Skip to content

Unveiling Achilles: Exploring his Epic Love Life and the Impact of the Trojan War

In this article, we will delve deep into the love life of Achilles and the impact of the Trojan War on his relationships. Despite rumors of Achilles being homosexual, there is evidence to suggest that he had relationships with both men and women. We will uncover the truth behind these rumors and shed light on his complex love life. Additionally, we will discuss the impact of the Trojan War on Achilles’ relationships and how it shaped his actions.

Achilles’ Relationships with Men

Achilles and Patroclus

Despite not being explicitly portrayed as a married man, Achilles had a close relationship with Patroclus. They were described in ancient texts as being “beloved companions” or “friends beyond the bounds of friendship.”

When Patroclus died in battle, Achilles became enraged and entered the war. The grief and anger Achilles felt at the loss of his dear friend were said to be unparalleled. Their bond was so intense that Achilles even honored Patroclus with a grand funeral, which involved building a massive funeral pyre and sacrificing numerous animals.

However, this intense bond has led to speculation about Achilles’ sexual orientation. Some interpret their relationship as being romantic or even homosexual, but it is important to note that ancient Greek views on relationships and sexuality were vastly different from modern perspectives. Friendship between men during this time often entailed emotional intimacy and physical closeness.

To further emphasize their relationship, several examples and evidence showcase their close bond. For instance, in the 5th century BC play, “Iphigenia at Aulis” by Euripides, Achilles mourns Patroclus’ death, revealing the depth of his emotions.

Thetis’ Influence on Achilles’ Love Life

Achilles’ mother, Thetis, played a significant role in shaping his love life. Thetis, a nymph, was determined to protect Achilles from the horrors of war and his destined fate. She dressed him as a woman and hid him on the island of Skyros among King Lycomedes’ daughters.

During his time on Skyros, Achilles had an affair with King Lycomedes’ daughter, Deidamia. This relationship resulted in the birth of his son Neoptolemus. However, the consequences of Thetis’ actions and her attempts to protect Achilles would eventually catch up to them.

Thetis’ influence on Achilles’ love life showcases the lengths to which she went to ensure her son’s safety. She orchestrated his concealment and even facilitated a romantic relationship to further her mission.

Achilles’ Relationships with Women

Achilles and Briseis

During the Trojan War, Achilles was given a woman named Briseis as a prize. This sparked a significant conflict between Achilles and the Greek king Agamemnon, resulting in Achilles withdrawing from the war.

When Briseis was forcibly taken by Agamemnon, Achilles expressed outrage, indicating his interest in women and his emotional attachment to Briseis. This event demonstrates Achilles’ capacity for love and possessiveness in his relationships with women.

The relationship between Achilles and Briseis is significant not only because of its impact on the war but also because it illustrates Achilles’ emotional vulnerability and the depth of his connections.

Neoptolemus: Achilles’ Son and Warrior

Achilles fathered a son called Neoptolemus, also known as Pyrrhus, during the Trojan War. Although not directly related to his love life, Neoptolemus played a significant role in the war and was instrumental in the capture of Troy.

According to the Trojan seeress Helenus, Neoptolemus was destined to be a key player in the Greek ranks. His presence was foretold to be crucial for the success of the Greeks in their quest to conquer Troy. Neoptolemus’ importance illustrates the impact of Achilles’ relationships on the overarching narrative of the Trojan War.

Neoptolemus’ complex relationships with his father and other characters in Greek mythology showcase the intricate dynamics involved in ancient Greek familial connections.

The Impact of the Trojan War on Achilles’ Relationships

Achilles’ Actions and Reactions

The death of Patroclus had a profound effect on Achilles’ emotions and actions. His grief and anger fueled his decision to rejoin the war, seeking revenge against Hector, the Trojan prince responsible for Patroclus’ death. This decision to avenge his companion led to significant consequences.

After rejoining the war, Achilles went on a rampage, brutally slaying numerous Trojan warriors, including Hector. His actions had a ripple effect on his relationships, especially with the Trojans, who despised him for his brutality and treated his body with disrespect after his own death.

The consequences of Achilles’ actions highlight the toll that the Trojan War took on his relationships and the intricate web of alliances and enmities that shaped the ancient Greek world.

Achilles’ Anguish and his Legacy

Achilles’ sorrow and anguish at the loss of loved ones during the Trojan War, including Patroclus, had a lasting impact on his relationships and emotional state. The grief he experienced shaped his actions and decisions.

The legacy of Achilles’ love life and the impact it had on Greek mythology and literature cannot be overstated. He became a tragic figure, representing the vulnerability of human emotions and the consequences of unchecked rage and vengeance.

His love life, intertwined with the epic narrative of the Trojan War, continues to inspire countless works of art, literature, and drama.

Neoptolemus’ Relationships and his Betrayal

Neoptolemus’ Marriages

Neoptolemus married three times, including Hector’s widow, Andromache. These marriages illustrate the complex dynamics of power, politics, and personal connections in post-Trojan War Greece. Neoptolemus’ marriages were not merely for love but also served as political alliances and means of solidifying his position.

The significance of these marriages extends beyond personal relationships. They played a vital role in the reconstruction of society after the fall of Troy, shaping the landscape of the Greek world for years to come.

Neoptolemus’ Betrayal of Philoctetes

In Sophocles’ play “Philoctetes,” Neoptolemus is portrayed as a deceitful man. Philoctetes, a renowned Greek warrior who had been abandoned on the island of Lemnos by his comrades, pleads with Neoptolemus to take him home instead of back to Troy.

However, Neoptolemus ultimately betrays Philoctetes by hiding him in the Trojan Horse. This betrayal showcases the complex relationships and moral dilemmas faced by the characters in Greek mythology. Neoptolemus’ actions were driven by his loyalty to the Greek cause and the desire for victory, even at the cost of betraying a fellow Greek warrior.


Summing up the complexities of Achilles’ love life and his relationships with both men and women, we see a multifaceted character driven by profound emotions, intense bonds, and intricate alliances.

Reflecting on the impact of the Trojan War on his relationships and his legacy, Achilles stands as a symbol of the human condition and the enduring power of love and loss.

His epic love life continues to captivate audiences and serve as a poignant reminder of the timeless themes explored in Greek mythology.

Final thoughts on the lasting influence of Achilles’ love life on Greek mythology and literature emphasize the enduring legacy of this legendary figure. Through his relationships, Achilles brings a depth and richness to ancient Greek storytelling that continues to resonate with audiences today.