Tragic Hero Achilles

DURING the period while Achilles mourned in his tent for Briseis and took no part in the war, Hector defeated the Greeks repeatedly. At length Achilles, though still refusing to fight, loaned his armor to his friend Patroclus. The mere sight of that dreaded armor put the mass of the Trojans to flight; but Hector, fresh from the encouragement of Andromache, met the supposed Achilles valiantly, and slew him.

The real Achilles, roused by the death of his friend, then came forward and met Hector in the chief combat of the war. Hector was slain. The story as Homer told it was that divine fear overcame him at thought of the supernatural nature of his foe, and that he fled, pursued by Achilles, thrice round the walls of Troy. But Virgil says that it was after Hector's fall that Achilles, still furious for his friend's death, lashed the feet of the fallen Hector to the rear of the victor's chariot and so dragged the body thrice round the walls of the city. Priam and all the Trojans, who were gathered on the city walls, beheld with unbridled despair the loss of their chief hero.

The death of Achilles followed soon after. The treacherous Paris, not daring to meet Achilles in the field, shot him from ambush with an arrow that pierced his heel and killed him.

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Read about Tragic Hero Achilles in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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