Hector And Achilles In The Iliad

1014 words, 5 pages

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Throughout the Iliad, warriors demonstrate their human agency in combat and force. They are only to prone think of their main goal, which is to defend their city to establish kleos. Hector’s character is one of the many who wrestle with the causes and consequences of their actions. Contrary to the other characters, Hector is confined to a small scope of agency in the fact that he is bound by the wishes of the people of Troy. Despite his wife’s plea for him stay, Hector only wants glory for his father and himself, and acknowledges that he, the figurehead of Troy, is meant for war. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Achilles, who elicits more free agency.
Andromache, Hector’s wife, begs him to not go to war. Choosing his... View More »

Body Sample...



Despite the chance of agency, the chance to continue providing his father with a father, Hector is not swayed from his heroic duties. He acknowledges this fact by stating, ”I’ve learned it all too well…winning my father great glory, glory for myself” (book 6, lines 527-529). Hector’s beliefs are dominated by kleos, or glory. Kleos is often earned through not only heroic feats on the battlefield, but through death and sacrifice as well. The Trojan warrior recognizes this and knows he must go to battle. The people of Troy also expect the great warrior to go into battle and earn glory for them. Therefore, they deprive him of his agency their wants and expectations. He must present himself as the face of the Trojan army. His bravery and dedication to the city earns Hector the respect of the council. Through the excessive need for kleos, Hector assumes the loss of agency.
In Hector’s last speech to Andromache, he admits not having any agency. The Trojan expresses his importance in the army. He tells his wife, “As for the fighting, men will see to that, all who were born in Troy but I most of all” (book 6, lines 586-588). He is the Trojan meant for war. Hector knows he is a slave to the system. His actions are confined to the needs of Homeric society. It is ironic how Achilles has no family and would be the perfect warrior to be consumed by kleos and the restrictions on agency, but he prefers to stay in his tent and not fight. And Hector who has a loving family, feels the obligation to take on the hero responsibility. He knows he is the most important warrior in the ...

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