The Iliad: Analysis of Major Characters

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1576
  • Published : December 6, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
The Iliad
Hector and Achilles were two of the most notable characters in the Iliad. In many aspects of their lives, Hector and Achilles were complete opposites. For example, Hector was a family man whereas Achilles had no family and only cared about himself. Also, Hector went to battle to lead his country while Achilles went for personal reasons. Both men showed distinct opposite characteristics in the book. The following is an analysis of the opposition of Achilles and Hector's characters throughout the Iliad.

Two very distinct heroes were portrayed in the Iliad. Hector was the social hero and Achilles, the individual hero. Achilles was a very selfish and greedy person; he seemed to only care about himself. In the Iliad he refused to go fight for the Greeks because Agamemnon, who was the commander and chief of the Greek army, had taken Briseis, a beautiful woman who was given to Achilles as a prize, away from Achilles. At one point in the book, Agamemnon sends Odysseus, Phoenix, and Ajax to apologize and persuade him to help in the fight against Troy. Achilles is so stubborn that even after the men offer him everything he could imagine, he still turns them down. "I cannot imagine Agamemnon, Or any other Greek, persuading me, Not after the thanks I got for fighting this war, Going up against the enemy day after day. It doesn't matter if you stay in camp or fight-In the end, everybody comes out the same (Homer, 60)." By saying this, it is obvious that Achilles will not fight for his country, because he believes he will get nothing in return. In the end, Achilles ends up going to battle only because his friend, cousin, and companion, Patroclus, was killed. Troy was putting up a strong fight to keep hold of Patroclus' body, so Achilles went to battle, which proved how selfish he was. Achilles left for Troy for one reason, revenge on Hector for the murder of Patroclus. Hector, on the other hand, being the social hero is not in the war for himself, but rather for...
tracking img