Hector and Achilles: protagonist and antagonist *The lights of stars that were extinguished ages ago still reach us. So it is with great men who died centuries ago, but still reach us with the radiations of their personalities. ” -Kali Gibbon Greek literature and mythology present two epic warriors in the Iliad: Hector and Achilles. The modern Greeks favored both heroes during their ancient time period. In Greek, H©kit¶r literally means “to hold” or ‘to have,” which symbolizes his character as he who holds everything together.
On the Other hand, the name Achilles represents a combination Of grief’ and “a nation. People, tribe,” and this can be decoded as the sorrow of a nation. Achilles fights for the Greeks, while Hector defends the Trojan. Though the names Achilles and Hector have different meanings, the actual characters may be similar. When the adventures of Hector and Achilles collide, there is little distinction between their outward appearances; however, they have different identities. The model of the chivalrous warrior is Homer’s Hector, prince of the Trojan.
He is faithful to Troy during war when he exclaims, “l would die of home to tact the men of Troy and the Trojan women trailing their long robes if would shrink from battle now, a coward. Nor does the spirit urge me on that way. I Eve learned it all too well. To stand up bravely, always to tight in the front ranks of Trojan soldiers, winning my father great glory” (Iliad 210), This proves his loyalty to fellow Trojan. One day it is recorded that no Greek can stand against him in battle. The valor of Hector sparks momentum in his warriors.
Also, Hector demonstrates no fear as he battles Ajax, a massive Greek giant, ND trades him blow for blown Yet, as fierce and stout as Hector can be, he is also humane. He respects his elderly parents, shows compassion and remains an equal with his fife Andromeda, and he is a kind-hearted father. A great example is depicted in the Iliad verge Hector walks off the battlefield, with blood splattered armor, towards his son, “But Hector took the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the ground.
Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled him in his arms, praying over him the While to Jove and to all the gods” (Iliad 124). Hector understands the appearance of mutiny after war is horrifying. Therefore, he proceeds toward his son, takes often plumed horse- hair headdress, and picks up Assistant and embraces him lovingly, while at the same time Andromeda watches from a distance. This shows Hector as a loving father and caring husband, Hector has two sides of character, where in one moment he stands boldly at war, and then in another moment an affectionate man of thought and feeling.
This dual nature composes the morals of Hector. However, the Iliad presents another warrior. Though not always visible, the moral f Achilles is quite different from Hector. When Achilles is born, Thesis, mother of Achilles, tries to make him immortal by dipping him in the river Styx. However, he is left vulnerable on his heel, the place in which his mother held him, Achilles is a deem-god and is practically invincible. He is very similar to Hector, They both are well trained in battle and their men love them. Achilles rallies the Greeks against enemies much like Hector does faith the Trojan.
However, Achilles yields an arrogant character during battle. At one point during the war with the Trojan, Hector kills Patrols, a dear friend Of Achilles, which enrages Achilles. He loses all sanity and goes on a killing spree during battle: “As a fire raging in some mountain glen after long drought- and the dense forest is in a blaze, while the wind carries great tongues of fire in every direction- even so furiously did Achilles rage, wielding his spear as though he were a god, and giving chase to those whom he would slay, till the dark earth ran with blood” (Iliad 405).
Malice and violence is displayed as Achilles spreads red blood throughout the IM earth. The heartless Achilles shows no favor to the helpless, as well. For instance, one Trojan fighter grasps his knees and begs for mercy. However, Achilles spitefully exclaims, “Look at me, he says, so strong and beautiful, and some day l, too, shall have to die. But not today. Today is your day. ” (Iliad 354). Achilles appears to be a mighty hero like Hector, but to sum up; his true identity is bloodthirsty and immoral. As result, Achilles and Hector maintain different levels of integrity.
The physical appearance of Hector and Achilles show similar truce and stature. But Hector stands on principles, while Achilles is driven by violence, Hector shows courage against mighty foes like Ajax, and Achilles cuts down a weak Trojan. When the two collide in battle, Achilles defeats Hector, which is the reason Achilles lives up to his name meaning the grief of a nation. He causes distress throughout Hectors family and friends, but in the end, Hector represents his name well by holding his character together Hector is honored and known as the man who remained steadfast and composed.