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"Achilles and Hector have more in common with each other than they do with their own people." Compare and contrast these Homeric Heroes.

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Introduction

Sophie McKenzie-Howard 29/09/2011 "Achilles and Hector have more in common with each other than they do with their own people." Compare and contrast these Homeric Heroes. Achilles and Hector are both tragic heroes of the Trojan War. Although they were on different sides, both of the Homeric heroes share a lot of similarities. We see a strong parallel between the two warriors in that, 'Great Hector of the flashing helmet', is the best warrior on the Trojan side and 'matchless Achilles' is the best warrior on the Greek side. In addition to this, both warriors hold great responsibility, Hector has to protect Troy and his family and Achilles is supposedly the best fighter of the Greek army and they need him. Both Homeric heroes suffer from arrogance and pride. Hector shows this in book 18, when he disagrees with Polydamas' proposal to retreat to Ilium, refusing to withdraw the camp into the Trojan walls. Hector becomes spiteful, "Don't put such notions in people's heads, you ignorant fool." ...read more.

Middle

He didn't want anyone to see his pride is hurt thus pretending he didn't care to fight. But here in Book 11, Homer tells us that Achilles can't stay away from the battle so he watches from afar. He is actually interested, only his pride remaining intact is his full priority at this moment in the Iliad. However, one of the glaring differences between the two warriors is their motive for battle. Achilles is a self-centred warrior, and his motivation for fighting is only for glory and Kelos, as we see in Book 9 when he states one of the reasons why he won't fight, "Cowards and brave men are given equal respect." This annoys Achilles because for him, 'the brave man', fighting is all about Kelos and being brave. Hector on the other hand is not fighting for fame or glory; he is fighting only to protect the people he loves. We see the main source for Hectors motivation in Book 6, in a scene with his wife Andromache, "But may the earth be piled high over my dead body before I hear your cries as they drag you off." ...read more.

Conclusion

A good example of this is in Book 6, Hector has a brief discussion with his brother Paris. Hector tells Paris, "It distresses me to hear such shameful things said about you by the Trojans, who are suffering so much on your account." The way Hector has carefully addressed his loved brother with this issue we see that no matter how angry he was about Paris' inability to fight, "we will make up for anything..." - he still loved him. Hector is truly devoted to his family. The warriors have both, similarities and differences. However, I feel personally that theses differences play more of a significance in the importance of their characters actions in the plot. Pushing the obvious aside, both being mighty warriors, Achilles is still a 'long-haired' Greek and Hector a 'Horse-taming Trojan'. These warriors are branded by their own armies; they have their own families within their camps. They collide because they are so different in the Iliad and have their own men, in the case of hector, to think about. I do not think that Achilles and Hector, "have more in common with each other than they do with their own people." for those reasons. ...read more.

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