August 30 2009
Achilles vs. Hector
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” This quote was once stated by a Chinese man named Tao Te Ching. The reason this quote was stated is because it encompasses the meaning of the Iliad. Not in a great way but in a vague but familiar way. The Iliad was a tale about the wrathful withdrawal from battle of Achilles, the premiere Greek warrior, after King Agamemnon dishonored him — an internecine quarrel disastrous to the Greek cause.
Achilles was a very temperamental person, throughout the entire story he would get frustrated at simple things, such as the beginning where Achilles gets so frustrated at Agamemnon he decides to drop out of the war. Since Achilles makes such hasty decisions it affects himself and his people. Although Achilles possesses amazing strength, he may strike readers as less than heroic. He has all the skills of a great warrior, and proves the mightiest man in the Achaean army, but his deep-seated character flaws constantly impede his ability to act with nobility and integrity. He cannot control his pride or the rage that surges up when that pride is injured. This attribute so poisons him that he abandons his comrades and even prays that the Trojans will slaughter them, all because he has been slighted at the hands of his commander, Agamemnon. Achilles is driven primarily by a thirst for glory. Part of him yearns to live a long, easy life, but he knows that his personal fate forces him to choose between the two. Ultimately, he is willing to sacrifice everything else so that his name will be remembered.
Hector is the strongest warrior in the Trojan army. Although he met his death in Achilles, he wreaks havoc on the Achaean army during Achilles’ period of absence. He leads the assault that finally penetrates the Achaean ramparts, he is the first and only Trojan to set fire to an...
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