In today's society, a man's mind is his most important tool. In the past, however, a man's courage and strength is all that he had to keep him alive. In Homer's Iliad, courage is valued over honesty and even faithfulness to one's wife. If a hero is the most courageous man in the bunch, then Hector is more heroic than Achilles and King of the Myrmidons. Hector is the true hero of Homer's Iliad.
Although Achilles and Hector are both leaders of men, Hector leads with a mature sense that gives his men reason to respect him. In turn, Hector respects his men which gives fulfillment to both parties. Hector is not a man to sit around and mull over strategies and ideas - Hector is a man of action. His men are inspired to fight because they see their captain fighting as well. Hector fights for belief and respect while Achilles fights out of rage and rashness. Achilles is not respected by his men, rather he is feared. Nobody wants to receive the blunt of the attack when Achilles randomly flies into a rage, therefore his men are terrified of him and allow him to do as he pleases.
Within the first book of the poem, we read that Achilles is considered by many to be "god-like". (King Agamemnon, Book 1, line 154) When so...
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... Vol. VI: books 21-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schein, Seth L. The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
Segal, Charles. Singers, Heroes, and Gods in the Odyssey. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.
Stanford, W. B. The Ulysses Theme: A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero. Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, 1992.
Van Nortwick, Thomas. Somewhere I have travelled: the hero's journey. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Whitman, Cedric H. Homer and the Heroic Tradition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958.
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