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Comparison: Hector in Iliad vs. Hector in Troy

By parnianp Dec 12, 2010 693 Words
Comparison: Hector in Iliad vs. Hector in Troy

Heroes possess five timeless qualities. They are always willing to accept a challenge, they are courageous, self-sacrificing, they can overcome struggle with strength and dignity, and they have superior yet human qualities. Over different eras, other qualities that are attributed to heroes change based on society’s changing morals and ethics. The two versions of Hector display the many differences between the Greeks perspective on heroes and the modern contemporary perspective on heroes. To begin with, it is implied that modern heroes are sympathetic and do not love to kill, while heroes in Greek perspectives love basking in glory over defeat of any of their enemies. Hector in the Iliad gloats over the sight of dying Patroclus, taunting him in his last moments alive, whereas Hector in Troy is remorseful when he finds out that it was not Achilles who he fought. He kills Patroclus to stop his suffering and says that it is enough fighting for one day, even though the war has just barely begun. This shows how modern heroes are dutiful to their cause, while not truly liking the violence involved. On the other hand, heroes in Greek perspectives are shown to be individuals who lust to kill and feel no compassion as long as they achieve victory. This ties into how the respect shown towards rivals differs greatly from one time period to another. Hector in the Iliad does not show respect to his enemies, therefore continuously taunting Patroclus. This is unlike Hector in the film who displays his respect for Patroclus by killing him. Hector’s respect in the modern version versus his lack of respect is evidence as to how heroes were believed to feel after defeating their enemy. Finally, these versions show that heroes by Greek definitions are opportunists, while modern heroes will complete a task through their own physical power. Hector in the Iliad is presented as an opportunist, diving in to kill Patroclus after Apollo has already injured him. This is unlike Hector in the film who fights Patroclus all on his own. This shows how the dependency of heroes has changed over time. Even though there are many differences between the perspectives of the Greeks and the modern contemporary, there are also quite a few similarities. First of all, both versions of Hector are displayed as fierce individuals. We can see this from the Hector in the Iliad through the diction used when describing him stabbing Patroclus. Their situation is compared to one of a lion and a tireless wild boar, where the “lion beats him down with sheer brute force as the boar fights for breath (Line 963-964).” By comparing Hector to such a tough animal and using “sheer brute force” when explaining how he stabbed Patroclus, his strength is shown. As well, showing that Hector has defeated a “wild boar” also contributes to showing his superiority. In Troy, just by his leadership and methods of fighting, one can see that he is very powerful. In addition, both are very loyal to their cities. They fight with courage and stay focused toward their goal. Even if Hector in the film commands the war to be over for the day, he still knows he has to be faithful to his city and fight again. Hector in the Iliad being the opportunist that he is, also shows his loyalty by finishing off his enemies with pride. All in all, through observing the attitudes and behaviors of the two versions of Hector, it is easy to interpret how these time periods felt about heroes. All heroes possess five timeless qualities in addition to other qualities which are believed to be important during their own time period. Sometimes, one may see that these qualities are quite similar, and other times, they are the exact opposite of each other. In conclusion, descriptions of heroes are created by looking at what will appeal to the readers or viewers based on morals and ethics valued during that time. For this reason, the two versions of Hector possess some of the same qualities, but also some very different ones.

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