Achilles Vs Hector Essay
Achilles vs. Hector Essay
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Achilles vs. Hector
In the Iliad is a very interesting epic with features two main central characters that are similar in some ways but totally different in other ways. In this epic you will be introduced to Hector and Achilles. Two men from each side in the great Trojan-Greek war. They were both heroes to their people despite their clearly different contrast in their personalities. In this paper I will highlight the life of both of these two leaders of the Greek and Trojans in this epic the Iliad. Also a little will be shed of how Homer portrays the characters deeper then an average thought. I will attempt to show the complexity of his thought process in forming the climax of these two characters coming to battle. Hector, one of…show more content…
Educated by Phoenix and the centaur Chiron, Achilles led the Myrmidons in 50 ships to Troy, and during the first nine years of the Trojan War was responsible for the capture of 12 Trojan cities.
In the tenth year Agamemnon, being obliged to surrender his captive Chryseis, made good his loss by depriving Achilles of a favorite slave girl, Briseis. Achilles withdrew from active service to sulk in his quarters, and the Greeks were so hard pressed in consequence that they sent a deputation proposing to restore Briseis with additional rewards. Achilles rejected their offer. At length, however, he agreed to lend his arms and armor to Patroclus, who was killed by Hector in the ensuing fight. Moved to fury by the death of his friend, Achilles made peace with Agamemnon, obtained new armor from Hephaestus, and eventually killed Hector. In the Iliad Achilles is already doomed to die before the Scaean Gate of Troy, and in the Odyssey there is a reference to his funeral. According to subsequent Greek legends Achilles was killed by Paris, who shot a poisoned arrow into Achilles' heel.
When you read the Iliad you really can notice the contrast between Hector and Achilles. Hector is a man who loves his child and wife and who can forget war when a little child cries. Andromache and Hector are instantly humanized in a way that no other character is in the Iliad except Achilles throughout and Priam at the very end. Their personalities and how they live their
Hector Vs. Achilles In The Iliad
A HeroIn the Iliad, many of the male characters display heroic characteristics, consistentwith the heroic warrior code of ancient Greece. Heroes try to win glory in battle, yet areoften characterized as having a distinctly human side. They each have certain strengths andweaknesses, which are shown throughout the conflicts described in the Iliad. According toHomer, a hero is one who is willing to risk his or her life for what they know to be good,true, and beautiful. The first examples of such characters are Achilles and Hector. Thesetwo characters have obvious differences in their approaches to fitting the heroic characterto what they separately believe. However, despite their differences and the fact that theyare fighting for opposing armies and meet each other with hatred in battle, they also havenumerous similar traits which eventual lend themselves to a comparison between thegreater hero. They both display behavior that could be described as heroism. Howeverthroughout the Iliad, one could see how Hector, going through the same hardships asAchilles, determined to stay firm and press on with his army even if this meant sacrificinghis life.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a hero is a man that is recognizedby his achievements and qualities. Achilles and Hector were both great men with virtuewhom no soldier in battle could ever stand a chance against. Even though both of theseheroes strived to gain as much honor as they could, one either used it for their cities gloryor for themselves. Later, in Book XXI, Achilles shows everyone the Achaeans battleprowess when he went to the river and killed Trojan soldiers one by one becauseof rage (XXI 493-495). Hector, on the other hand, was a man who wanted the best for hispeople even if it meant to leave family behind and fight against the greatest enemy (VI155). He did not want to be considered as a coward by backing away from war likeAchilles and let his men die by the hand of there enemies. Since Achilles wanted to keepaway from the war and save his own life, he did not care about another soldiers life untilthe death of his own friend. This does not prove to is people that Achilles took the risk tofight with the rest of his men like Hector did even if it meant eventually dying.
Homer intertwines the heroic code throughout the Iliad showing what a true herois. During the Achaean time period, a hero was likely thought of war heroes or a nobleking. The Achaeans along with the Trojans believed that if individual wanted to become ahero, one had to win on the battlefield. One of the most popular ways to achieve this is theone-on one duels, also known as an aristera. Both Achilles and Hector were great...
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