Achilles: A True Homeric Hero

Pages: 2 (519 words) Published: June 29, 2012
A True Hero

When I hear the word “hero” the first thing that comes to my mind is a person who is courageous, has ability, and is admired for his or her brave actions and noble individuality. A hero is also someone who is afraid to die but who still does what is right because the lives of people he cares about hangs in the balance. In Homer’s The Iliad, Hector and Achilles are both great warriors and great men but differ in many ways. They are heroes of their time, but fight for completely several reasons. Achilles, who fights for the Greeks, and Hector, who fights for the Trojans. But who is more considered as the Homeric hero?

Achilles was certainly the better fighter, but Hector is more of a hero for me. According to Encyclopedia, heroic means “nobly or selflessly brave”. Based on the definition, Hector is absolutely more heroic than Achilles. Hector fights selflessly for his people until the end. He is hesitant and disinclined about whether to get involved or not to get involved in the war. He also believes that fate has dictated that he is going to die in the battle no matter what happens. In the final confrontation between Hector and Achilles, Hector surpasses his fear of death. He is not scared of Achilles but that he will never see his love ones again. Pride and honor make Hector prevent form giving up. Hector’s fearless confrontation of his fate is a tremendously heroic deed. However, then Hector flees from Achilles, behavior quite unlike that of a hero. Hector faces fright and cowardice as well as anger and compassion, but he eventually stands up to Achilles and dies in a hero’s death. Unlike Achilles, who is motivated by selfishness. All he wants is glory and honor, going down in history as a hero. He fights to make a name for himself rather than fighting to defend his people and land. No doubt that Achilles fights well and saves his people, but there’s also no doubt that he fights for his glory and not for the people whom he saves.

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