Achilles Hero or Zero
Greece has provided the world with many stories and legends. Legends like Hercules and his twelve labors and Odysseus and his Odyssey. But one legend is more well known than most and that is the story of the invincible Achilles and the Trojan War. Everyone knows who Achilles is and regards him as a hero, but if you really look into the legend you can begin to ask is Achilles truly worthy of the title of Hero?There is no denying that Achilles was a great and proud warrior. When Hellen was taken by Paris to Troy, all the Greek kings were called to action by an oath to Menelaus, the kind of Sparta.
Achilles’ mother, the sea goddess Thetis, received a prophecy that stated if Achilles went of to fight the war, he would be famous, but would suffer the consequence of a short life. To protect her son, she made him promise to disguise himself as a handmaiden and remain hidden until the king’s men left. The plan would have worked but Odysseus discovered Achilles by offering gifts, adornments, and musical instruments as well as weapons to the king’s daughters. He would then have his companions imitate the noises of an enemy’s attack on the island, which prompted Achilles to reveal himself by picking a weapon to fight back. Just this one portion of the Iliad shows that Achilles was prepared to leap into battle and fight off any attackers even though it would lead him to fight a war he could not come back from. Achilles was a warrior, but a hero he was not.
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It is only during the Trojan war that Achilles’ title of hero is taken into question. Near the beginning of the Trojan War, Achilles and the Greeks captured a province of Troy. Achilles took the queen of the province, Brises, as a war prize. At first, all was well until Agamemnon was forced by the gods to give up his own war prize, which led him to demand Briseis as compensation. These actions angered Achilles, causing him to give Briseis to Agamemnon. This would lead to a great divide that, causing Achilles and his forces to withdraw from the war. Achilles decided that he would thus lead the Greeks to a near downfall at that moment he basically took the Greeks strongest forces and caused the deaths of many Greek warriors all just to get back at Agamemnon which I truly not befitting someone with the title hero.
Though the worst action performed by him was what he did to the prince of troy Hector. Achilles lover Patroclus is accidently killed in combat by Hector and this angers Achilles. Hector meets Achilles at the gates of Troy were they will soon fight to the death Hector tries to bargain with Achilles that whoever should die in battle that their corpses be treated with the proper respects but Achilles refuses the offer and in the end Hector falls to Achilles and then has his body tied to a chariot and dragged through the dirt and sand and Achilles refuses to return the body to the trojans. It is at this point that we can logically reason that Achilles is not a hero he allows his allies to die and he shows no honor to the dead no true hero would allow this.In conclusion Achilles possesses many of the qualitys that make a good warrior he is severally lacking in the ones that make him a hero. He was originally prepared to fight in battle but when his superior took something of his he decides to throw a tantrum and let his allies die in battle, But worst of all he desecrates the body of an honorable man who was willing to show his body respect should he do the same and just spits in his face. So in the end no Achilles is not worthy of his title of hero