Hektor's Hero: The Inevitability Of Fate In The Iliad

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The Iliad, an ancient Greek epic by Homer, recounts the battles and conflicts between the Trojans and Achaians during the ten-year Trojan War. One of the most heroic characters of this epic poem, Hektor, displays so much valor and kloes throughout the war that during the last battle of his life with Achilleus, even Zeus relents and morns over his imminent death. The scene in which Zeus consults the golden scale for the outcome of the fight between Hektor and Achilleus indicates that the golden scale is used to justify the inevitability of divine determination of human fate and to further emphasize Hektor’s honorable characteristic. Just as all the other mortal characters in the poem, Hektor’s destiny illustrates that no one can escape death,…show more content…
One of the reasons why Zeus attempts to protect Hektor the same way he tries to salvage his son is because he has “burned in my honor many thigh pieces of oxen (22: 170)”, which suggests Hektor’s faithfulness. In addition, his senses of responsibility as a father, a husband, a hero and defender of Troy make him arguably the most impeccable mortal figure in the epic. He is so perfect to the extent that even the god of justice, Zeus, hesitates whether he deserves a longer life than what is destined for him. Yet no matter how well Hektor behaves and how much the gods love him, he still has to submit to death when the time comes. The fact that everything will be under Zeus’ control and will develop in accordance with his original plan is made obvious even from the very beginning of this epic, when the muse is asked to reveal how “the will of Zeus was accomplished (1:5)”. Anything that deviates from this predetermined plan will end up getting the situation out of control, so even Zeus himself cannot act against his own words. Hektor’s death only serves to prove that human endeavor cannot make up for the inevitability of

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