Hektor Is A Greater Hero Than Achilleus

9 September 2017

Essay, Research Paper

Every civilisation throughout history has had its heroes, those who represent the values of their society to the highest grade. In today s society, we think of heroes as super-humans who run faster than a hurrying train and spring over edifices in a individual edge. In ancient Greece, heroes were people who demonstrated great efforts of strength and enormous bravery in conflict. Grecian heroes possessed wealth, power, and bravery which earned them regard and award in the community. In the Iliad, Homer tells the narrative of two warriors, Achilleus and Hektor, both of whom exhibit many of the qualities of a Grecian hero. Although Hektor battles against the Greeks, Homer expounds on his good qualities and even makes him more heroic than Achilleus.

Hektor s shows his gallantry in Homer s description of him as the greatest of the Trojans. Homer describes Hektor s strength and illustriousness several times in the heroic poem. In Helen s conversation with Hektor in Book VI, she entreaties to Hektor and makes several statements about him being the best adult male among the Trojans, much better than her hubby Paris. Helen says, I wish I had been the married woman of a better adult male than this is ( book VI, ll. 26 ) . The better adult male to whom she refers is Hektor. Hektor besides receives praised at his entombment ceremonial when the adult females of Troy speak in his award. Here, his married woman, Andromache, says, There were so many Achaians/whose dentitions bit the huge Earth, crush down by the custodies of/Hektor ( book XXIV ll. 286-289 ) . Andromache makes it really clear that Hektor fought courageously and dominated the Grecian forces. Even the Gods concede Hektor s illustriousness in their addresss. In book XVIII, Thetis warns Achilleus that Hektor has great strength and that Achilleus should non travel to contend him without Godhead armour. Homer s description of Hektor s power and strength lays a solid foundation for turn outing that Hektor s gallantry exceeds that of Achilleus because he is the greatest of the Trojans. Priam does non contend due to his age and Paris does non assist the Trojan forces, so Hektor burdens the full weight of the war on his ain shoulders. He gives his aid for the good of his metropolis. Hektor shows his love for his community several times in his addresss to fellow Trojans. In his talk with Paris, he urges Paris to fall in the conflict for the interest of Troy, particularly since the war is being fought for him. Besides, in his talk with Helen, Hektor says, Already my bosom within is rushing me to defend/the Trojans, who when I am off long greatly to hold me ( book VI ll. 37-38 ) . Hektor shows that he knows he controls the destiny of Troy and he acts as its exclusive defender. He besides protects Troy to assist his loved 1s, in peculiar Andromache and Astyanax. His relationship with Andromache, shown during their conversation, has love and compassion, particularly compared to Helen and Paris loveless relationship. Hektor shows his love for his boy, Astyanax, in the scene when he plays with Astyanax after he was shouting. In these scenes, Homer gives Hektor a loving, fatherly image. Homer shows this really human side of Hektor in contrast to his illustriousness as a warrior. The emotional side of Hektor illustrates his gallantry merely every bit much as his strength and power.

Homer makes the award of adult male a cardinal subject of the Iliad. Several characters of the Iliad, particularly Agamemnon, Achilleus, and Hektor, allow their actions be driven by pride and award. Harmonizing to the ancient Greeks, life and deceasing with award was of premier importance to one s heroic position. The Iliad discusses Hektor s honest life and decease twice. In Hektor s conversation with Andromache, Andromache says she wants him to halt combat because he is fated to decease. Hektor answers, I would experience deep shame/before the Trojans, and the Trojan adult females with draging garments, /if like a coward I were to shrivel aside from the combat ( book VI ll. 117-119 ) . Hektor clea

rly would instead accept his destiny and dice than be dishonored and non fight. The mentality of Hektor in book Twenty-two when he is at the Skian Gates and debating whether to withdraw into the metropolis besides shows Hektor s award and pride. He decides to remain outside and accept his destiny instead than travel inside the metropolis, put on the line his award and have to be scolded by his brother Poulydamas. Homer s description of Hektor s bravery even in the face of decease shows his willingness to continue his award at all costs.

Although the Iliad describes Achilleus as a hero, Homer shows some defects in Achilleus character that would do people to doubt his gallantry. One major defect Homer shows in book I, is when Achilleus negotiations with his mother-goddess, Thetis. In his conversation, he wants Thetis to inquire Zeus to assist the Trojans push back the Achaians so they will recognize that they need Achilleus in order to win. This scandalous act by Achilleus diminishes my position of him as a hero. Wishing one s ground forces to lose, no affair what the fortunes, lacks true gallantry. Achilleus merely wants his ground forces to lose so Agamemnon will necessitate him and apologise for disgracing him. He clearly fights in this war for personal glorification and addition as opposed to Hektor, who is contending for Troy and for award. Achilleus lese majesty strongly diminishes his heroic position.

Achilleus gallantry is besides diminished in his battle with Hektor in book XXII. Although, Achilleus defeats Hektor in conflict, and hence seems to be a mightier warrior, one has to look at how Achilleus wins to find who genuinely battles better. Achilleus merely won because he had aid from the Gods. Hektor, on the other manus, really had the Gods against him. Athene tricked Hektor into contending by masking herself as his brother and converting him to contend. Athene so deserted him in the center of the conflict. Conversely, Achilleus had the aid of Athene. Hektor had no aid from the Gods after Apollo abandoned him shortly into the pursuit. Achilleus Godhead aid besides appears in the first spear throws of each of the warriors. Achilleus throw girls while Hektor s throw merely fails because it hits Achilleus shield. The God Hephaistos made this shield, which represents another manner the Gods helped Achilleus win the conflict. Homer does non demo who would win if this was a just battle. In fact, some might state he shows that Hektor is stronger because Hektor s first spear throw was on mark. Although being favored by the Gods may be a epic quality to the Greeks, in today s society it is non associated with gallantry.

Although this essay is meant to praise Hektor and diminish Achilleus, I must profess certain points that can weaken my statements. There are several illustrations when Homer describes the epic Acts of the Apostless of Achilleus. For illustration, Achilleus wins the conflict and putting to deaths Hektor, hence, one can reason about Achilleus high quality over Hektor in conflict. Achilleus devotedness to his friend, Patrokolos, who died in conflict demonstrates another one of his heroic qualities. Achilleus stays loyal to his friend even after he accepts the ransom and so asks for Patrokolos forgiveness. Last, Achilleus shows a human side that eluded him throughout most of the heroic poem. He gives back Hektor s organic structure to Priam and even congratulationss Priam for his courage. After all his hatred and choler, Achilleus shows compassion, although non about every bit much as Hektor. Despite these facts, Hektor surpasses Achilleus as the greater hero of the Iliad.

In the Iliad, Homer brightly shows the gallantry of two opposing warriors. The contrasting heroes themselves become a major subject and add an interesting component of contrast to the narrative. Fascinatingly, Homer makes Hektor, a Trojan, the greater hero of the Greek heroic poem, the Iliad. The contrasting gallantry between Hektor and Achilleus is one ground we are still reading the Iliad over 2000 old ages after its creative activity.

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