Achilles – Remaking Myth – Sinead Reed
Achilles is the heroic Greek mythological figure, who has been depicted throughout time, from ancient Greek stories to modern day films. Achilles is the son of Peleus and Thetis. Thetis is a semi god, it was said that Thetis would have a child greater than its Father, as a result Zeus decided he did not want to marry Thetis and a result she was passed on to marry Peleus. It is believed that Thetis wanted Achilles to be immortal. Although throughout time there have been many different stories about how exactly Thetis made Achilles immortal. In some Greek myths about Achilles, it is said that Thetis rubbed him with ambrosia, the food of the Gods and she held him in fire to burn away human weakness. The most popular story however is the one about Achilles being dipped in the river Styx. It was believed that Thetis desired Achilles to be immortal so much, she dipped him into the river Styx that flowed through the underworld. Unfortunately she held him by his left ankle and as a result this is the only part of his body that is not immortal.
Some aspects about the myth of Achilles have been kept in modern day interpretations, From Helen of Troy, to the most recent interpretation, the 2004 movie Troy. Both movies kept the mythological aspect of Achilles mortal left ankle. In the 2004 movie Paris Prince of Troy, shoots an arrow into Achilles left ankle, fatally wounding him. Similarly we can also see this in Helen of Troy, were Achilles is on his chariot and an arrow hits his left ankle. Some aspects about Achilles have survived through time and are kept in modern day interpretations, however many aspects about Achilles and his life have been changed and questioned.
In Greek myths Achilles is the legendary but reluctant warrior who fought in the Trojan War. It has been described in some Greek tales that Achilles mother Thetis did not wish for her only son to go to war. In some tales it is said that Thetis knew Achilles would never return from battle, if he went. Some Greek stories suggest that Achilles mother made him dress like a girl to avoid going. In modern interpretations however we see that this aspect about Achilles has not been kept. In the 2004 movie Troy, we see a different story, Achilles mother encourages him to go as his name will live forever. For her that appeared to be more valuable than if Achilles had stayed and lived.
Achilles has been depicted as a heroic figure throughout time, although some aspects about his life have been either changed, forgotten or have come under scrutiny in the past centuries. The relationship between Achilles and Patriaclus has been open for dispute in both the classical period and in modern times. In some Greek tales, it said Thetis raised both Achilles and Patriaclus. According to Homer, Thetis raised both Achilles and Patriaclus as brothers. In many Greek tales, Patriaclus has been described as Achilles best friend. However this aspect has come under scrutiny as in other Greek tales about Achilles, Patriaclus is described as Achilles lover. This aspect about the relationship between Achilles and Patriaclus has been changed in modern day interpretations. This aspect about the heroic figure has been left open for personnel opinion, on which tale you prefer to believe. There have been many different stories about Achilles and his life, throughout time many aspects have been forgotten or changed. However despite things being changed or forgotten one thing about Achilles has continued to remain the same, Achilles continues to be depicted as a great heroic figure
There have been many stories written about Achilles throughout the centuries about his involvement in the Trojan War. They all retain similar views on Achilles and his enemies. In the Iliad of Homer, the tension between Achilles and Agamemnon is described. “Agamemnon and Achilles fell out at the siege of Troy and Achilles withdrew himself from battle, and won from Zeus a pledge that his wrong should be avenged on Agamemnon.” This aspect about the turbulent relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon is captured in many stories about the Trojan War. Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis describes how Achilles name was used by Agamemnon to lure Iphigenia to be sacrificed. This book is similar to the Iliad of Homer, as it captures the deceptive ways Agamemnon was towards Achilles. The hostile relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon is captured in the 2004 movie Troy, This essence of their relationship is still portrayed the same. The hostile relationship between Achilles, Hector and Paris is also still described in a very similar way to the ancient Greek tales.
The tale of the heroic figure Achilles has been told in many different ways from stories, plays and movies. However in all the tales about this heroic mythological figure, we can see why Achilles is still portrayed as a Greek hero. His extreme strength, good looks and immortal body make him the ideal hero. He is depicted as a brave honourable man who is true to himself and his own beliefs, rather than those of his enemies, such as the beliefs of Agamemnon. We can see this when Achilles withdraws himself from battle over how Agamemnon has treated him and his men, the myrmidons. Achilles is the commander of the myrmidon, a feared force that a loyal to him above everybody else. Achilles is one of the few Greek mythological heroes that have continued to be depicted as an almost Godly figure, from the Iliad of Homer to the 2004 movie Troy.
In conclusion we can see why Achilles has continued to be described a heroic figure. He is a semi God but thanks to his mother’s determination, he is almost completely immortal. Although some aspects about Achilles have been changed or forgotten, some things remain the same, from Achilles strength and determination to his extreme skill in battle. Achilles has continued to be depicted as Greek mythological hero. There are still many feathers about Achilles that can be easily recognised by those from every century.