Achilles and Hector are both warriors, leaders and men of great stature but it’s about there that the similarities end. Achilles is driven by anger and attitude, is violent and unforgiving of a person’s flaws and more centered on warfare than leading peacefully. Achilles “rage” is presented as the catalyst to the Acheaen’s destruction during the Trojan war.
Hector is the opposite side of the same mold. Quite literally his name was interpreted as “he who holds together.” He has a strong sense of family and leadership over the people of Troy, and is focused on keeping his people protected and fruitful rather than creating a society of warriors. However, he still is able to hold his own and be a great warrior when the time calls for it. He’s able to shoulder the responsibility of war and balance it well with the responsibilties of leading his people and his family.
King Priam’s grief over the death of Hector is what snaps Achilles out of his mood. Priam brings his grief to Achilles and asks for Hector’s body for a proper bural ceremony. This display of open weakness over the loss of a loved one brings Achilles to a sense of empathy. This brings a transformation for Achilles from a rage filled war machine to an actual human being with empathetic feelings.
Hector shows that Familial code and Warrior code are not mutually exclusive. He is able to balance each responsibilty to a great degree of success. Achilles shows what it’s like to focus too much on one (warrior) and get lost in it and lose your sense of humanity.
I missed that that was what Hector’s name meant, although, I could see that. He did have a good balance on his family and being a warrior and he held it as long as he could. Achilles did start to re-direct his anger but he did focus too much on avenging Patroclus and killing Hector that he lost his sense of self and did things even outside of their values and norms as a people. Dragging Hector’s body around, how barbarian!
I like how you included what Hector’s name means. I missed that also but it does certainly fit. I also liked your expression when you compared Achiles as a ‘rage filled war machine’… This is very true! It is sad to think that people let anger get the best of them. Achiles situation is pretty extreme. The fact that he had no respect for Hector even after he was dead. I’m glad his anger made a full circle in the end though.
I believe that Hector truly believed in both the code of the warrior and the familial code but, I don’t believe that Hector lived up to the code of the warrior. Hector was able to fight much of the war with the favor of Zeus, making it possible for the Trojans to prevail for a time. But, instead of running when receiving poor omens from the Gods Hector charges fool hardly into the Archeans, leading to Hectors ultimate demise. Hector cowardly runs from Achilles three times before tricked by the gods to stand and fight. I believe because of Hectors duty to his family it led him to a cowardly death. Showing that to follow the code of the warrior and the family may be more difficult than even Hector realized.