The Iliad Characters

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Achilles

Son of the mortal Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis, Achilles is the best warrior at Troy. He leads the Myrmidons (from the Greek word for "ant," as their ancestors were created by Zeus from ants after a plague had depopulated part of the kingdom of Achilles' grandfather, Aeacus).

His mother dipped the baby Achilles in the River Styx, which made him invulnerable. But she forgot to dip the heel by which she held him, which left one place where a weapon could injure him: hence an "Achilles' heel" is a weak or vulnerable spot.

Thetis knew that her son was destined either to go to Troy, where he would die gloriously as a young man, or to live a long (but dull) life ruling over his people at home. To keep him out of the army, Thetis sent Achilles away to another king's court dressed as a...

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This section contains 6,047 words
(approx. 16 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Iliad Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Iliad from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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