The Iliad

1. Achilles and Hector were both the greatest warriors of there respective armies. Achilles for the Achaeans and Hector for the Trojans. Hector is loved by his people, he shows a sincere love for his wife and children. He makes some costly decisions in the war that costs the lives of his people but he stands up to Achilles even when the odds were against him. Achilles has deep character flaws and this effects his ability to act with nobility and integrity. Because of Achilles’ pride he turns his back on his own and prays that the trojans will defeat his fellow men. In the end they were both killed by the same person, the Ajax. A deal made by Hector and Ajax to have Achilles killed was the deal and after that was done Hector did not come up with his part of the deal so Ajax killed him too. One difference between the two was that Hector was born into a royal family and was raised to be the king of Troy. Achilles was raised to be a great warrior and was asked to be king of Greece but denied the offer. The greatest difference between them was that Achilles fought for death (personal pride) while Hector fought for peace (for his people).

2. After Achilles berserk episode, he came back to balance from Hectors father Priam. Priam wanted to give his son a funeral and to be let go of with respect. Priam begged Achilles to release him so that he could do that. Through their mutual suffering, Priam and Achilles, have a human understanding. Achilles seen how his own father would be if he was killed so that made him understand what Priam was going through, so he gave Hector’s body back.

3. The Warrior code and the Familial code are not mutually exclusive. Throughout the entire poem, it is showed over and over again that the warrior puts honor, bravery, noble, and glory over family life. It is much more noble to fight for your people than to be with your family. Both Achilles and Hector chose to fight in the war. Achilles choses to fight rather than spending time with his aging father and Hector choses to fight risking orphaning his son because he knows in the end it will bring his father glory.

2 thoughts on “The Iliad

  1. jtodd

    I think that being able to put Priam’s loss of Hector into the context of how his father will feel, Achilles is finally able to find some sense of humanity. In this moment he is able to be compassionate and connect with his sense of loss.

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  2. Mary Filbin

    I am not sure we read the same version, Ajax plays a role in the Iliad but the version I read has Achilles killing Hector and in the end Achilles is still alive. I agree that Achilles was fighting for personal gain and Hector for his people. Finding balance of war and family is a hard battle to win if one can.

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