Triumphant Achilles dragging Hector's lifeless body 14x22cm
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Achilles was the son of the Nereid Thetis and Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus.
Homer's Iliad is the most famous narrative of Achilles' deeds in the Trojan War. Achilles' wrath is the central theme of the poem. The Homeric epic only covers a few weeks of the war, and does not narrate Achilles' death. After receiving the news of the death of Patroclus from Antilochus, the son of Nestor, Achilles grieves over his beloved companion's death and holds many funeral games in his honor.
Enraged over the death of Patroclus, Achilles ends his refusal to fight and takes the field killing many men in his rage but always seeking out Hector. Achilles chases Hector around the wall of Troy three times before Athena, in the form of Hector's favorite and dearest brother, Deiphobus, persuades Hector to stop running and fight Achilles face to face. After Hector realizes the trick, he knows the battle is inevitable. Wanting to go down fighting, he charges at Achilles with his only weapon, his sword, but misses. Accepting his fate, Hector begs Achilles, not to spare his life, but to treat his body with respect after killing him. Achilles tells Hector it is hopeless to expect that of him, declaring that "my rage, my fury would drive me now to hack your flesh away and eat you raw – such agonies you have caused me". Achilles then kills Hector and drags his corpse behind his chariot during Patroclus' funeral games.
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