Achilles’ mother, a sea-nymph. Thetis cares greatly for her mortal son, and is determined to fulfill his wishes before he dies. Legend has it that when Achilles was an infant, Thetis dipped in him the river Styx to make him immortal, making him invulnerable except for Achilles’ heel, the place where Thetis held him.
Thetis Quotes in The Iliad
The The Iliad quotes below are all either spoken by Thetis or refer to Thetis. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:).
Book 1 Quotes
Book 9 Quotes
Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies . . .
true, but the life that’s left me will be long,
the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.
Page Number and Citation:
Explanation and Analysis:
Thetis Character Timeline in The Iliad
The timeline below shows where the character Thetis appears in The Iliad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Weeping, Achilles prays to his mother Thetis, a sea goddess, to help him get revenge on Agamemnon. He says that because he... (full context)
After twelve days, Zeus returns to Olympus. Thetis goes to see him and kneels before him, asking him to honor her son by... (full context)
Although Zeus attempted to make his promise to Thetis in secret, Hera has seen everything. She taunts Zeus for trying to make secret plans,... (full context)
Achilles tells the embassy that his mother Thetis told him of two possible fates: either Achilles can die at Troy and win everlasting... (full context)
Achilles lets loose a “terrible, wrenching cry” that his mother Thetis hears. All of the sea nymphs of the ocean gather with Thetis and fly to... (full context)
...that he is now ready to accept his fate by revenging himself on the Trojans. Thetis observes that Achilles no longer has any armor of his own, and tells him that... (full context)
On Olympus, Thetis reaches the home of Hephaestus, which houses magnificent forges. Thetis is welcomed into the house,... (full context)
...forges a helmet and breastplate. When his work his finished, he lays the armor at Thetis’ feet. (full context)
As dawn rises, Thetis arrives at Achilles’ camp with the new armor. Achilles is still in deep mourning, lying... (full context)
...Hera, but also indicates that the gods loved Hector dearly. He sends Iris to call Thetis to Olympus. When she arrives, Zeus instructs her to go to Achilles and to tell... (full context)
Thetis flies to Achilles side to comfort him. Achilles is still choked with sorrow. Thetis asks... (full context)