Achilles_killing_Penthisiliea.jpg
This is an image of Achilles killing Penthisilea. Can you find the story?
Penthisilea is the queen of the Amazons. She was helping defend Troy.
She was an incredible warrior, and she killed so many men that Achilles
wanted to fight her as a challenge. She was also beautiful, and a soldier
named Chalon of Cyparissus fell in love with her. He was opposed to her fighting Achilles, so
Achilles killed Chalon. Achilles fought her and killed her, but as she was dying he fell in love with
her and her beauty. He was distraught with his murder of her, and he was weeping as she died in his
arms. A Greek, Thersites, teased Achilles for loving Penethisilea, so Achilles
murdered him. This shows the formidable Achilles has a second weakness: beauty
and love. This also brings up the issue of women warriors. Athena is the goddess of
war, and Penethisilea is a respected warrior. However, both are women. Why are they respected
as warriors while other women were not respected as warriors? -Sara Brakeman


Keep these questions in mind as you research the story of Achilles:

1. Achilles is important in both The Iliad and The Odyssey. Studying his conduct will help us understand the ideal of the warrior code. What is the warrior code? What is arete? What role does fame play in creating or motivating heroes?
The warrior code was followed by Greeks. Warriors were expected to be brave in battle and fight the best that they could. They were supposed to win the battle or come back on their shield, dead. If soldiers had broken rank and run in a battle, they would be ashamed and cause disrespect on their family because of their cowardice. If a warrior does well in battle, they will gain eternal fame by having their incredible deeds and bravery song about by bards and told in stories. They believed strongly in honor, arete, and fame. Arete is excellence, and the Greeks strived for it in every possible way they could. Honor was extremely important for families because they had to restore honor by getting revenge for bad deeds done to their family. Fame creates heroes because it drove warriors to fight their hardest. Fame ensured the immortality of a person in a sense because their heroics could be sung about for ages, causing immortality in a way. Their name and glory would be carried on through time.-Sara Brakeman
When Odysseus travels to the Land of the Dead, he sees Achilles and talks to him. Odysseus notices how Achilles still is the best warrior and the most blessed man, even though he is dead, so Odysseus tells him not to be sad about his death. Achilles responds by saying he would "rather slave on earth for another man-/ some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive-/ than rule down here over all the breathless dead." (11. 556-568) He is stating that the warrior code is pointless because it forces people to waste their lives while they try to be great warriors and achieve eternal honor and fame. He goes against the basic Greek values of honor and fame. He says war is stupid, and men should try better jobs in life before their deaths.
-Sara Brakeman
2. Does Achilles have a female love interest in The Iliad? I seem to remember that the girl was a prize. What happens to her?Briseis is a female love interest of Achilles. She is a Trojan widow, and Achilles has killed her brothers and husband in a raid on the city of Lyrnessus. She is taken by Achilles as a prize. Achilles grows to love her very much. However, Agamemnon forces Achilles to give Briseis to him because an oracle told Agamemnon to rid himself of his woman, Chryseis. Achilles refuses to fight in the war after Briseis is taken, and the Greeks lose many battles because they do not have Achilles fighting for them anymore. Achilles enters the battle again after Patroclus is killed. -Sara Brakeman
3. Does Achilles have another love interest?
4. Why does Achilles refuse to fight?
5. What crime does he commit?
6. How does he die?
7. Are there any representations of Achilles in ancient or modern art or poetry
8. What important information does he reveal to Odysseus in the Underworld?
9. Off the top of my head, I think I'll need to research the birth of Achilles, the fate of his mother, etc. Does he have any links to the gods?
10. What is the nature of his relationship with Patroclus? Where do we first hear about it? Is it only in The Iliad?
11. Paris is the killer. What is the context? What is the significance? Is it a noble end for the hero?
12. In the underworld, I recall that he speaks. Does anybody speak about him? Does anyone lament his loss?
13. Do any of the dead Trojan soldiers speak of him? - Mr. Lindstrom

external image PF_1946599~Thetis-Dipping-the-Infant-Achilles-Into-Water-from-the-Styx-Posters.jpg

Achilles was the greatest warrior of the Trojan War. Like many, Achilles’ story begins with a prophecy. The prophecy was that in order for the Greeks to eventually defeat Troy, they would need the help of Achilles. It was said that Thetis, Achilles’ mother, dipped Achilles into the river of death when he was a baby, holding him by his heel. Because of this Achilles was indestructible except for his heel because that was the only part of his body that was not dipped into the river. Achilles fulfilled that prophecy and defeated many in the war. However Paris, who shot an arrow through his heel, eventually killed him.
-Margaret Sanderson


external image achilles%20wounded.jpg
This is an image of Achilles looking at his hurt heel. If you look closely, you can see the arrow. -Gachi Rubio

Gachi, can you add the name of the statue, when it was made and by whom? I am guessing by the convenient post that is supporting the hero that the statue is not Greek. It is interesting to me that he does not seem to be in any pain. Does this Achilles recognize the significance of this seemingly slight wound? (Mr. Lindstrom)
Charles Alphonse Gumery was a student of Armand François Toussaint (1806-1862) at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and won the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1850 for his sculpture Achilles Wounded in the Heel by Paris. The statue depicts Achilles turning sideways to inspect the wound in his heel delivered by Paris's arrow. Gumery shows his subject as nonchalantly inspecting his wound, even though it will eventually kill him. The original plaster of Achilles Wounded// is at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. -Gachi Rubio

In this sculpture, there is a certain look about Achilles that seems very calm. He looks like he is almost ignoring the arrow in his heel, he has no idea that it ends up being the death of him. It is very possible that Achilles did not know that his heel was the only part of him that was not invincible. He appears to be just pulling the arrow out like its no big deal. It makes you wonder if he even feels the pain that it must be causing him. This is only one way of interpreting the death of Achilles and I wonder how this statue would differ from one made by the Greeks, about the same scene. -katie ----