Honor is defined as a high respect given to an individual that brings credit. To receive honor is paralleled to being crowned with jewels and being regarded as a role model to all. The society that the Iliad portrays is “centered on the battlefield of achievement and its rewards” (Homer, xxi). The figures in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, partake in events that will allow them to “receive more honor and more material rewards” even if it means that they must indulge themselves in heightened risks that could end in death (xxiii). Hector, one of the most pivotal characters in the poem, illustrates the lust for glory and ignorance of everything else that holds just as much importance. As his character is strengthened, it can be seen that every
Warriors of ancient Greece were considered heroes by following the Heroic Code of excellence. They achieved this by acquiring a kleos; establishing fame, glory and a positive reputation. It was not an easy task to become a Grecian hero. Building and maintaining kleos meant that a warrior must be brave and strong, be “a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.” The solider had to protect his friends and harm his enemies, respect the gods and his elders, and most of all value his honor over his life. To die in battle, and be spoken of after death was the most important act of honor for a hero. The Greek tragedy, Iliad, attributed to Homer, portrays Achilles as the most gallant hero of the Athenian army. The story tells of Achilles, who develops into the greatest hero of the Trojan War. While the end of the end of the poem does portray Achilles as the solider that the story foretells throughout the poem he does not act like that. Many times in the story Achilles actions are perceived as unheroic but ultimately they shape the course of the few weeks of the Trojan Wars described in the Iliad, the Achaean’s final victory at Troy and his emergence as a hero.
Hector is revered and looked up to by his people, and his status as Prince bolsters this. The Trojan’s admiration in his bravery is what keeps him fighting, knowingly putting himself in great danger and in the hands of death.
Unlike Achilles, Hector bravely stays in the battle and calls upon Achilles. As Achilles rejoins the battle, Hector cowardly runs from Achilles thus also showing an un-hero like response from Hector. As the epic poem climax’s into the battle between Achilles and Hector, both characters are in angst to whom the God’s will side with.”I know you well- I see my fate before me./Never a chance that I could win you over.../Iron inside your chest, that heart of yours./But now beware, or my curse will draw God’s wrath/upon your head, that day when Paris and lord Apollo-/for all your fighting heart-destroy you at the Scaen Gates!” (Homer 22:420-424) In this quote Hector realizes that the Gods have sided with Achilles and death is near to Hector. As Achilles pursues to kill Hector, Hector pleads for a proper burial. This is because in Ancient Greek times, it was often believed if you did not have a proper burial, you were destined to suffer between worlds until your rites of passage into the underworld were completed. The Greeks saw immortality as areté, which means excellence and virtue. This is achieved through victory in battle which Hector was not able to obtain. “But this Achilles - first he slaughters Hector,/ He rips away the noble prince's life/ then lashes him to his chariot, drags him round/ his beloved comrade's tomb. But why, I ask you?/ What good will it do him?What honor will he gain?/Let that man
In Homer’s “The Iliad”, we come across Achilles and Hector. Both characters are seen as brave soldiers of great honor, yet they have very different opposing traits. Hector is a compassionate man, who would do anything possible to fight for his family. While Achilles on the other hand, though he can be compassionate, he is also a man of immense pride who can be selfish and would do anything to protect his honor, even at the cost of others demise or destruction “…Achilles’ rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain…” (Homer 5). Achilles is more of a loner, only thinks of himself when making decisions, hence hurting people. However, they both have shown other sides to their personality that we are not familiar with like
No one is perfect, and no one can please everybody. The Greeks think that if they have status and respect, they will have honor and glory, so they always try to achieve status and respect by many different ways. In the Iliad, Homer describes the best way to gain honor and glory is getting victory in the war, as well as courage. Hector is a great fighter, and he always brings the great affection in a war when he appears. “Glorious” Hector, “who was ever the bravest fighter of the Trojans” (Homer, Iliad 6.460), also show his courage by facing the enemy on the field without fear, so he always has respect from his men. Otherwise, in the Greek culture, they often have athletic competitions for their people, and success in those competitions can give that person honor and glory. In another ways, the Greeks often use material and their wealth to gain honor and glory. A person can get the respect from others by giving their material. In the Greek society, if someone has a lot of wealth, they will have more power, and power brings honor and glory for people who get it. Therewith, a woman has a very important role in the honor of a man. For example, by the abduction of Helen, Paris had caused great damage to the honor of Menelaus, and the war between the Greeks and the Trojans began from this cause. For the Greeks, losing the honor is unacceptable, so Achilles and famous Greek leaders help
In today's society, a man's mind is his most important tool. In the past, however, a man's courage and strength is all that he had to keep him alive. In Homer's Iliad, courage is valued over honesty and even faithfulness to one's wife. If a hero is the most courageous man in the bunch, then Hector is more heroic than Achilles and King of the Myrmidons. Hector is the true hero of Homer's Iliad.
Nestor, noble charioteer, captures best the essence of Achilles when he says, “Achilles, brave as he is, he has no care, / no pity for our Achaeans” (Homer 11.787-788). Most readers of the Iliad, consider Achilles the greatest warrior of The Trojan War, however, he lacks an important characteristic; care for others. Achilles’ best friend Patroclus, has described him as a great warrior, but a terrible person (11.774). In Homer's Iliad, Hector the great warrior of the Trojans, exhibits a selfless leadership approach, which contrasts to Achilles’ selfish actions as a leader. In order to be a great warrior, one’s loyalty must belong to something outside of themselves, and it’s through Achilles’ self-centered actions, that he loses the title of the greatest warrior to Hector. As the two capital warriors of the different sides of the Trojan war, Hector and Achilles provide an interesting contrast between two powerful leaders. Known for being loyal, selfless, and dedicated to his army, Hector contrasts to Achilles, who is self-serving in every aspect of his life. Despite his defeat at the hands of Achilles, Hector proves to be the greatest warrior of the Trojan War. The first characteristic Hector possesses, making him the superior warrior, is his ability to set his pride aside when he knows it will benefit his army. In contrast, Achilles allows his pride to control him and detriment his army. Another vital characteristic Hector’s possesses, making him a better leader, and
Before his death the Trojan leader Hector exclaims, “Well let me die⎼but not without struggle, not without glory, no, in some great clash of arms that even men to come will hear of down the years,” (22.359-362). This proclamation reveals an important theme in Homer’s Iliad. Throughout the epic poem, the concept of honor and shame constantly reappears, from being the cause of the plot to personification as Greek and Trojan heroes to the dichotomy of honor and shame within the gods. Homer uses honor and shame as a major theme of the Iliad to show how important these attributes are to the human condition.
This extract from Book 6 of Homer’s The Iliad comes at a point where the Trojans are heavily losing to the Achaeans. Hélenus, son of Priam has instructed Hector to return to the city to gather the elders to tell them to offer prayers to the gods so that goddess Athena may pity Troy. It is interesting that Homer should choose Hector to deliver this message rather than an unimportant character; Homer uses it as a devise to develop Hector and make him a more (if not the most) sympathetic character. He shows his contrasting sides; his family oriented side as opposed to the cruel warrior. The interaction with his child, Astyanax, brings a moment of tenderness and humanises Hector.Hector’s contrasting aspects to his character can be explored through
Homer concentrates on Hector throughout the chapter and makes comments about how brave and courageous he was. He also mentions that he is a great commander and leader of the Trojan army. In addition, Hector knew the reason behind the invasion which was Paris stealing Menelaus’ wife, Helen. This gives Agamemnon an excuse to attack Troy. Both Hector and his wife know that he is soon to meet his death, it’s inescapable. However, even though it is not his fight, he still feels compelled to go to war with his country and search for some vague glory. Hector seems to be very heroic. Moreover, Homer describes Hector as an immense warrior almost god-like. But in
In the Iliad Homer depicts Hector as the hero. Hector is courageous for fighting even though Apollo abandoned him. Hector knew he would be in a big disadvantage in terms of strength and ability if he fought Achilles, but he had the courage to stand up to him. Hector was willing to fight Achilles for his people and his city, he knew in order for Troy to win the war, he had to defeat Achilles even if it will cost him his life. Achilles is portrayed as the villain or snake with deadly poisons. Hector follows an honor code for burial arrangements while Achilles was not willing to do the same and in the end desecrate his body. Achilles drags Hectors corpse behind his chariot around the city, trying to mock him. It shows how disgraceful Achilles and just makes Hector seem like more of a hero. When Hector died, the people of Troy cried out for Hector. Hector fought for his family and his people, while Achilles fought for glory and personal honor. Heroes are people who are willing to sacrifice themselves.
Hector fights in his kingdom, unlike any of the Achaean commanders do, which shows even more honor. Hector has a deep real love for his wife and children. They are his first and foremost thought, not himself such as Achilles. As much as he loves his family, he is always committed to his responsibilities for Troy. When he took the leadership role of Troy, he commits his life to serving his country and follows through with his commitment until his death.
Throughout the Iliad, heroic characters make decisions based on a specific set of principles, which are referred to as the "code of
I believe that Hector is the greater hero in the Trojan War. Hector is the bravest warrior in the Trojan army. He meets his match when he fights Achilles, but he still manages to wreak havoc on the Achaean army during Achilles’ period of absence. He leads the assault that finally defeated the Achaeans. He is the first and only Trojan to set an Achaean ship on fire.