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时间:2010-07-15 17:33  作者:  来源:


 Achilles felt proud of his parentage.His grandfather was noted for his justice and uprightness and became a judge in Hades after death. His father Peleus was a brave warrior and later married the beautiful sea goddess,Thetis. At the wedding of Peleus and the sea goddess,to which most of the gods were invited, the goddess of discord,Eris,feeling angry at not being invited, threw among the guests a golden apple bearing the words“For the fairest” and stirred up a bitter quarrel which led in the end to the Trojan war.

Thetis loved her son very much. When Achilles was still a baby, Thetis was shocked by a prophecy that her son would die in war. To save her son,the sea goddess dipped her baby in the waters of Styx  which could protect the human body from the fire and sword. But as the heel by which she held him was dry it became the one mortal spot  in the whole body of Achilles. Thus the expression“the heel of Achilles” has come to mean“a weak spot”. Achilles spent a great part of his boyhood in the woods with the wise old centaur, Chiron, who taught him the gentle arts as well as war affairs,and prepared him well for a short but brilliant career.

When fighters all over Greece flew to arms against Troy, a prophet foretold that Achilles was sure not to return from the war. Determined to keep her son from the disaster, Thetis sent young Achilles to the court of the king of Scyros, where he worked in disguise as one of the handmaids waiting on the princess of Scyros . For a time trick worked. Messenger after messenger came,but all left without him. One day,a peddlar appeared in the palace,bringing with him a wide variety of womanish small things. There was,however,also a sword among such goods. Whereas most of the ladies stared at the silks and veils,one of them eagerly grabbed the sword and joyfully played with it. At this the peddlar threw off his disguise and came out with his true identity. The artful Odysseus had come to fetch the hero to Aulis,where Greek ships had been waiting for both a fair wind and Achilles. Odysseus had not laboured in vain . During an attack on the walls of Troy, Achilles caught the sight of the beauty of Polyxena,daughter of Priam. He was so attracted by the grace of the princess that he asked Priam to give him the hand of Polyxena in marriage . He worked hard for the peace between the two sides. When his efforts proved useless, he obtained a promise from Priam that the marriage would be held after the war. Just as Achilles turned to leave,the faithless Paris took out a poisoned arrow and shot at his heel from behind. Before Achilles breathed his last, he left his armour in his will  to the bravest of the Greek heroes. This gave rise to such a fierce contest between Ajax and Odysseus. As a result the armour was adjudged to Odysseus . So sad and desperate was Polyxena at Achilles'  death she committed suicide  in front of his magnificent tomb.





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