It received a nomination for Best Costume Design at the 77th Academy Awards and was the eighth highest-grossing film of 2004. [4]

Summary of Iliad Book XXII

Except for Hector, the Trojans are inside the walls of Troy. Apollo turns to Achilles to tell him he is wasting his time pursuing a god since he can't kill him. Achilles is angry but turns around to return to Troy where Priam is the first to spot him. He tells Hector he will be killed since Achilles is much stronger. If not killed he will be sold into enslavement as has already happened to others of Priam's sons. Priam can't dissuade Hector, even when his wife Hecuba joins the effort.

Hector gives some thought to going inside but fears the ridicule of Polydamas, who had given sage advice the day before. Since Hector wants to die in glory, he has a better chance of facing Achilles. He thinks about giving Achilles Helen and the treasure and adding to it an even split of the treasure of Troy, but Hector rejects these ideas realizing Achilles will just cut him down, and there would be no glory in that.

As Achilles bears down on Hector, Hector begins to lose his nerve. Hector runs towards the Scamander River (Xanthus). The two warriors race three times around Troy.

Zeus looks down and feels sorry for Hector, but tells Athena to go down and do what she wants without restraint.

Achilles is chasing Hector with no chance of reprieve unless Apollo steps in (which he does not do). Athena tells Achilles to stop running and face Hector. She adds that she will persuade Hector to do the same. Athena disguises herself as Deiphobus and tells Hector the two of them should go fight Achilles together.

Hector is thrilled to see his brother has dared to come out of Troy to help him. Athena uses the cunning of disguise until Hector addresses Achilles to say it's time to end the chase. Hector requests a pact that they will return each other's body whoever dies. Achilles says there are no binding oaths between lions and men. He adds that Athena will kill Hector in just a moment. Achilles hurls his spear, but Hector ducks and it flies past. Hector does not see Athena retrieve the spear and return it to Achilles.

Hector taunts Achilles that he didn't know the future after all. Then Hector says it's his turn. He throws his spear, which hits, but glances off the shield. He calls to Deiphobus to bring his lance, but, of course, there is no Deiphobus. Hector realizes he has been tricked by Athena and that his end is near. Hector wants a glorious death, so he draws his sword and swoops down on Achilles, who charges with his spear. Achilles knows the armor Hector is wearing and puts that knowledge to use, finding the weak point at the collarbone. He pierces Hector's neck, but not his windpipe. Hector falls down while Achilles taunts him with the fact that his body will be mutilated by dogs and birds. Hector begs him not to, but to let Priam ransom him. Achilles tells him to stop begging, that if he could, he would eat the corpse himself, but since he can't, he'll let the dogs do it, instead. Hector curses him, telling him Paris will kill him at the Scaean Gates with the help of Apollo. Then Hector dies.

Achilles pokes holes in Hector's ankles, ties a strap through them and attaches them to the chariot so he can drag the body in the dust.

Hecuba and Priam cry while Andromache is asking her attendants to draw a bath for her husband. Then she hears a piercing wail from Hecuba, suspects what has happened, emerges, looks down from the rampart where she witnesses her husband's corpse being dragged and faints. She laments that her son Astyanax will have neither land nor family and so will be despised. She has the women burn the store of Hector's clothing in his honor.

The Wrath of Achilles

Wrath—one of the most famous first words in all of world literature. The word sets the pace, the tone, the content of the Iliad, shaping the plot of all there is to come.

The first word is menis. It is not just “anger” as the magisterial translation of Richmond Lattimore has rendered it. It is sustained anger, almost godlike in its intensity and singularity. Thus, Robert Fagles’ “rage” more clearly fits the bill. Yet I prefer the terminology of “wrath.” It reminds me of the wrath of God, which it approximates, that it is headed toward, and almost achieves, but never fully so, since Achilles is still only human. Yet it is a rage that in its legendary greatness cannot be replicated by any other human—it is the most godlike rage a human can achieve. Thus, I prefer wrath.

The wrath of Achilles defines him, and the entire plot of the Iliad unwinds from its vicissitudes. Achilles’ wrath is singular, flattening him as a character, making him nearly unidimensional (Achilles does have his other moments in which we see another side barely break through), but its focus and unidimensionality make him an unbeatable warrior. His monolithic quality makes him wrath’s embodiment or, put another way, literally transfigures him into wrath. He becomes, as it were, a mortal god, defined by a singular characteristic, much like Ares is the personification of war, or Athena, wisdom or cunning. Unbeatable in combat, yet ultimately mortal. It is his greatest trait, and his ultimate doom, bringing down everyone with him into Hades.

This wrath motivates the story. The plot unfolds based upon the direction that Achilles points his wrath. As the introductory stanza indicates, he points it first to his own side, Agamemnon, the son of Atreus. He is the king of Mycenae (Mykenai), and the king of kings, the leader of all the Achaeans in this war. When he took the captive Briseis from Achilles, Achilles turned his wrath toward Agamemnon, refusing to fight. And, without this force of nature, wrath incarnate, fighting, the Trojans, led by their Tamer of Forces, Hector, began to push the Achaeans back to their ships. Hector, like all of the Trojans, is really the "Breaker of Horses" but I like to consider this in the aspect of taming wild forces, bringing them into civilized society, which Troy itself represents, in contrast to the wild force and fury of unattached Achilles.

Hector is a much more interesting character in my opinion than Achilles. Hector clearly is the second greatest warrior in the Iliad, but unlike Achilles who is unidimensionally wrathful, Hector is multidimensional. He is Hector, the prince of Troy, the beloved son of old King Priam, devoted husband to Andromache, a father with a young child, and responsible for the safety of the entire city of Troy. They all depend upon his strength, his courage, and his leadership. He is universally beloved, and considered universally kind. Fighting for a cause that he does not believe in—the folly of judgment of Paris, his younger brother—he is now forced to defend all those he loves, and fights to the death to do it.

If there is any other shaper of events in the Iliad, it is the judgment of Paris . Well known from the overall story of the Trojan War, it only plays a small part in the Iliad itself, which focuses on a small segment of the larger story. Only partially alluded to in the Iliad, three very powerful goddesses—Hera, the queen of the gods, Athena, and Aphrodite—asked Paris , the most beautiful of men, to judge the fairest. He chose Aphrodite. In the story of the involvement of the gods in the Iliad, Aphrodite always sides with the Trojans—as does, most notably, Apollo. Hera and Athena consistently support the Achaeans. The judgment of Paris explains this— Paris chose beauty and lust before wisdom or cunning, unlike cunning Odysseus who is favored by Athena. He chose this instead of respecting family responsibilities. In short, the most beautiful man chose the most beautiful woman (Helen, queen of Sparta , wife of Menelaos), who in turn may have chose him as well. Both are favored by Aphrodite, in fact. Both ignore family responsibilities respected in that society. Both ultimately like the wrath of Achilles, bring down so many souls to the house of death on both the Achaean and Trojan sides, giving the wrath of Achilles a place to roam, leading to the destruction of Troy .

Yet Paris lacks the courage to take responsibility for his actions. He cannot beat Menelaos in one-on-one combat, as happens in the Iliad. He cannot save Troy from his own actions. Only Hector can, but Hector cannot escape Achilles’ wrath should it ever turn directly with intense focus towards him. Once Hector, the Tamer of Forces, is gone, Troy will be doomed. In fact, it is in his attractively textured multidimensionality as a character that one finds his own undoing. With all the web of responsibilities to his family and to his city resting on his shoulders, he cannot possibly maintain the singular, almost adolescent and yet divine wrathful focus of the unattached Achilles.

Indeed, once Achilles equivocates, allowing his beloved Patroclus into battle, wearing Achilles’ own armor, Patroclus dies by the hand of Hector. It is this act that finally turns Achilles’ wrath from Agamemnon, the Lord of Men, to Hector, the Tamer of Forces. It is this act that transfigures Achilles’ adolescent wrath against Agamemnon to godlike wrath, complete with a fiery nimbus and a divine roar (with the aid of Athena), against Hector. This might explain why this takes place in the tenth year. Achilles nearly divine wrath had not been fully awakened by his enemy. Now no force can stop him, not even the Tamer of Forces.

Hector, realizing he had mistaken Patroclus for Achilles, knows what is coming, is driven back, waits for Achilles, and, in the end, loses his nerve. Eventually forced to take a stand, he fights Achilles. But he is no match for godlike wrath, so intense that almost nothing can abate it. Achilles, as wrath personified, kills Hector, presaging the destruction of Troy itself, dragging his body and leaving it unburied, an insult unbearable to Hector’s family, the Trojans, and even the gods. The gods, recognizing the heroic greatness of Hector, keep his body undefiled. Indeed, Achilles wrath is not abated until King Priam, in the most touching scene in the Iliad (and much of all ancient literature), sneaks into the Achaean camp, into Achilles’ tent, and the great king begs for his son’s body from the man who killed him. Now ends the wrath of Achilles, now ends the Iliad.

Although this is not my usual fare in posting, I am teaching Literature of the Humanities this year, and so expect such notes and meditations on classic literature to begin to emerge in my postings.

Achilles Takes Insult Near The End Of The Trojan War

Chryses vainly soliciting the Return of Chryseis before the Tent of Agamemnon by Jacopo Alessandro Calvi , 1760-1815, via the National Trust Collections of Britain

Homer’s great epic, the Iliad , picks up in the final year of the great Trojan War. The besieging Greeks returned from a raiding party with spoils and captured women. The brother of Menelaus , Agamemnon , brought back the beautiful Chryseis daughter of Chryses, chief priest of Apollo. After Agamemnon roughly dismissed Chryses’ pleas for his daughter’s safe return, Apollo himself brought a plague against the Greeks.

Briseis Led from the Tent of Achilles by Jean-Baptiste-Deshays , 1761, via Musée Des Augustins , Toulouse

Pressured by his men, in particular Achilles , leader of the Myrmidons, Agamemnon reluctantly agreed to return the girl. However, he spitefully insisted on taking Achilles’ captive woman, Briseis, as compensation. Slighted and irritated, Achilles withdrew his soldiers and resolved not to join in the fight again until the Greeks came crawling back to him, acknowledging how badly they needed him. He even asked his mother to plead with Zeus to ensure it.

The War Rages On

Venus Rescues Paris from his Duel with Menelaus by Johann Heinrich Tischbein , 1757, via Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel

Despite Achilles remaining sulking in his tent, the Trojan War continued unabated. Both armies deployed on the plain in front of Troy. Yet before the fighting was joined, Paris, goaded on by the disgust of his older brother Hector, offered to fight Menelaus in single combat to determine the outcome of the Trojan War and save the loss of more lives. Menelaus quickly gained the upper hand and would have dispatched the young prince. However, Aphrodite interfered and spirited Paris away back to his chambers. Meanwhile, a Trojan soldier broke the truce by shooting Menelaus with an arrow, and the battle joined in earnest.

Diomedes Wounding Aphrodite When She Tries To Recover The Body Of Aeneas by Arthur Heinrich Wilhelm Fitger , via the Art Renewal Center

The advantage swung quickly between the two sides, as the gods and goddesses of Olympus chose their sides and joined in the fighting. Eventually, Athena, goddess of war, set the great Greek hero Diomedes in a berserk rage that devastated the Trojan forces. Diomedes even injured Aphrodite as she tried to protect her wounded mortal son, Aeneas. Apollo managed to save Aeneas, but Zeus called back all of the gods and goddesses and forbid them from continuing to fight. In another attempt to end the Trojan War by single combat, Hector challenged any Greek hero to face him. He fought a hard duel with Ajax, but the combat was called off due to the coming night.

The duel of Hector and Ajax on an Attic red-figure cup , 5 th -4 th century B.C., via The Louvre Museum, Paris

Battle For The Greek Ships

The next morning, Zeus undertook to ensure the promise he had made to Thetis. Zeus already held great affection for Hector. Now he fought at his side, sending Hector cutting through the Greek forces and driving them all the way back to their ships on the shoreline. The desperate Greeks appealed to Achilles, but still too angry, he refused to join the battle. As more Greek heroes took wounds, and the fighting raged closer and closer to the ships, Achilles’ closest friend Patroclus could no longer stand to remain out of the fight. He begged Achilles to allow him to join the battle, and Achilles finally agreed. He lent Patroclus his armor and warned him against pursuing the Trojans away from the ships towards Troy.

Achilles, Mourning Patroclus by Nikolai Ge , 1855, via the Belarusian Art Museum, Minsk

Leading the Myrmidons, Patroclus’s sudden arrival did manage to push back the Trojans. Unfortunately, he ignored Achilles’ warning and chased the routing enemy back towards the walls of Troy. At the gates of Troy, Hector finally managed to rally the Trojans and stand ground. In a fierce encounter, he killed Patroclus and stripped Achilles’ armor from the body. However, the Greeks managed to push the Trojans back long enough to recover the body itself, and this they sorrowfully returned to Achilles.

The Wrath Of Achilles

Hephaestus Presents New Armor for Achilles to Thetis depicted on an Attic red-figure bowl, 490-80 B.C., in the Altes Museum, Berlin

In a spiral of grief and rage, Achilles was finally prepared to re-enter the Trojan War, swearing vengeance on Hector. With Achilles now returned, Zeus once again permitted the gods to support their chosen allies. Thetis immediately went to Hephaestus, the smith of the gods, and asked him to forge new armor for Achilles, as his previous set was lost to the Trojans on the battlefield. Despite prophecies warning of his death, Achilles determinedly headed to the battlefield, clad in his new armor and carrying his great shield. With Achilles at their head, the Greeks now plowed through their enemy, slaughtering Trojan warriors as they ran back towards the city gates. Apollo interfered long enough to allow the surviving Trojans to escape, but Hector remained.

The Death of Hector by Peter Paul Rubens , 1630-35, via the Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam

Like Achilles, Hector had also heard prophecies of his own impending death. However, ashamed at the rout of his army and determined to continue the defense of Troy, he stayed on the field to face Achilles. As the raging hero came at him, however, his nerves failed, and he initially fled around the city. When he finally regained his courage to engage with Achilles, the enraged Achilles soon dispatched Hector, stabbing him through the neck.


A battle between the Greek armies of King Agamemnon of Mycenae and King Triopas of Thessaly is quickly averted when the great warrior Achilles, fighting for Agamemnon, easily defeats Boagrius, Triopas' champion, in single combat after Achilles was initially absent from the battle. Thessaly joins Agamemnon's loose alliance comprising all of the Greek kingdoms.

Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate peace with Menelaus, King of Sparta. However, Paris is having an affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their home-bound vessel, much to Hector's dismay. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks him to help destroy Troy and retrieve his wife. Agamemnon agrees, as conquering Troy will give him control of the Aegean Sea. Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon, eventually decides to go after his mother Thetis tells him that even though he will die, he will be forever glorified.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris introduce Helen, but welcomes her and decides to prepare for war. The Greeks eventually invade and take the Trojan beach, thanks largely to Achilles and his Myrmidons. Achilles has the temple of Apollo sacked and has a brief confrontation with Hector. He claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a prisoner afterward. However, Agamemnon spitefully takes Briseis from Achilles, and Achilles decides he won't further aid Agamemnon in the siege.

The next day, the Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy during a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen's hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris, causing him to cower at the foot of Hector. When Menelaus attempts to kill Paris despite his victory, he is killed by Hector. Agamemnon then leads an attack on the Trojan army and in the ensuing battle, Hector kills Ajax after a brief duel, and many Greek soldiers fall to the Trojan defenses with Achilles and the Myrmidons watching the battle from a distance. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. After Ajax and Menelaus are cremated in the Greek camp, Agamemnon and Odysseus argue about why they lost the battle. Agamemnon gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement, but Achilles saves her from them. Later that night, Briseis sneaks into Achilles' quarters to kill him instead, she falls for him and they become lovers. Achilles then resolves to leave Troy, much to the dismay of Patroclus, his cousin and protégé.

Despite Hector's objections, Priam orders him to retake the Trojan beach by daybreak and force the Greeks to return home the attack unifies the Greeks and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector duels a man that he believes to be Achilles and kills him, only to discover that it was actually Patroclus. Distraught, both armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death by Eudorus and vows revenge after striking him. Wary that Achilles will surely seek vengeance, Hector shows his wife Andromache a secret tunnel beneath Troy should he die and the city falls, he instructs her to take their child and any survivors out of the city to Mount Ida.

The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and challenges Hector. Knowing death would await him, Hector says his goodbyes to his loved ones, including his wife and son. The two duel outside the gates and initially appear evenly matched, but Hector is slowly worn down until Achilles lands the killing blow. Achilles then drags his corpse back to the Trojan beach. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and implores Achilles to return Hector's body for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and also states that Hector was the best that he had ever fought. He allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a 12-day truce so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. He then apologizes to Eudorus for hurting him and orders him to take their men back home without him.

Agamemnon declares that he will take Troy regardless of the cost. Concerned, Odysseus concocts a plan to infiltrate the city. After seeing a carving of a horse by a Greek soldier, he has the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse as a peace offering and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove. Despite objections from Paris, who requests for it to be burned down, Priam orders the horse to be brought into the city after Archeptolemus views it as a gift intended for calming the gods. A Trojan scout later finds the Greek ships hiding in the cove, but he is quickly shot before he could alert the city. That night, the Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge including Achilles, attacking the sleeping Trojans, and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen guide the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to a young boy named Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Agamemnon kills Priam and later tries to capture Briseis, who then kills Agamemnon using a concealed knife. Achilles fights his way through the city and reunites with Briseis after rescuing her from Agamemnon's two Greek soldiers. Paris, seeking to avenge his brother, shoots an arrow through Achilles' heel and then several into his body. Achilles takes out all the arrows but the one in his heel. He then bids farewell to Briseis and watches her flee with Paris before dying.

In the aftermath, Troy is finally taken by the Greeks and a funeral is held for Achilles. Odysseus personally cremates his body, while the surviving Trojans flee to Mount Ida.

    as Achilles, Greece's greatest warrior and leader of the Myrmidons as Hector, Crown Prince of Troy, commander of the Trojan armies and Paris' older brother as Paris, Prince of Troy and Hector's younger brother as Helen, former Queen of Sparta who became a Princess of Troy as Agamemnon, King of the united Greek city-states as Odysseus, King of Ithaca as Menelaus, King of Sparta and younger brother of Agamemnon as Briseis, princess of Troy, priestess of the Trojan Temple of Apollo and Hector and Paris’ cousin. as Andromache, Hector's wife and Crown Princess of Troy as Thetis, Achilles' mother as Priam, King of Troy as Patroclus, Achilles' younger cousin as Nestor, Agamemnon's advisor as Archeptolemus, the Trojan high priest as Glaucus, second-in command of the Trojan armies as Triopas, King of Thessaly as Eudorus, Achilles' right-hand man of the Myrmidons as Velior as Ajax as Boagrius, Triopas' champion

The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003. [5] Other important scenes were shot in Mellieħa, a small town in the north of Malta, and on the small island of Comino. The outer walls of Troy were built and filmed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. [6] Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas. [7] The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, but she turned it down because she was not comfortable doing the lovemaking scenes that were included. The role eventually went to Rose Byrne.

Brad Pitt years later expressed disappointment with the film saying “I had to do Troy because [. ] I pulled out of another movie and then had to do something for the studio. So I was put in Troy. It wasn’t painful, but I realized that the way that movie was being told was not how I wanted it to be. I made my own mistakes in it. What am I trying to say about Troy? I could not get out of the middle of the frame. It was driving me crazy. I’d become spoiled working with David Fincher. It’s no slight on Wolfgang Petersen. Das Boot is one of the all-time great films. But somewhere in it, Troy became a commercial kind of thing. Every shot was like, Here’s the hero! There was no mystery.” [8]

Composer Gabriel Yared originally worked on the score for Troy for over a year, having been hired by the director, Wolfgang Petersen. Tanja Carovska provided vocals on various portions of the music, as she later would on composer James Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, the reactions at test screenings which used an incomplete version of the score were negative, and in less than a day Yared was off the project without a chance to fix or change his music. [9] James Horner composed a replacement score in about four weeks. He used Carovska's vocals again and also included traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments. Horner also collaborated with American singer-songwriter Josh Groban and lyricist Cynthia Weil to write an original song for the film's end credits. The product of this collaboration, "Remember", was performed by Groban with additional vocals by Carovska.

The soundtrack for the film was released on May 11, 2004, through Reprise Records.

Troy: Director's Cut was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2007, and received a limited release in Germany in April 2007. Warner Home Video reportedly spent more than $1 million for the director's cut, which includes "at least 1,000 new cuts" or almost 30 minutes extra footage (with a new running time of 196 minutes). The DVD was released on September 18, 2007, in the US. The score of the film was changed dramatically, with many of the female vocals being cut. An addition to the music is the use of Danny Elfman's theme for Planet of the Apes during the pivotal fight between Hector and Achilles in front of the Gates of Troy. Josh Groban's song was removed from the end credits as well.

Various shots were recut and extended. For instance, the love scene between Helen and Paris was reframed to include more nudity of Diane Kruger. The love scene between Achilles and Briseis is also extended. Only one scene was removed: the scene where Helen tends to the wound of Paris is taken out. The battle scenes were also extended, depicting more violence and gore, including much more of Ajax's bloody rampage on the Trojans during the initial attack by the Greek Army. Perhaps most significant was the sacking of Troy, barely present in the theatrical cut, but shown fully here, depicting the soldiers raping women and murdering babies. Characters were given more time to develop, specifically Priam and Odysseus, the latter being given a humorous introduction scene. More emphasis is given to the internal conflict in Troy between the priests, who believe in omens and signs from the gods to determine the outcome of the war, and military commanders, who believe in practical battle strategies to achieve victory. Lastly, bookend scenes were added: the beginning being a soldier's dog finding its dead master and the end including a sequence where the few surviving Trojans escape to Mount Ida.

There are frequent differences between The Iliad and Troy, most notably relating to the final fates of Paris, Helen, Agamemnon, Achilles and Menelaus. In one of the commentary sequences, the film's writer, David Benioff, said that when it came to deciding whether to follow The Iliad or to do what was best for the film, they always decided with what was best for the film.

Troy was released on DVD on January 4, 2005. [10] The director's cut was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 18, 2007. [11] [12] The directors cut is the only edition of the film available on Blu-ray, however the theatrical cut was released on HD-DVD.

Box office Edit

Troy grossed $133.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $364 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $497.4 million. [1] When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $185 million, making Troy one of the most expensive films produced at that time. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. [13]

The film made $46.9 million in its opening weekend, topping the box office, then $23.9 million in its second weekend falling to second. [1]

Critical reception Edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 54% based on 228 reviews, with an average rating of 6.04/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance." [14] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale. [16]

Roger Ebert rated the film 2/4 stars, saying "Pitt is modern, nuanced, introspective he brings complexity to a role where it is not required." [17]

Works Cited

Adams, Jeff. “Greek and Roman Perceptions of the Afterlife in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid.” McNair Scholars Journal 11.1(2007): 5-11. Print.

Dué, Casey. “Agamemnon’s densely-Packed Sorrow in Iliad 10: A Hyper textual Reading of a Homeric Simile.” Trends in Classics 2.2 (2010): 277-299. Print.

Hall, Edith. The Return of Ulysses: A Cultural History of Homer’s Odyssey, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. Print.

Movie Summary - Troy: Achilles and Heroism

The movie Troy features the great Trojan War between Greece and Troy based on Homer's ancient epic, Iliad. The movie begins with Paris falling in love with Helen, the wife of the King Menelaus, so that Paris takes Helen away to Troy, which results in war. The movie shows many individuals' characteristics, such as the good and moral prince of Troy, Hector, or the greedy and powerful King of Mycenae, Agamemnon. However the most famous character that the director tries to describe is Achilles, the greatest warrior in Greece. Wolfgang Petersen, the director, portrays him based on the Greek heroism. At the same time, however, he seems to try to distort the hero manual with his Hollywood style adaptation. As a result, Achilles became not the ruthless hero who competes with gods and goddess but a muscular romanticist.
Achilles is depicted as a vulnerable hero in the movie. He is characterized by his unparalleled skill and strength in war. He is the one who finally defeats Troy's best warrior, Hector. However, the victory fades away when he reveals his weakness which comes from guilt about being the greatest murderer. He says that when he tries to go to bed every night, he sees the eyes of soldiers who he's killed. Also, when the King Priam visits him and beg for his son's dead body, he weeps on Hector's body secretly. The greater he becomes, the weaker he is. He knows he has strength to bring victory over Troy but his inner mind is like a baby who seeks for its mother's love. He seems to find it in the relationship with Briseis, a woman he gained from the first battle. In this sense, Achilles in the movie doesn't seem to conform to the general heroic character. He is likely to be interpreted as a ruthless hero but it's just his fate to be a warrior and die young. He cannot fight against his fate but suffer from the fate. .
However, the director is devoted to depict the rivalry between Achilles and the deities.

Essays Related to Movie Summary - Troy: Achilles and Heroism

1. Achilles

Achilles" Ambiguous Nature in Heroism In the Iliad, a hierarchical structure is used showing that heroes, superior men who are descendants of gods as well as of mortals, at the top. . Not because he was worried about his status and how people would view it, or how he should give Agamemnon his respect for being a part in helping his countrymen take over the Troy. . Odysseus tells him how Zeus has been encouraging the Trojans with signs how they are afraid that Hectors threats will have them killed in Troy, far from their home lands and that they will not be able to save their ships and.

2. Achilles

The fleet assembled in Aulis, in Borotia and made for Troy. . For nine years they remained before Troy, keeping the Trojans on the defensive (Lattimore, 12). . The prophecy stated that if he went to Troy, he would be killed. . Achilles had came to Troy, knowing he would die. . He was determined to risk the fight because Achilles must die if Troy was to be saved (Bowra, 201). .

3. A Brief Analysis of a Heroic poem

First of all, the story is centers on the rage of Achilles. . It is Achilles' wrath at being deprived of the woman Briseis, his prize of war, by the Greek commander Agamemmon, which causes Achilles' withdrawal from the fighting before Troy and the subsequent death of many of his companions. . He proceeds to kill Hector, the mainstay of Troy and the slayer of Patroclus, and thereby chooses his own destiny: death at a young age, with undying fame. . Achilles' best friend and essential "soul-mate", Patroclus, is slain at the hands of the mighty Hector of Troy. . Achilles .

4. The End Justifies The Means

Their endeavors to achieve honor in battle, exuding god-like attributes, yet beyond their heroism exterior, do they possess a humanness aspect as well. . However, a very controversial question comes to mind between Achilles and Hector, who is the true epic hero of Iliad? . Some critics considered Achilles as being the true hero of Iliad, because of the cowardice that Hector displayed when he confronted Achilles. . This is what Achilles did and that is why he is deemed as the true epic hero of Homer's, The Iliad. . From Book One until Book Eighteen of the Iliad, the reader may bel.

5. Achilles

After reading the speech Agamemnon gives right before he sends the embassyto Achilles, I was almost sure that Achilles would turn down his plentiful offer. . The embassy meets Achilles and reveals to him Agamemnon's offer. . Achilles, like I predicted, quickly turns down the offer. . Achilles believes that Agamemnon forces the men of Argos to battle with Troy for the sole purpose of winning Helen back. . In this case, Achilles felt as though he was maltreated and humiliated. .

6. Homer's Sympathetic Hero - Achilles

At the end of The Iliad, Achilles gave Hector's body back to Troy, which shows compassion. . Homer starts his epic out with Agamemnon humiliating Achilles by forcing Achilles to give up his prize of war Briseis. . The reader knows it is not Achilles' fault that he died, rather Patroclus' fault for not listening to Achilles. . Instead of handling Hector's dead body the way Patroclus' body was tormented, Achilles returns Hector's body back to Troy for a proper funeral. . Achilles is portrayed to the audience as a compassionate hero because Achilles is Homer&.

  • Word Count: 1085
  • Approx Pages: 4
  • Has Bibliography
  • Grade Level: High School

7. Achilles

If the text of the Iliad were simply the story of Achilles and his actions in Troy, then an extremely large portion of the book would have to be labeled filler. . Diomedes supports the Achaeans in Achilles" absence and offers an example of a standard hero to compare to Achilles. . Though Achilles is relatively absent from the majority of the Iliad, the majority of the Iliad is in no way absent from Achilles. . Achilles" most hated enemy, Hector, is prominently featured in the epic long before there is any hint of his connection to Achilles. . Even Achilles" name is absent from book.

8. Hector and Achilles - Literature's Great Warriors

Achilles is part immortal. . Achilles is a very selfish person. . Homer writes, " I have learned to be one of the best, to fight in Troy's ranks "(Lombardo: pg 79: 467-468). . All of the people of Troy feel comfortable being around Hector and asking him what's going on in the war. . This shows just how much he cares for his family and the people of Troy. .

Achilles and the Trojan War

Achilles and the Trojan War
The short mythical story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Achilles and the Trojan War really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the myths and legends of the ancients.

Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

Achilles and the Trojan War

The mythical story of Achilles and the Trojan War
by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding

The Myth of Achilles and the Trojan War
If you were to go aboard a ship in Greece, and sail toward the east, you would before many days come to the mainland of Asia. There, in another country and another continent from Greece, was in olden times a famous city called Troy. Here lived a strong, brave race of people, who had made their city great by their industry in peace and their courage in war.

The king of this people was a good man named Priam, who was much beloved by every one. He had many children, so many, in fact, that one more or less did not matter much in his great household. But one day another little son was born to King Priam, and the priest said that he would grow to be a danger and a trouble to his family and his country. To prevent this trouble, King Priam had his servants take the baby, and leave it on a barren mountain-side to die. There some shepherds found the child, and reared him carefully and he grew to be a tall, beautiful youth, very active and skillful in all sorts of games.

When Paris - for that was the boy's name, - had become a young man, he was called upon to decide a very odd question. Among the gods there was one who was called the goddess of Discord, because she was always causing quarrels wherever she went The other gods did not like her, so they did not invite her to a great feast to which the other gods were all asked. Then the goddess of Discord took a beautiful golden apple, and wrote on it, "To the fairest," and tossed it among the other gods as they feasted. At once a quarrel arose as to who should have the apple. Of the three great goddesses, - Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, - each claimed that she was the fairest, and that the apple was for her. As none of them would give up, they had to ask some one to decide which one was the most beautiful.

Now, none of the gods wished to decide the question for fear lest he should offend the goddesses. So it was agreed to leave the decision to one of the children of men and Paris was the judge whom Zeus chose. When the goddesses heard who was to be the judge, they each made haste to bribe him to decide in her favor. Hera, as queen of the gods, promised him power. Athena offered to make him the wisest man in the world and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman for his wife Paris chose the latter gift, and gave the golden apple to Aphrodite.

Not long after this, King Priam held games at Troy, in which the young men of the kingdom were invited to try their strength with one another. The shepherd lad Paris joined in all of these games, and was so skillful that he was the winner of the prize. Then a priestess revealed that he was the son of Priam and in spite of the trouble that had been foretold form this son, Priam received him gladly, and restored him to his place as prince of Troy.

It was not long, however, that Paris was content to remain in Troy. He wished to see the world, and find the beautiful wife whom Aphrodite had promised him so he sailed away across the sea to Greece. There he came to the court of a king named Menelaus, whose wife, Helen, was the most beautiful woman in all that land. As soon as he saw Helen, Paris knew that her was the wife that Aphrodite had intended for him so he stole her away from her husband, and carried her back with him to Troy.

This led to a great war between the Greeks and the Trojans. King Menelaus, and his brother, King Agamemnon, called upon all the kings of Greece to join them in trying to get Helen back, and in punishing the Trojans. After many months the fleet that was to carry them across the sea was ready, and a great army set sail. When they reached troy they left their ships, and camped upon the plains around the walls of the city. The Trojans closed their city gates, only coming out now and then to fight the Greeks. For many years the war dragged on. It seemed as if the Greeks could not take the city, and the Trojans could not drive away the Greeks.

In this great war, even the gods took part. Aphrodite, of course, took the side of Troy, because it was through the promise she had made to Paris that the war had begun Hera and Athena both took the side of the Greeks. Of the other gods, some took one side and some the other and long after this the Greeks loved to tell how men sometimes fought even against the gods.

Agamemnon was the leader of the Greeks, but the bravest man and the best fighter was Achilles This prince was the son of a goddess of the ocean and of a Greek king, and possessed wonderful strength and beauty. When he was a baby, his goddess mother had dipped him in the waters of a dark river in the kingdom of Hades, and he had become proof against any weapon except at one little place in the heel, where his mother's hand had prevented the water from touching him. When Agamemnon and Menelaus called upon the men of Greece to fight again Troy, Achilles gladly took his shield and spear and joined them, although it had been foretold that he should meet his death before Troy. There he fought bravely and even Hector, the eldest son of King Priam, and that champion of the Trojans, did not dare to stay outside the walls while Achilles was in the field.

In the tenth year of the war Achilles became very angry at a wrong that had been done him by Agamemnon. After that he refused to join in the fighting, and sat and sulked in his tent. When the Trojans saw that Achilles was no longer in the field, they took courage again. Hector and the other Trojan warriors came forth and killed many Greek heroes, and soon the Greek army was in full flight. The Trojans even succeeded in burning some of the Greek ships.

Then the Greeks were very much dismayed, and sent to Achilles, and asked him to help them. But he was still angry, and he refused. At last the dearest friend of Achilles came, and begged him to aid them once more. Still Achilles refused and all that he would promise was to let his friend take his armor and go in his place. So his friend took the armor of Achilles and went forth, thinking that the sight of Achilles' arms would once more set the Trojans flying. But soon word was brought to Achilles that Hector had slain his friend, and carried off his armor

Then Achilles saw that his foolish anger had cost him the life of his friend. His grief was very great and he threw himself upon the ground and wept, until messengers came to tell him that the Trojans were carrying off the body of his friend, so that the Greeks might not bury it. Achilles sprang to his feet, and rushing toward the battlefield without chariot or armor he shouted in wrath. The goddess Athena joined her voice to his and the sound startled the Trojans so that they turned and fled, leaving the body of Achilles' friend in the hands of the Greeks

The next day Achilles put on a new suit of armor which his goddess mother had obtained from the god Hephaestus, and rushed into battle again to avenge his friend. All day long the battle raged about the walls of Troy, the gods fighting among men to protect and aid their favorites. At last at the end of the day, when the Trojans had been driven back within their walls, Hector alone remained without. After a fierce battle Achilles slew him and so great was the anger of Achilles, that he tied the feet of the dead Hector to his chariot, and dragged him through the dust to the Greek camp.

But Achilles himself did not live much longer. As he was fighting one day soon after this, and arrow shot by Paris struck him in the heel, - the one spot where he could be wounded, - and he was killed.

After Achilles was dead the Greeks could not hope to take Troy by open fighting, so they tried a trick. They pretended that they were tired of the long war, and that they were going home. They built a wooden horse as tall as a house and leaving that in their camp as an offering to their gods, the Greeks got on board their ships and sailed away. Then the Trojans came flocking out of their city to examine this curious thing which the Greeks had left behind. Some of the wiser heads feared the wooden horse, and wanted to burn it but the others said that they would take it into the city, and keep it as a memorial of their victory over the Greeks.

So they took it within the city walls. That night after the Trojans were all asleep, a door opened in the side of the wooden horse, and a man slipped out. Then there came another, and then another, until about fifty of the bravest Greeks had appeared These Greeks slew the guards and opened the gates. The Greeks who had sailed away that morning had come back as soon as night fell, and were waiting outside As soon as the gates were opened they rushed into the sleeping city, and after that night there were only heaps of ruins where the city of Troy once stood.

In the fight of that night King Priam and his queen and all of his children and most of his people were killed. King Menelaus found Helen, and took her back again to his own country. The priest's saying at the birth of Paris had come true He had brought destruction on his family and on his kingdom, and it was right that he also should lose his life in the fall of Troy.

The Legend and Myth about Achilles and the Trojan War

The Myth of Achilles and the Trojan War
The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is featured in the book entitled Greek Gods, Heroes and Men by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding, published in 1906 by Scott, Foresman and Company.

Achilles and the Trojan War - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Achilles and the Trojan War, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners.

The Myth of Achilles and the Trojan War - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Achilles and the Trojan War is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.

The Magical World of Myth and Legend

Achilles and the Trojan War

The Short Story and Myth of Achilles and the Trojan War
The myth about Achilles and the Trojan War is featured in the book entitled Greek Gods, Heroes and Men by Caroline H. Harding and Samuel B. Harding, published in 1906 by Scott, Foresman and Company. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Watch the video: Achilles vs Hector. Edit