Analysis of Hector's Speech

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Hector’s Distain of Paris’ Actions
For many years the Trojans and Achaeans have spent their time fighting and being at odds with one another and the root of it all is one man-Paris. Hector makes a speech to his brother Paris condemning his actions for cowering away at the sight of Menelaus on the battlefield. Through Hector’s word choice one is able to detect the tone that he is to be speaking in and what emotions he is feeling. As an older brother and citizen of Troy, Hector is trying to make Paris feel guilty for being a weakling and not facing Menelaus when Paris is obviously in the wrong because of his inability to prove his bravery and as a result shrunk away for a foreseeable conflict. Through everything that happens Hector is really only trying to make Paris see that he is not being honorable and should be because that is what the right thing to do is.

In the introduction before the speech actually began it gives insight to Hector’s tone. With a taunting voice full of “insults and stinging taunts” (3.42) Hector begins to criticize Paris for being a womanizer, because through those actions he is making everyone’s lives much more difficult through his actions of being “mad for women” (3.44) and “luring them all to ruin” (3.44). Paris and other warriors in ranks and Paris is strutting around acting adept when suddenly he sees Menelaus rushing towards him ready to fight and suddenly gets scared for his life and begins to back away from the edge to avoid being seen. As Hector sees his brother cowering away he begins to degrade him, which is where the speech begins, because he is the reason for the war in the first place. In addition, Hector believes that if the Achaeans knew how Paris was reacting to Menelaus that his entire army would laugh at his cowardice. Paris’ retreat from conflict makes Hector feel that Paris is making a fool out of himself and the rest of Troy. Hector begins to insult Paris by saying that he is dishonoring himself and Troy...
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