Mythological Heroes: Achilles and Hercules

Topics: Heracles, Greek mythology, Labours of Hercules Pages: 4 (1394 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Mythological Heroes: Achilles and Hercules

The subject of mythology deals mainly with the notion of battle, or good versus evil. In this struggle many individuals are singled out for either the evil they cause, or from the good they bring to people. When you mention heroes in mythology, there are two distinct names that a majority of people bring up, those names are Achilles and Hercules.

Achilles was born to King Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis. Soon after Achilles was born his mother dipped him in the River Styx, she was told, by doing this, that the water would make every part of his body that it touched invincible. Little did she know that the one part of his heel which he was held by would not touch the water.

When Achilles mother found out about the war in Troy between the Greeks and the Trojans she did not want her son to fight because she knew that he would eventually be killed there. The way that she tried to prevent him from going into the army was to hide him among the women of the court so that he could not be persuaded by his close friend Odysseus to join the Greek forces. While trying to find Achilles, Odysseus easily spotted him among the women, and persuaded him to join the Greek army.

After many years of battle with the Trojan forces, Achilles ended up in a famed duel with Trojan hero Hector, over the slaying of Achilles close friend Patroclus. After killing Hector, Achilles tied his dead body behind a chariot and dragged around the walls of Troy seven times to show his hatred and anger towards the Trojans and their hero. Shortly after the famed battle, Achilles was killed when he was struck, with a poisonous arrow, in the one small spot on his heel which was vulnerable. The arrow was fired by the Trojan prince Paris and was guided by the sun god Apollo.

Hercules was the strongest and swiftest man ever to walk the earth. As the son of Zeus and mortal woman Alcmene, Hercules was destined to be a hero. This destiny...
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