Penthesilea: The Amazonian queen’s tragic life

The tale of love, fate, and grief, the lesser-known story of the brave queen of Amazon, Penthesilea.

The beginning and early life of Penthesilea

She was no commoner and was born in status and royalty. She was the daughter of the queen of Amazon, Otrera, and Ares, the God of War. She was born and raised in a matriarchal society where bravery, skill, and strength were ways of life. She was trained in weaponry and the art of war. On top of that, she was also one of the smartest and most intelligent females in Amazon but she was not the only girl in the family. She has three other sisters who were all trained to be warriors and loved each other dearly. But due to a freak accident, she injured her sister Hippolyta which led to her death. The incident broke Penthesilea and she fell into depression. So, how did she go from the lowest pit of her life to the most talked-about warrior of the Trojan war?

Her grief led to the fury which made her participate in the Trojan war

Soon after she was crowned as queen of Amazon and she opted to keep out of the Trojan conflict as it could harm her subjects. But after Trojan prince Hector died in the war, she gathered all her warriors and inflicted her fury in the battleground. Unlike, other queens she went to the battlefield and fought bravely. She was out for blood, specifically, the blood of Achilles.

The unlikely showdown with Achilles

But as she faced the man she was looking to kill; she went straight for his life by fatally wounding him. But Zeus, the Greek god saved Achilles’s life and Achilles got up and plunged a sword through Penthesilea’s heart. But as she died, Achilles suddenly developed the feeling of love and devotion for his enemy and his heart broke when Penthesilea breathed her last. He remained in love even after he murdered her which bewildered his peers. His insanity for his love for dead Penthesilea led him to many conflicts with his people. But at last, he was the one who bid her final goodbye by giving her a hero’s burial.

Penthesilea is not just remembered for Achilles’ crazy devotion to her. She spent most of her life lying in grief because of her sister’s death but still fought heroically for her people and craved a niche for herself.