Achilles and Hector

1. Both Achilles and Hector were the best, strongest, most highly respected soldiers in their respective armies and loved by the gods. Both had a drive to see their armies do best – at least until Achilles decided to leave the army over a spat with the top general. This is where the split in the two mens relationships with their troops begins. Once Achilles leaves, not only does he wish harm on his army (so Agamemnon will see how invaluable his in battle), but the Greeks morale plummets with the loss of their best fighter. When he refuses the Call after his friends try to convince him to fight again, the troops’ morale plummets again and things get really bad for the Greeks. Hector, on the other hand, retains the respect of (and for) his army. Though he dismisses Polydamas’ advice to take the Trojans back behind the wall of Troy and defend the city from the Greeks, the troops follow him eagerly. When the Trojans did eventually go behind the wall, Hector stayed outside to fight Achilles one on one. This is where both men face each other – and it’s almost like they’re fighting themselves. hoth recognize the strength of the other and the fact that one of them is going to die in this standoff.I personally favored Hector a lot more; Achilles was kind a jerk, running off to pout. Hector just wanted to honor his war commitment, win, and go home to his family.

2. After defiling Hector’s body by dragging it back to camp, Achilles takes a break and seems to get his head on straight. Although he’s not exactly repentant, he listens when his mother, Thetis, tells him that Zeus himself has directed that Hector’s body be returned to his father without injury and complies. This communicates a moral lesson – don’t disobey the gods. In Greek society, this would have meant people stayed slightly afraid of the gods, which meant that the government could keep control simply by invoking their names.

3. I really think that both codes are intertwined rather than mutually exclusive. The Honor and Victory code is supported by the Familial code, and the Familial code is upheld by Honor and Victory. Men in Greek times were worth almost nothing – and their families shamed – if they chickened out in battle;but if a man returned home to no wife and children, he had no one to pass his honorable name down to.

One thought on “Achilles and Hector

  1. sbutler12

    I agree with your views on question three regarding whether or not the two are in relation to one another. I think the two don’t rely on one another and it is proven by the actions of Hector. I think the rest of the class pretty much agrees that the two are not exclusive.

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