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The True Hero of Homer's The Iliad Essay

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The True Hero of Homer's The Iliad


The Iliad is a story in which many men should be recognized as great war heroes.

They all show a tremendous amount of courage to fight in such a barbaric battle. But this

paper?s main focus is between two great leaders of opposing sides. Achilles, who

represents the Achaians and Hector, who represents the Trojans. Though both show their

bravery during many different instances in the poem, it?s quite obvious to the reader who

the better of the two is. The rest of this paper will prove why Hector is a greater hero in

comparison to Achilles.

The reader is introduced to Achilles in the first book of the poem. King

Agamemnon and Achilles are having a conflict over a woman. But if you read deeper

into the conflict it has more to do with honor. Honor seems to be the most important thing

to all of the characters in the poem. In book two, after the argument between Achilles and

King Agamemnon has come to a hault, Achilles has already decided not to defend his

army. He feels the king has dishonored him, by refusing to give him Chryseis.

So for about ¾ of the war he did not help his fellow brothers in battle, instead he chose to

pout for more than half of the poem. He knew that he was desperately needed at one point

and still refused to assist in battle. He kept tabs on everything that was going on by

sending out Patroklos to Nestor. Nestor would keep him up to date with the daily

occurrences. There are three separate occasions where things weren?t going in favor of



Achilles, and he would cry. His tears were so heavy and his cries so loud that his mother

would come down from the heavens (She is a goddess) to offer her assi...


... middle of paper ...


...his life. The battle was very intense and the poem gives a great description of the

occurrences. The reader can easily get a mental image of the scene. Their final battle was

described from the setting in the sky, all the way to Achilles? spear ripping through the

flesh in Hectors neck.. I could almost hear the clanking of the weapons of the two

warriors. In my opinion if Achilles would?ve been in battle for as long as Hector he

wouldn?t have won. Hector died fighting for his country and that was believed to be the

greatest honor of them all. If you take the two characters and hold them up next to one

another there isn?t even a question in my mind as to who portrays the more heroic role.

Achilles fought in the end because he blamed himself for the death of his friend. Hector

fought for his country, his family, and for his honor.


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