Comparison and Contrast: Achilles and Hector In Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, the subject is war. The Greek army has traveled to Troy to battle the Trojan army, resulting in a war that rages on for the better parrot a ten year time span. The men of both armies fight not only tort their prospective sides, but also for their own personal glory, which is consistent with the heroic warrior code of ancient Greece.
Two of the main characters, Achilles and Hector, both continuously display a complexity of character that remains evident throughout the poem. Achilles fights for the Greek army and is noninsured the greatest of the Greek warriors, While Hector, vivo fights for the Trojan army, is not only a prince of Troy, but is also considered the greatest of the Trojan warriors. “Achilles is a man who comes to live by and for violence” (Law 115).
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When his pride is wounded by the Achaean commander, Agamemnon, he spitefully “Withdraws from the fighting” only to be drawn back into it “by the death of his closest friend, Patrols” (Law 1 15), who is killed by Hector in battle. Any compassion that Achilles might have once had is now gone, destroyed by grief and replaced with rage. As he returns to the fighting, “his attacks against the Trojan are unnecessarily brutal and pitiless, ” as he succumbs to a lust for vengeance (Bore”.
It is only after he has killed Hector and is faced with the grief stricken Prima, “clasping in supplication the terrible hands that have killed so many of his sons” (Law 115), that we begin to see the heart of Achilles begin to soften, as he returns Hectors body to his father for proper, honorable burial, For Hector, war “is a necessary evil” in which he “fights bravely, but reluctantly” (Law 115). In contrast to Achilles, he longs for peace, and although he realizes that peace is not likely to return to Troy, “he thinks astrological tooth peaceful past” (Law 115).
Hector possesses a gentleness that is apparent not only in his relationships with his wife, Andromeda, and their son, but also with Helen, who is “the cause of the war that he knows in his heart will bring his city to destruction” (Law 115), Hector is a proud man, and it is this pride that “makes him more afraid of being called a coward than he is afraid of facing Achilles” (Boreal It is this pride that drives Hector to remain outside the safety of the city walls as he boldly confronts his fate. However, it would seem that an innate human instinct to survive takes over Hector when he hen turns and flees from Achilles.