Achilles Versus Hector Essay Research Paper Achilles

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Achilles Versus Hector Essay, Research Paper Achilles vs. Hector The epic myth the Iliad, by Homer, portrayed the plight of a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. Achilles of Greece and Hector of Troy are the heroes that are crucial in the myth. The two main leaders of the war are Agamemnon and Paris who can be inadequate at times. Achilles and Hector have conflicts that progress during the myth, as the war around them rages. In the war the heroes have their fates sealed with prophecies and the underlying Homeric code. The Homeric code is a trend throughout Homer s myths and Greek society, in which the individual prefers having a short, but glorious life. An important fact on heroes is that they are individuals that are revered in their society and are seen as protectors

of this society. That is why Heracles, Jason and the Argonauts, and Theseus were looked upon as great heroes, because they saved society from monsters and evil in their quests. The two heroes must decide if they will fight and uphold their societies or remain at home and not fight in the frivolous war. When the decisions are made the consequences unfold to effect the war, friends, and themselves. The Iliad concludes with the two meeting in a duel, which leads to the unfair death of Hector. As the myth unfolds the two great heroes Achilles and Hector share similarities and differences as Homeric heroes in the Iliad, but in the outcome it is Hector who should receive the respect. The Iliad begins with a war fought between the Greeks and Trojans over a beautiful woman named Helen.

In the beginning, Achilles disagrees with the king Agamemnon in his practices and it takes the goddess Athena to prevent bloodshed between them. The tension is so great between them that it leads to Achilles withdrawal from the war. At the time of the falling out, Achilles is not concerned for the fate of the Greeks, but for himself and his grudge with Agamemnon, My honors never equal yours, whenever we sack some wealthy Trojan stronghold-my arms bear the brunt of the raw, savage fighting, true, but when it comes to dividing up the plunder the lion s share is yours, and back I go (Iliad, I, 193ff.) . The great hero Achilles seems to shy away from his duty as a Greek with his conscience of what he understands as just. Unfortunately for the Greeks and Patroclus, it takes Achilles

some time to realize his role as a Homeric hero. This particular role is a prevailing Greek theme to where it is better to die young with a great name versus living old and dying with little recognition. During Achilles whole life, he and those around him have struggled with this ideal because it was prophesized that he would die young. Before the war began it was prophesized that Troy would eventually fall at the hands of the Greeks. The war could have been prevented if Paris had returned Menelaus wife Helen or fight Menelaus in fair duel. This solution did not occur and Troy s fate was sealed and Hector was forced to decide on his family s well being or fighting for glory and his people. Hector s decision is made difficult with Paris lack of discipline as king with his episodes

with his new wife Helen. This angers Hector, Look, your people dying around the city, the steep walls, dying in arms-and all for you, the battle cries and the fighting flaring up around the citadel. You d be the first to lash out at another-anywhere-you saw hanging back from this, this hateful war (Iliad, VI, 386ff.). Hector was angry and knew of the danger that proceeded him. Helen tried to persuade Hector to stay with her, but he was true to the people of Troy, Love me as you do, you can t persuade me now. No time for rest. My heart races to help our Trojans-they long for me, sorely, whenever I am gone (Iliad, VI, 429ff.). Even when Hector s beautiful loving wife tries to convince him that he should stay with her and their beloved son he gives the same response. Hector is the