Comparison essay between Achilles and Hector – Assignment Assistance
I am supposed to compare Achilles and Hektor from Homer’s The Iliad. But I don’t know where I should start.
Homer’s character development is remarkable, and there’s a lot to say about them. Hektor and Achilles are very similar in certain ways but quite different in other aspects. Both were the greatest warriors in their respective armies, Achilles for the Achaians (Greeks) and Hektor for Trojans.
Both men have human flaws as with many epics of Greek mythology. Hektor, despite being one of the most powerful Troy’s warriors could sometimes be impetuous and cowardly at other times. Hektor’s pride led to his eventual death. Achilles was stubborn and angry from the beginning, when he refused fight Agamemnon for his dishonor. Hektor’s body was mutilated by Achilles as a sign of his anger and vengeance.
Despite their similarities, Achilles was different from Hektor in many ways. Hektor was simply mortal, the only child of a king or queen. His mother, Thetis, was the daughter a sea god and Achilles had some divinity. Thetis, a girl when Achilles was young, tried to increase his immortality by giving him ambrosia (the food for the gods) and dipping Achilles in the Styx. Achilles received divine help in battle from Athena, the goddess of Athena.
Hektor was a loving husband, father, brother, and son. He was a family man who valued his family. Achilles was an alone child. He never had children. He only wanted victory and praise on the field.
Hektor was a team player, a skilled commander and soldier. Hektor was a leader and a strong believer in duty. His mother gave him wine, but he refused to drink it because he was too tired and would forget his duty. Achilles was, however, a loner and unreliable leader who would pout or turn violent when he wasn’t getting his way.
The Iliad, Homer’s epic, features two characters so similar but so different: Achilles, the Greek warrior, and Hector, the Prince of Troy. Hector is the strongest Trojan, while Achilles is the Greek side’s strongest fighter. Both are put in the role of heroes by their societies. However, it is clear that they are complex characters with many roles within their respective societies and with their families and with the gods.
Achilles is the Greek soldier. We are immediately introduced to Achilles’ murderous rage from the first lines of the epic.
“Rage–Goddess! Sing the rage of Achilles’ son Peleus, murderous, doomed, at that price…show more…
He has several concubines. The main one is Breises, a captured Trojan lady who was given to Agamemnon as a war reward. He violently reacts to Agamemnon’s request to give her up. This is the proof of his love for her.
Hector in the Trojan society is also given a special role. Hector is not only the handsome son of Priam and a prince but he is also one of the strongest fighters. Achilles, after having killed Hector, says this about Hector:
“Friends — lords the Argives O my captains!”
I am now allowed to kill this man by the gods
Who has caused us pain, loss upon crushing loss?
“More than all their men together” (Book 22, Line 291-294).
His people revere and look up to Hector, and his position as Prince only adds to this respect. Hector’s admiration for his bravery is what keeps them fighting. This is why he knowingly put himself in great danger and at the mercy of death. Hector’s wife, Andromache, and their son are the other motivation for fighting. He shows his love for them both by the conversation he has with Andromache before he leaves Troy. He insists that he not leave her widowed and leave her son orphaned.
“But I would die from shame to face Troy’s men.”
The Trojan women wore long robes and walked behind them.
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