Every great hero has their faults, and Achilles and Hector are no exceptions. Achilles’ main weakness is his surplus of pride. In the first book of The Iliad, Agamemnon insults Achilles by taking Briseis, his prize from a previous victory. Agamemnon wants to show Achilles just how much stronger he is, but he does not consider the effect that this insult will have on Achilles. Having been so wounded, Achilles leaves to his hut and refuses to come out and help with the fight. He even goes as far as to pray that the Greeks will destroyed by the Trojans because of how Agamemnon treated him (Homer 13). Another weakness of Achilles is how wrathful he is. He is a savage fighter who has no mercy for anyone who fights on the other side. He displays his brutality when, upon returning to battle, he was approached by Lycaon, a son of Priam. Lycaon explained how much he had been through since his last meeting with Achilles and begged on his knees to be spared—a pitiful sight, indeed. Achilles cared not; he sliced poor Lycaon through and went on his way (Homer 201-202). Although he is seen as...
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...Achilles’ savagery would certainly be frowned upon today, the Ancient Greeks would have loved it because everything was a competition to them—savagery is something that the winner is allowed to do. The Greeks loved that Achilles fought for honor for himself, as well as because he had all of the traits required to do so.
Throughout history, cultures have evolved to admire different virtues in their people. Heroism is one value that has remained mostly the same over two thousand years later. Achilles and Hector were the two most powerful and honorable men to visit the battlefield of Troy, and both of them exhibit their own unique form of heroism. They are notably different, but were still the most heroic men on the battlefield. In The Iliad, Achilles and Hector’s heroism exemplify Greek ideals of heroism, of which many parallels can be seen with modern ideals.
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