In what ways do they contrast?
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Achilles and Hector as Contrasting Heroes in The Iliad
Achilles and Hector are both great warriors for their armies. Achilles commands the Greek army, while Hector commands the Trojan army. Both of them have pride and glory and they want everybody to respect them. They are both heroes of their respective sides. However, even with all these similar characteristics, they actually differ more than they are alike. In this paper, I will contrast the differences of Achilles and Hector by their honor, values, and family life.
Hector has a family, while Achilles does not. Hector is probably viewed more sympathetic to readers because of the fact that he has a family and fighting against the odd. Also, The Iliad ended with Hector’s funeral and the grief of the Trojans. Hector seems to put war aside when it comes to his family and devote his attention and love to his family. As for Achilles, his only family is his mother, Thetis, and his only close friend is Patroclus. Achilles only goes to his mother to whine about a situation not going well for him. Later on Hector killed his close friend Patroclus, and Achilles seeks revenge on Hector.
Hector is also viewed as more of the honorable one. Hector knows his role as the defender of Troy. Although of his devotion and love to his family, he could not abide by his wife’s wish for him to stay and not go to war. When Hector faced up to Achilles with his last dying breath, he wanted an honorable burial from his people. However, Achilles refused this request and rather torture Hector’s dead body on his chariot which is a display of disrespect and dishonor. Later on, the Gods intervened and persuaded Achilles to return the body to Priam. Achilles in some situations, due to his rage, refused to fight with the other greek armies and wanted them to fall back. Achilles seems to be more independent and want things to go his way.
Hector is symbolized as civilized hero and Achilles is symbolized as personification of primitive brutality, pride, the highest wrath hero