Deborah Darling Gray – Artist

Painting/Tempera Paint, Collage, Writer, Teacher

The Story of Achilles
Achilles | By Deborah Darling Gray

Both Achilles and Hector, the champion of Troy, knew that he would die before Troy was taken. Achilles had been told by his mother, “Very brief is your lot…for you shall not long endure.” Despite that, the Trojan war lasted nine long years until finally Achilles was killed by Paris, the prince of Troy.

Over the nine years the war was waged the fortunes of the Greek army varied widely, depending mostly upon whether or not Achilles was willing to fight that day. He fought with Agamemnon, the Greek king, over a woman and often he sat in his tent when in a rage that came from feeling slighted in some way. The final battle came when one of his friends could not stand the beating the Greeks were taking. When Achilles would still not budge the young man took the hero’s armor and went into battle where he was killed. When Achilles heard of his friend’s death he was so enraged he finally agreed to rejoin the fighting.

The Iliad actually ends with the slaying of Hector by Achilles though Achilles’ death follows not long after that. The fall of Troy is found in the Aeneid which goes onto chronicle the founding of Rome.

Troy’s destruction also marks the beginning of the Odyssey, the story of the long journey home of Odysseus, the creator of the Trojan Horse. Ultimately the Greeks prevailed by
strategy not strength on the battle field.


His mother Thetis so loved him
She dipped him in the river of death
Holding him by his heel
She submerged him and
Achilles emerged invincible
But for that one spot
Where eventually the arrow of Paris
Found its mark

You cannot escape
Even the agent of death
Must eventually cross the river

“With vulnerability comes strength.”
Deborah Darling Gray