WHEN THE WRONGFUL EXPLOITATION OF THE ACHILLES HEEL BECOMES A MATTER OF DISHONOR, COWARDICE, RUTHLESSNESS & SPITE:
The Story of Achilles (as per Greek Mythology):
From The Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Achilles – In Greek mythology, Achilles was the son of the mortal Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and the Nereid, or sea nymph, Thetis. He was the bravest, handsomest, and greatest warrior of the army of Agamemnon in the Trojan War. According to Homer, Achilles was brought up by his mother at Phthia with his cousin and inseparable companion Patroclus. One of the non-Homeric tales of his childhood relates that Thetis dipped Achilles in the waters of the River Styx, by which he became invulnerable, except for the part of his heel by which she held him—the proverbial “Achilles’ heel.”
The later mythographers related that Peleus, having received an oracle that his son would die fighting at Troy, sent Achilles to the court of Lycomedes on Scyros, where he was dressed as a girl and kept among the king’s daughters (one of whom, Deïdamia, bore him Neoptolemus). Hearing from the soothsayer Calchas that Troy could not be taken without Achilles, the Greeks searched for and found him.
During the first nine years of the war, Achilles ravaged the country around Troy and took 12 cities. In the 10th year a quarrel with Agamemnon occurred when Achilles insisted that Agamemnon restore Chryseis, his prize of war, to her father, a priest of Apollo, so as to appease the wrath of Apollo, who had decimated the camp with a pestilence. An irate Agamemnon recouped his loss by depriving Achilles of his favourite slave, Briseis.
Achilles refused further service, and consequently the Greeks floundered so badly that at last Achilles allowed Patroclus to impersonate him, lending him his chariot and armour. Hector (the eldest son of King Priam of Troy) slew Patroclus, and Achilles, having finally reconciled with Agamemnon, obtained new armour from the god Hephaestus and slew Hector. After dragging Hector’s body behind his chariot, Achilles gave it to Priam at his earnest entreaty.
The Iliad concludes with the funeral rites of Hector. It makes no mention of the death of Achilles, though the Odyssey mentions his funeral. The poet Arctinus in his Aethiopis took up the story of the Iliad and related that Achilles, having slain the Ethiopian king Memnon and the Amazon Penthesilea, was himself slain in battle by Priam’s son Paris, whose arrow was guided by Apollo.
The story about Achilles’ heel
The term “Achilles’ heel” means a person’s vulnerable spot or area. It is derived from the Greek myth of Achilles and his mother Thetis.
According to legend, when Achilles was born, his mother, in an effort to make him immortal, took Achilles to the Styx River and dipped him. She held him by one heel. The area where her fingers held him remained dry. As the heel was not touched by the waters of the Styx, it was the one vulnerable place on Achilles.
Achilles became the hero of many battles during the Trojan War. Paris, Prince of the Trojans, shot an arrow in the heel of Achilles. Because the heel was the one spot untouched by immortality, Achilles died.
The mythology of Achilles not only gives us the term “Achilles’ heel,” the tendon connecting the heel to the calf muscles is named the “Achilles” tendon.”
It has been argued that the vulnerability of Achilles did not originally lie in his heel. In Homer’s “The Iliad,” his vulnerable area is his pride. It is suggested his weak spot did not become the heel until the Romans told the story of Achilles in a poem written by Statius.
Whatever the derivation, the term in the English language is written as the “Achilles’ heel” of a person or corporation.
New International Version (NIV)
Samson and Delilah
16 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”
3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.”
6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bow strings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bow strings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them.9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bow strings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now; tell me how you can be tied.”
11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”
He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”
He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.
The Death of Samson
23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,
“Our god has delivered our enemy
into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.”27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.
28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led[d]Israel for twenty years.
The Achilles Heel
Any seemingly “Nigh Invulnerable” character will inevitably have some key weakness that can and will be exploited. This is especially likely if the main character is a Super Hero; otherwise they could walk over criminals and other villains and flatten any chance of conflict or personal peril. Aliens and monsters that are Immune to Bullets will usually have a fairly mundane Achilles Heel that only surfaces/is discovered when things look the bleakest.
Other versions and variations of the Achilles Heel include:
- Attack Its Weak Point: For video games, this is the spot the player has to hit.
- David Versus Goliath: Not taking a seemingly trivial threat seriously.
- Decapitation Required: The only way to kill them permanently is by removing the head.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: A method to give some sort of weakness to a character who normally doesn’t have one.
- Fantastic Fragility: An in-built weakness to boost power.
- Fatal Flaw: A psychological weakness, not a physical vulnerability.
- Keystone Army: Army whose weakness renders it defeated.
- Kryptonite Factor: A weakness to something that has little or no effect on other characters.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: Just in case….
- Straight For The Commander: Enemy’s commander is the weakness, and thus exploiting it. note
- Soul Jar: An object that provides great power or immortality to its creator, but the person’s essence becomes tied to it so strongly that its destruction will doom them.
- Tailor-Made Prison: A prison designed to contain a specific character, often accounting for their weakness.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Weakness to something common and mundane.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: A character-specific phobia.
Disgust is a strong negative feeling of aversion or disapproval. You may have a sickening feeling of revulsion, loathing or nausea. Disgust, as registered by the wrinkled nose, lowered brows, narrowed eyes, a protruded tongue and an open-mouthed look of a baby who has just tasted lemon juice, certainly is universal.
You can tell when people are disgusted by their facial expressions; they raise their cheeks, curl their upper lips, the lip corners are drawn down and back, narrow or partly close their eyes, lower and slightly narrow their eyebrows, lowering the inner corners of the eyebrows, draw up and wrinkle their noses, jerk their heads backwards, shake their heads side-to-side, protrude or move forward their tongues, and make guttural sounds of “ach” or “ugh.”
Sometimes people feel disgust for certain things that others do, or the way they do things. Maybe it’s not the actual people themselves, although it is easy to regard someone whose actions are largely repulsive as someone to dislike.
From the Free Online Dictionary by Farlex:
Blind-side or blind·side (blndsd)
tr.v. blind-sid·ed or blind·sid·ed, blind-sid·ing or blind·sid·ing, blind-sides or blind·sides
1. To hit or attack on or from the blind side.
2. To catch or take unawares, especially with harmful or detrimental results: “The recent recession, with its wave of corporate cost-cutting, blind-sided many lawyers” (Aric Press).
v.t. -sid•ed, -sid•ing.
1. to hit or attack from the blind side.
2. to attack where a person is vulnerable.
From WordReference.com (Online Language Dictionary):
Bring to one’s knees:
WordReference English Thesaurus © 2013
bring to one’s knees
- force to submit
- take down a notch
- take down a peg
- make one cry ‘uncle’
Bring to terms:
WordReference English Thesaurus © 2013
bring to terms
- reduce to submission
- bend to one’s will
- bring low
- bring to one’s knees
- take down a notch
- take down a peg
From the Free Online Dictionary by Farlex:
a bolt from the blue also a bolt out of the blue
Something that you do not expect to happen and that surprises you very much The news that they had got married was a bolt from the blue. He seemed to be very happy in his job, so his resignation came as a bolt out of the blue.
1. The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn.
2. The state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace.
3. Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.
I’m sure that most of you have heard of these fairly common idioms/phrases:
- “Don’t kick the dog when it is down”
- “Don’t pour salt over open wounds”
- “Don’t rub it in” / “Don’t rub his/her face in it by stating that I told you so!”
- “Don’t be such a sadist!”
- “All’s fair in love and war”
All these expressions have one similar and powerful message in common: it is a matter of the UTMOST dishonor, disgrace, cowardice, spite and vindictiveness to prey upon either an animal’s or a person’s weakness (es) – to choose to ‘take them down a notch or two’ – just so that the attacking party can gain a dishonorable feeling of “upmanship” over the other. As it often happens, the victims of such despicable acts are attacked whilst in their most weakened and vulnerable state – they have NOT been given the decency of being given enough time to recover their senses from the shock of such an assault so that they might defend themselves adequately. The implied implication here is that the use of unfair, unjust and wrongful means – just to score a point of victory over the other – while the person is in his/her most vulnerable state, is considered as being nothing short of disgusting – such are the dastardly acts of cowardly bullies who know no better! The commission of such offensive acts and behaviors are often referred to as the dastardly “exploitation of the Achilles Heel” – in the simplest language, it is the wide use of “unjust means to gain a wrongful end.”
I would like to mention that the RIGHTFUL exploitation of the Achilles Heel has helped researchers and doctors, over the years to make significant scientific leaps in the treatment of various forms of cancer, tuberculosis, etc. There are many, many such good and benevolent uses – but frankly, if such acts were right, correct, benevolent and good, why would I even think of writing about it? It is vindictive, harmful, malevolent and treacherous behavior that needs immediate correction and avoidance at all costs. Most people – I am sure – will agree with me in this matter.
In fact, such disgraceful behavior has reached such alarming and grave proportions that it has become a matter of serious and immediate concern for each and every one of us around the globe. There seems to be no end in sight to such dastardly acts. People who commit such despicable acts need to be given a very strong message and I shall do so today. There is severe punishment in store for such perpetrators – make no mistake about that!
Well, WHO ARE THESE COWARDLY BULLIES? DO WE KNOW THEM? OF COURSE, YOU DO – THE MAJORITY OF SUCH OFFENDERS ARE MILLING ALL AROUND US. These perpetrators are people that surround us in our day-to-day lives – they range from narcissistic family members to ‘so-called’ friends, acquaintances, colleagues, superiors and business associates – the sad and unfortunate fact is that this list is never-ending! In the most extreme cases, it also makes reference to the most heinous, ignoble and reprehensible crimes committed knowingly and deliberately by burglars, blackmailers, extortionists, racketeers, voyeurs, sadists, soldiers at war, political leaders and other sexual predators such as serial killers, serial rapists; other criminals include serial bombers, serial arsonists, terrorists and the worst are our very own – and known – family members who engage regularly in acts of incest, sex and lust, as a matter of course. The most hateful and despicable of them all are the pedophiles who prey upon the lives of innocent children and under-aged minors and rape them incessantly to satisfy their base and perverted urge of lust.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR SUCH INEXCUSABLE AND UNFORESEEABLE BEHAVIOR? Once again, the reasons are endless – a vicarious thrill at playing ‘power games’; intimidation, dominance, sadism in the face of utter humiliation of another, false ambition, egoism, selfishness and false pride, envy and a deep-rooted jealousy, the existence of an inferiority complex, a perverted act of feeling immensely superior by seeing another shamed and reduced to submission, etc.
I HAVE A VERY SIMPLE BUT EXTREMELY POWERFUL MESSAGE FOR ALL THE WORLD – HEAR ME WELL AND KEEP THIS MESSAGE IN YOUR MINDS AT ALL TIMES. It is a matter of fulfilling your immediate duty and a matter of great courage, fortitude and forbearance to stand up for one’s convictions and beliefs – it is a Matter of Honor to put up a valiant fight against such ignoble, wicked, villainous and evil acts. IF YOU CAN’T – OR WON’T- STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU SO FIRMLY BELIEVE IN, WHO ELSE WILL? REST ASSURED THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN DO IT FOR YOU. YOU MUST LEARN TO STAND TALL AND FIGHT YOUR OWN BATTLES. THE MOMENT OTHERS REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NOT ONE TO BE TRIFLED WITH, YOU WILL SEE HOW THEY LEAVE YOU ALONE AND TAKE THEIR DASTARDLY BEHAVIOR ELSEWHERE! Of course, your reaction to such acts NEEDS to vary from case to case and ought to be based on the gravity of the situation at hand.
Finally, what is there left to say that has not already been said in a thousand ways? Such behaviors stem from the fact that a VERY FINE LINE INDEED – in fact, an almost invisible line separates what is considered to be ethically and morally right to what is ostensibly WRONG and CRIMINAL in its inception and commission. LEARN TO DISCERN AND RESPECT THAT STRICT DIVIDING LINE.
The main reason why the world is in such an active state of turmoil and chaos nowadays is because the majority of the world’s population seeks solace and comfort in being a part of the teeming millions who indulge in such dishonorable and dastardly acts all over the world. THAT DOES NOT MAKE SUCH ACTS COMMENDABLE OR RIGHT! YOU DO NOT NEED ME TO TELL YOU THAT. You are likely to hear statements such as, “IF THE WHOLE WORLD CAN DO IT, WHY CAN’T I?” In this statement itself, lies the source of all our problems. We have consciously chosen to complicate our own lives for no good or valid reason.
You would do very well in taking my advice seriously and conscientiously – “TOTAL FREEDOM IS A FALLACY. STOP LIVING IN A FOOL’S PARADISE! YOU CANNOT EXPECT TO DO WHATEVER SUITS YOUR FANCY AND THEN EXPECT TO GET AWAY ‘SCOT FREE’ WITH IT! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, DOESN’T MATURITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, COMPASSION AND RESPONSIBILITY ACCOUNT FOR ANYTHING THESE DAYS? JUST TAKE YOUR TIME AND THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT IT! DON’T WAIT FOR THE DAY WHEN YOU YOURSELF BECOME A HELPLESS VICTIM TO SUCH GROSS AND HEINOUS EVIL. START BECOMING BETTER PEOPLE NOW!!!
WHEN THE LIONESS ROARS, THE WHOLE WORLD SHALL BOW ITS HEAD AND LISTEN.
IN FACT, WHEN THE LIONESS ROARS, EVEN THE KING OF THE JUNGLE BOWS HIS HEAD WITH HUMILITY – HE NOT ONLY LISTENS, BUT OBEYS!
I AM SHIVA AND THIS IS MY UNFAILING, POWERFUL MESSAGE TO THE WORLD – “YOU SHOULD EXPECT TO BE SEVERELY PUNISHED FOR ANY BEHAVIOR THAT IS DEEMED AS BEING DISHONORABLE, COWARDLY, MALICIOUS, VINDICTIVE AND MALEVOLENT. SUCH IS MY MESSAGE. I WILL NO LONGER STAND BY PASSIVELY AND KEEP WATCHING SUCH ACTS GO BY UNPUNISHED …..I WILL FULFILL MY DUTY EVEN IF YOU DON’T! BE SURE THAT I AM COMING AFTER YOU WITH ALL MY ZEAL, ENERGY AND PASSION. ONE DAY, I WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU AND OVERTAKE YOU. MY NAME STANDS FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE AND I SHALL HAVE IT! PEACE SHALL RULE THIS PLANET ONCE AGAIN. I SHALL MAKE IT MY BOUNDEN DUTY TO DESTROY THE OLD ORDER AND MAKE WAY FOR A NEW ERA OF BENEVOLENCE. YOU SHALL UNITE AND HELP ME ACHIEVE THIS GLORIOUS GOAL!”
SHIVA IS THE NEMESIS OF ALL EVIL-DOERS AND BE SURE THAT SUCH A DAY will COME.
THAT WILL BE THE DAY WHEN SHIVA SHAKES THE GROUND UNDER WHICH YOU WALK.
THAT WILL BE THE DAY WHEN SHIVA WILL TEACH YOU THE TRUE MEANING OF FEAR.
LIFE IS AN ECHO – “WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND!”
TRUTH AND JUSTICE SHALL PREVAIL.
- Achilles (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- The Legend Of Achilles (nathandodson.wordpress.com)
- Battery life: BYOD’s achilles’ heel? (intechnology.co.uk)
- Patroclus Revealed (throughthewardrobedoor.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Song of Achilles (rishabhrhexenor.wordpress.com)
- Agamemnon and Achilles (pridewritlarge.wordpress.com)
- The Achilles Heel (karynrae.wordpress.com)
- Agamemnon (Blog 1) (pridewritlarge.wordpress.com)
- Cartoon: Achilles’ Greek Heel (englishblog.com)