The Iliad Essay

Words: 1156
Pages: 5

Homer’s epic The Iliad, is a great tale of war and glory. It takes place during the last year of the ten year Greek-Trojan war. The Greeks have been fighting with the Trojans for quite some time, and just when peace seemed like a possibility, the youngest prince of Troy, Paris, acts out selfishly and steals the beautiful wife of Menelaus, Helen. This instigates the fighting again. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of two heroes, both similar, but also very different in their character; the great and powerful Greek, Achilles, and the strong, loving father, Prince Hector of Troy. In Homer’s The Iliad, Hector and Achilles differ as heroes in regards to pride, duty, and family love, the latter being self-centered and prideful, while the …show more content…
“But my shame before the Trojans and their wives with their long robes trailing, would be too terrible if I hung back from battle like a coward. And my heart won’t let me. I have learned to be one of the best, to fight in Troy’s first ranks, defending my father’s honor and my own” (Homer, 92).
Throughout the epic, Achilles comes across as a cold, hard man, whose main purpose seems to be the quest for glory. Nevertheless, the relationship between Achilles and his greatest companion, Patroclos, is so strong that his death so enrages Achilles that he fights and kills Hector, and defiles his body by dragging it around in the dirt. King Priam of Troy, such a brave old man, comes to Achilles pleading that he can have Hector’s body, so he can have a proper burial. Priam appeals to Achilles’ sense of family love by reminding him of his own father; Achilles knows that his father too, will never see him again. “As he said it he lifted his hand to the face of Achilles, and the heart of Achilles ached with anguish at the thought of his father. He took the old man's hand, and pushed him gently away. So the two thought of their dead and wept, one for his Hector while he crouched before the feet of Achilles, and Achilles for his own father and then for Patroclos” (Homer, 287). Though Hector has his flaws, lack of love for his family is not one of them. The fact that Hector fights in