"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Achilles' Heel

Achilles was the son of the nymph Thetis and Peleus, the king of the Myrmidons. He was the foremost Greek warrior in the Trojan war and hero of Homer's 'Iliad'. Achilles was said to be invulnerable as a result of having been dipped in the River Styx by Thetis when he was a baby. Unfortunately he was held by his heel as he was dipped and as a result his heel was not treated. It was oin this vulnerable part of his body that he was shot and killed by Paris's arrow.

The phrase Achilles Heel came to mean any vulnerable point of a person or thing. In 1946 George Orwell described Achilles Heel as a dying metaphor but it is as common today as ever it was.

No comments:

Post a Comment