Most Important Character in the Iliad Besides Hector and Achilles

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Most Important Character in the Iliad Besides Hector and Achilles

By | October 2012
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The Great Ajax in “The Iliad” receives little recognition as a character, with most of the fame and praise at the feet of Hector or Achilles. Ajax, being one of the most strongest, bravest, and courageous warriors of the Greeks, second only to Achilles, should definitely receive more credit than what is handed out to him. Ajax was known as one of the most important figures in the Achean army, but with deeper insight, can also be viewed as one of the most important figures in the entire book itself.

Ajax The Great, “The Bulwark of the Achean Army”, never flunked from battle even in the face of adversity. This proves true in Book 15, when the Trojans pressed hard up against Achean ships, the Acheans were in chaos, yet The Great Ajax stood firm fighting, holding off the entire Trojan army almost single-handedly. A taste of Ajax’s courage and bravery wets the readers mouths, as we get to admire Ajax in his glory. In the face of adversity, which was the entire Trojan army, Ajax did not even flinch. When all his comrades preceded to scramble, he stood strong amid the chaos, beating back the enemy away from the ships. By himself he manages to save the Achean army from their ultimate defeat, allowing them to keep their war effort alive. Similarly, in Book 16 after the death of Patroclus, at the hands of Hector, Ajax is one of the only Acheans to stand up to defend Patroclus’ body. Even though his allies around him started to retreat back to the ships, he defended the body. Hordes of Trojans rained down on him, yet in the mist of battle he was victorious. Thanks to Ajax, the body of Patroclus was in the hands of the Acheans and was able to be given a proper burial later in the book. All of Achilles good graces went out to Ajax, being that he was the only reason why Achilles got to mourn his best friend death.

Ajax in his triumph and glory also comes to face Hector, the breaker of horses, the ravager of men, over the course of the book. Hector, the strongest man in...

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