The Iliad

1.What are differences and similarities between Achilles’s relationship with his fellow Achaeans and Hector’s relationship with his fellow Trojans? Outline not only how these two warriors relate to those around them but to each other.
     In the Iliad, Achilles and Hector have many differences along with similarities. To begin with, Achilles (Archaean Army) and Hector (Trojan Army) are both very prominent people in each of their armies. They are very mighty! They both lead their fellow soldiers into battles, whether they are good battles or ones that don’t need to be fought.
Achilles is very full of himself. He is basically just driven for his own glory. He doesn’t care what happens to others, as long as he is happy at the end of it all. He just wants his name to be remembered. He is very strong, with superhuman strength. He has a great relationship with the Gods.
On the other hand, Hector tends to be more driven for himself and those around him. His character seems to run from confrontations at first. Unlike Achilles, he seems to be a bit of a coward. His fellow Trojans are able to walk all over him. They insult him, which in turn brings back his courage. This encourages him to finally stand up to those around him. He has deep love for his family.
In conclusion, even though Achilles and Hector are prominent people in their armies, they have different ways of life. It showed me that there is never a “right’ way to be when it comes to being a leader. Some qualities are great, while others prove not to be. But, at the end of the day, the good and the bad both shine through and give you a sense of who you are.


  1. The excerpt from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried gives context for those of you who have not been in battle. It speaks to the breaking down of all known boundaries, such as good and evil, that occurs in war.
    Achilles breaks the Greek standard and religious observance of respect for the dead by dragging Hector’s body around. Even though Hector is his enemy, his acts would have been seen by a B.C. Greek soldier as sacrilege (violation). What is it that brings Achilles back to balance after his berserk episode, and what significance can this transformation have, what does it communicate?
    Tim O’Brien balances out the boundaries within war. He states, “The truths are contradictory. It can be argued, for instance that war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty.’ This is a perfect example of how you can see both the bad and good within the same thing. There’s usually a positive behind every negative. Sometimes, things are truly not as bad as what they appear to be.
    Achilles is brought back to reality when he sees Hector’s father, King Priam, mourning over his son’s body. He asks him to think about his own father and the love between them. I believe that Achilles was just blindsided by the war, that he didn’t think about what he was actually doing. Since he was very self-glory driven, he didn’t consider other individual’s feelings. When seeing King Priam in tears, it touched his heart and made him realize what was happening and what he had done.



  1. Achilles spends the first 18 books of the epic Refusing the Call. He even refuses the Embassy’s offer, a scene in which he proclaims an interest in a domestic life. This proclamation is interesting when compared to the circumstances of Hector in Book 22 when, as we he waits for Achilles to arrive for the final battle he knows he will ever fight, his father Priam and his mother Hecuba call to him from the gates of Troy. This scenes speaks to the inner-tug these warriors feel between two distinct codes of behavior: 1. The Warrior Code and 2. The Familial Code. The first code is dependent upon Honor and and Victory; the second on responsibility for offspring and spouse. Are these two codes mutually exclusive? Why or why not?
    The Warrier Code and the Familial Code are not mutually exclusive. One is not caused by the other. They are at different ends of the spectrum. Within the Familial Code, the family must be taken care of. It doesn’t need to involve the warrior code. For instance, Hector was very family driven. However, he drew a line between his family and his battles. He didn’t intertwine them. Hector didn’t have a choice, he couldn’t just pick between the two. Achilles also choose the battles over his family.