Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: The Odyssey, Achilles, War, Anger, Patriotism, People, Warrior, Print

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/12/05

The ‘Iliad’ portrays several of its male characters as heroes, which conforms to the heroic warrior code during the ancient Greece. Every warrior is determined to win the battle. Hector and Achilles emerge as the major characters in the war. The Greeks and the Trojans are at war with each other and despite the similarities in the characteristics of Hector and Achilles, who belong to different sides of the war, they differ greatly. Moreover, Hector comes forth as nobler than Achilles. In this discussion, the similarities between Hector and Achilles will be addressed, as well as the differences that qualify Hector to be nobler than Achilles with respect to their personality, patriotism and perspective towards the war.
Hector and Achilles are similar given the role they play in their various armies. Hector emerges as the commander of the Trojans, whereas Achilles is the commander of the Greeks (Achaians). They are both great warriors and exhibit characteristics of heroism. Both heroes are proud and are determined to attain glory in the war, besides wanting respect from everybody (Benardete and Ronna 27). Notwithstanding this significant similarity, Hector and Achilles differ in the manner that they approach the war.
Hector and Achilles contrast in their personalities with regards to anger. Hector is portrayed as a quiet and calm warrior. Hector’s calmness is demonstrated after the end of the first day of the war when he returns home, and the daughters and wives come running to him with intent to inquire apprehensively about their fathers and husbands. In response, Hector answers them sedately, before proceeding to the palace to meet his wife, children and parents (Mitchell 87). Conversely, Achilles deep-rooted anger and pride is eminent, despite his proficiency in the Greek army. Achilles’ anger is described by the author by stating that "Anger ring, goddess, the anger of Achilles which brought the Greeks endless sufferings”. Furthermore, Achilles anger is manifested in the manner that he addresses people. For instance, while addressing Agamemnon, he affront him by saying "You drunkard, bitch eyed man; you have not the courage to fight, You know how to sponge upon others" (p. 102). Intrinsically, in spite of Achilles being a nifty warrior, his anger works against him and thus making Hector nobler than him.
Hector is also nobler than Achilles in presenting his patriotism to his country. Hector comes forth as a true patriot because he is quick to sacrifice his interest and life for the sake of the people of his country. This is demonstrated when he turns down his mother’s persuasion to refresh himself with wine. He maintains that “No wine for me, my dear mother; you will cripple me and make me forget that I must fight” (Locke 32). The degree of his patriotism is outstanding insofar that he is not ready to trade it for anything, not even his mother’s persuasion. Unlike Hector, Achilles is portrayed as a selfish commander who lacks the motivation to take care of the people of his nation. His sole concern was his to take care of his pride and selfish interests. His dishonorableness during the war is delineated when he chooses to withdraw from the war after losing Briseis, without paying attention to the criticality of the moment (Lyons 57). As such, Achilles is considered a treasonist rather than a patriot, like Hector, whose superior nobility is portrayed by his perpetual patriotism.
Additionally, Hector’s superior nobility is attested to through his perspective on the purpose of the war. Hector regards the wars as “necessary evil" (Clinton et al. 170) and thence exhibiting his reluctance in the war, despite his braveness. In essence, Hector longs for peace and his motivation for engaging in the war was his bid to protect the people of his nation, which is a humanistic ground. On the other hand, Achilles is described as a “man who comes to live by and for violence” "(p. 170). To Achilles, his motivation for fighting is vengeance and his desire to kill people and watch them suffer in his hands, which is a beastly ground. Given this, Hector’s superior nobility is depicted through his humanistic nature against the beastly nature of Achilles.

Works Cited

Benardete, Seth, and Ronna Burger. Achilles and Hector: The Homeric Hero. South Bend, IN:
St. Augustine's Press, 2005. Print.
Clinton, Jerome et al. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. New York: W.W. Norton &
Co, 2009. Print.
Locke, Louis G. Literature of Western Civilization. New York: Ronald Press Co, 1952. Print.
Lyons, Deborah. Dangerous Gifts: Gender and Exchange in Ancient Greece. Austin, TX:
Mitchell, Stephen. The Iliad: (The Stephen Mitchell Translation). New York: NY: Atria Books,
2011. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 05) Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/hector-vs-achilles-in-the-illiad-essay-example/
"Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example." WePapers, 05 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/hector-vs-achilles-in-the-illiad-essay-example/. Accessed 20 April 2021.
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"Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example." WePapers, Dec 05, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/hector-vs-achilles-in-the-illiad-essay-example/
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"Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 05-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/hector-vs-achilles-in-the-illiad-essay-example/. [Accessed: 20-Apr-2021].
Hector Vs. Achilles In The ‘illiad’ Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/hector-vs-achilles-in-the-illiad-essay-example/. Published Dec 05, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2021.

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