Hector vs. Achilles A Contrast and Comparison Essay

don’t offer me mellow wine, mother, not now-you’d sap my limbs, I’d lose my nerve for war. ‘ 011, 179-180) Like all the other men toothier time and culture, both Hector and Achilles knew that their most important duty was to fight wars. In the Iliad, by Homer, war was of the utmost importance, and the Greeks felt that dying in battle was the noblest way to die. Outside of war, men made their own decisions as to what else would be important in their lives. Hector valued his family, was able to control his emotions, and respected the gods.

Achilles was almost the exact opposite. “Don’t ask me to sit beside you here, Helen. Love me as you do, you can’t persuade me now. ” (VI, 234-235) By turning down Hellene pass, Hector showed his loyalty to his Wife and family. In a culture where having a sexual relationship was more natural and accepted than having a relationship based on love and respect, Hector showed how strong he was by rejecting the most beautiful woman in the world. “So all can reap the benefits oftener kings-so even mighty Tried can see how mad he was to disgrace Achilles, the best Of the Achaeans! (I, 488-490) As Achilles tells his mother what he wants, he showed what he truly valued outside of war, himself. It was not about what would be best for his mother or for anyone else, it was about Achilles and his wanting revenge. Throughout the epic, Achilles allows his emotions to persuade his decisions, “No more now-back got to Path. Better that way by far, to journey home in the beaked ships of war. I have no mind to linger here disgraced, brimming your cup and piling up your plunder. (l, 198-202) Achilles anger caused him to withdrawal his troops. Achilles pride and pettiness made him make rash decisions. Hector tended to handle his anger in more subdued and mature ways. “Look, your people dying around the city, the steep walls, dying in arms-and all for you. ” (VI, 251-253) Hector was furious with Paris and the war. He knew that despite his anger and resentment toward the war, he had to continue to fight and he did, Hector rarely allowed his feelings make him act in haste without thinking.

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When Hector returned home, his mother asked him to drink some wine. Hector refuses because he felt unfit at the moment to sacrifice to the gods. “And I’d be ashamed to pour a glistening cup to Zeus, with unwashed hands. I’m spattered With blood and filth-how could I pray to the lord Of storm and lightening? ” (VI, 81-183) Hector had such respect for the gods that he would not pray to them until he was worthy. “Remind him Of that, now, go and sit beside him, grasp his knees… Persuade him, somehow, to help the Trojan cause. (l, 483-485) Achilles asked his mother to go to Zeus with the idea that Zeus owed him and his mother a favor. Achilles did not have the reverence for the gods that Hector did. Although Achilles was a hero in his own right, Hector was the true hero to many people. It is comparable to a high school verge the teachers pick a ‘Best All Around’ guy and girl. Although there are probably many students Who are very aliened in one area, takes something special to excel in many areas. Achilles may have gotten Best Athlete in high school, but Hector would have been the All Around guy. Bibliography: Homer. Iliad.


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