Essay on A Comparison of Achilles and Hector

Essay on A Comparison of Achilles and Hector

Length: 945 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


In Homer’s epic, the Iliad, the legendary, has no two characters that are so similar yet so different as Greek warrior, Achilles, and the Prince of Troy, Hector. Achilles is the strongest fighter in the Greek side, and Hector is the strongest Trojan. They are both put into the mold of a hero that their respective societies have put them into; however; it is evident that they are both extremely complex characters with different roles within their society and with their families, and with the gods.
In the Greek society, Achilles has the role of the aggressive soldier. From the very first lines of the epic, we are introduced to Achilles’ murderous rage:
“Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds” (Book 1, Line 1-5).
The fact that the opening lines of the epic are about Achilles’ power and the people he has killed as a soldier on the Greek side show the huge importance given to him and his power. In his confrontation with Agamemnon regarding Chryseis, he tells Agamemnon that the Greek people want him to give Chryseis back to her father, the priest. This is an example of his great status among his people – he represents them, the one that lets Agamemnon hear their voice.
Achilles is the son of Peleus and the goddess Thetis. It is evident that he loves his father and holds him dearly in the scene of Priam’s speech. Priam appeals to him as a father, and reminds Achilles of his own father:
“Remember your own father, great godlike Achilles –
As old as I am, past the threshold of deadly old age.”
His speech moves the ...


... middle of paper ...


...or’s body. Achilles drags his body behind his chariot whenever he is overcome by grief. Despite all they do to his body, Apollo protects it from all damages.
Achilles and Hector are both loved by Zeus, who has taken no side in this dispute.
Hector and Achilles, two outstanding warriors on opposing sides in a conflict, show that there is more to people than what meets the eye. Although they are seen as ultimately heroic and powerful, their weaknesses and inner conflicts are unmistakable. Their differences are larger and more significant than their similarities, and to think of them as interchangeable warriors diminishes their significance. Achilles is portrayed as a fierce fighter who is harsh on the battlefield, but cares about the ones he loves very deeply, whereas Achilles is shown as a strong fighter with a more sensitive heart and compassion for all people.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparison Between Achilles And Hector Essay

- Two Different Warriors In 700 B.C, Homer, a blind Greek poet, composed The Iliad. This work has become one of the most significant works in Western literature. The Iliad is an epic poem. It is a long narrative poem in verse form which tells the story of a hero. Achilles is the epic hero in The Iliad. Achilles is the best warrior of the Achaeans and Hector was the top warrior for the Trojans. Although Achilles and Hector seem very similar, they actually have a lot of differences between the two of them, which makes each of them unique....   [tags: Iliad, Achilles, Trojan War, Troy]

Better Essays
1793 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on A Comparison of Achilles and Hector

- Homer's Iliad refers to an ancient epic Greek poem. The poem is based on the events of the Trojan War, the siege of the Troy city by a combination of Greek states that took almost ten years. The poem outlines the events and battle that took place between the Greeks and the Trojans. The events captured in the poem cover a few weeks to the end of the war. However, the poem contains deep Greek mythical allusion. It describes the great Greek legends involved in the siege, the events that occurred before the actual war such as meeting of the warriors planning the siege, the reason and the foundation of the battle and the events that happened in the beginning....   [tags: The Iliad Essays]

Better Essays
865 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on A Comparison of Achilles and Hector

- In Homer’s epic, the Iliad, the legendary, has no two characters that are so similar yet so different as Greek warrior, Achilles, and the Prince of Troy, Hector. Achilles is the strongest fighter in the Greek side, and Hector is the strongest Trojan. They are both put into the mold of a hero that their respective societies have put them into; however; it is evident that they are both extremely complex characters with different roles within their society and with their families, and with the gods....   [tags: The Iliad Essays]

Better Essays
945 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Achilles ' Pursuit Of Hector

- Angel Morales 2800 Achilles’ Pursuit of Hector In The Iliad, Homer uses vivid similes developed over several lines to enhance the atmosphere of the scene. Both to help the reader understand the vastness of the situation and enhance imagery, these epic similes as they are known help immerse the reader in the image as well as give it a deeper meaning. In Achilles’ pursuit of Hector, Homer does exactly this using two similes rather than one. Both similes hold different imagery of the same situation helping to describe the occurrence from different perspectives as well as give a diverse view on the actions of the characters....   [tags: Trojan War, Iliad, Achilles, Troy]

Better Essays
705 words (2 pages)

Essay about Free Will And The Duel Of Achilles And Hector

- This literary paper will compare and contrast the theme of fate and free will that is found in the duels of Menelaus and Paris in Book 3 and the duel of Achilles and Hector in Book 22 of Homer’s The Iliad. The theme of free will in the duel between Paris and Menelaus defines the attempt to end the war in two-man combat, yet the theme of fate intervenes when Aphrodite saves Paris from death. However, the narrator in Homer’s poem undermines godly intervention by acknowledging that Zeus will not hold the men to their oath....   [tags: Iliad, Trojan War, Greek mythology, Achilles]

Better Essays
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Power Of A Name

- The Power in a name- The Iliad Books XI-XIII Analysis The themes: the power of a name, guest-friendship, glory, and honor appear in books six through eight of The Iliad. These themes are important to consider in relation to each other. Glory elevates honor, meaning that same actions that help one obtain glory can also yield honor to the person, or the person’s family. A name carries the glory and honor of the bearer in a record that extends beyond the life of the individual. In the next generation, the name reminds the community of the legacy left by previous generations....   [tags: Trojan War, Iliad, Hector, Achilles]

Better Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Swift Achilles Essay

- Swift Achilles There was once a time of great warriors, heroes that fought for their honor and the honor of their people. This was the time of Homer’s Iliad when the great armies of the Achaeans charged Ilium, the Trojan Citadel. Although this ten-year epic battle, called the Trojan War, was supposedly fought over Helen, “the face that launched a thousand ships1,” the true heart of the Iliad is the characterization of the Homeric hero. These men possessed seemingly superhuman strength and courage, they fought and risked their lives for their people and their comrades in arms, and many of them were descendants of the gods themselves....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
1594 words (4.6 pages)

Homer’s Iliad - The Shield of Achilles Essay

- Homer’s Iliad - The Shield of Achilles Homer devotes the final passages of Book 18 of The Iliad to the description of the shield of Achilles. Only a quarter of the description concerns warfare, the essential grist of the epic. Instead, the bulk of the description presents a peaceful society and rural idylls, a curious choice for the most ferocious warrior of the Greeks, and an odd thing for both armies to fear. A narrative emerges from the scenes of the shield, and it is this that fits Achilles and repulses everyone else....   [tags: Iliad essays]

Better Essays
1597 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about The Iliad By Michael Clarke

- Beast Similes in the Iliad Michael Clarke, in his article “Between Lions and Men: Images of the Hero in the Iliad” (1995), explores the true meaning behind Homeric similes, specifically those relating men and beasts. By studying these “beast-similes”, Clarke hopes to reveal their influence on the depiction of heroes throughout the poem, as well as the poem’s theme of heroism. The author begins the article by stating the common idea that the similes of the Iliad are simply adornments made to amplify Homer’s recreation of the heroic age....   [tags: Achilles, Iliad, Trojan War, Homer]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

A Comparison of Fate in Iliad and Oedipus Rex Essay

- Fate in Iliad and Oedipus Rex In the stories The Iliad and Oedipus Rex, Oedipus and Achilles exemplified the portrayal of how a personal characters' fate may lay in their own hands. The egotistical mindset Oedipus held triggered one of the most tragic turns in his future, resembling Achilles. As for his excess pride, it resulted in the loss of his good friend Patroclus. Oedipus' boastful ways were the initiation of his disastrous downfall. A few years before Oedipus took reign of king, he was requested to step aside while a group of men passed....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
407 words (1.2 pages)