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The Comparison Of Two Ancient Greek Warriors, Achilles And Hector

1017 words - 5 pages

In this essay, I will compare the characteristics of Achilles and Hector using the information provided by Homer in his version of The Iliad. I will be explaining how they are similar and different to one another, plus their reasons for fighting in the brutal battles that take place in the story. Achilles and Hector are similar in some ways but very different in others. They are both the greatest warriors of their respective armies, Achilles for the Achaeans and Hector for the Trojans. However, their personality traits are very dissimilar. The comparison of Achilles and Hector shows similar traits between them but Homer describes Achilles as the superior warrior in The Iliad.
Achilles and ...view middle of the document...

124-6). His pride eventually kills him but as Homer explains, cowardly behavior is unacceptable to the Ancient Greeks and they would much rather die than be called a coward.
Despite these similarities between them, Achilles and Hector prove very different. Firstly, Achilles is half god and half human. His mother Thesis is a daughter of a sea god. Hector, on the other hand, is purely mortal and human. Furthermore, their personalities are very unalike. In the beginning of The Iliad, Homer describes the typical traits of Achilles, his rage: “The rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, / murderous and doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses” (1.1-2). In addition, he is sometimes an unreliable leader for the Greeks. He is absent from battle and this results in the killing of his best comrade, Patroclus. However, he shows some emotion and mercy when he lets Priam take Hector’s body and has a conversation with his biggest enemy: “Your son is now set free, old man, as you requested. / Hector lies in state” (24.704-5). This part of The Iliad shows us a completely different Achilles who is merciful. On the other hand, Hector is a great warrior and commander for Troy; he fights his own battles; he is a team player. We also see a different side to Hector other than being a combatant. We witness his love for his wife and child; he proves himself to be a family man. Hector greets his wife and child, showing his emotions towards them:

… And his father laughed,
his mother laughed as well, and glorious Hector,
quickly lifting the helmet from his head,
set it down on the ground, fiery in the sunlight,
and raising his son he kissed him, tossed him in his arms,
lifting a prayer to Zeus and the other deathless gods. (6.429-33)

This shows us that Hector can be sensitive. He can stop being the manslayer that he needs to be on...

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