How Does Achilles Die in The Iliad?

Updated: February 09, 2023
Achilles dies from a poisoned arrow shot by Paris, at the command of Apollo.
Detailed answer:

The epic poem The Iliad is an ancient Greek work of literature written by Homer in the 8th century BC. It tells the story of the events leading up to, during, and after the Trojan War. One of its most famous characters is Achilles, a demigod who was known for his incredible strength and bravery. So how does Achilles die in The Iliad?

In The Iliad, it’s revealed that Achilles dies from a poisoned arrow shot by Paris at the command of Apollo. According to Homer’s account, Paris had been instructed by Apollo to shoot Achilles in his one weak spot – his heel – as revenge for killing Hector.

Achilles’ death was foreshadowed earlier in the poem when he encountered both Apollo and Hector outside Troy’s walls. Achilles goes on to fight Hector and defeats him after nine days of battle. Knowing that he will soon die himself, he gives Hector a proper funeral despite their feuds.

After Achilles’ death, Zeus orders the gods to bring him back to life so that he can be given an honorable burial. His body is then washed and placed upon a funeral pyre; however, before it could be burned his friends steal away his ashes so that they can keep them safe until they can find a suitable place for them to rest. Eventually they choose Mount Ida as their final resting place for his ashes and build two tombs – one for each of his parents – so that they can watch over him forevermore.

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