Hector: An Epic Hero

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What defines a hero in the eighth century BC? To characters like Achilles, it is brute strength, the strength to take over nations and destroy armies. For Agamemnon, it is military strength and the power to command an army of thousands. For a character such as Hector, however, he embodies the word hero in a much broader sense. He has a loving wife, a brother whom he cares deeply for, and a newborn son that is destined to be “foremost amoung Trojans”, just like his father (Homer: Book VI: 502). While characters such as Agamemnon “the Greek warlord” and “godlike Achilles” live and die by the sword, Hector fights for his hometown of Troy, to protect his people and his city that he loves and will lay down his life to protect (Homer: Book I: 7). Hector is a complex individual. He is the fiercest warrior in the Trojan army, but is mourned while “he [is] still alive” as he goes out to face Achilles (Homer: Book VI:526). He has a strong belief in gods and fate, saying that “no man has ever escaped his fate”, even though many foresee his life ending…show more content…
Anu commands the goddess Aruru to “create a partner for Gilgamesh” in order that the two men might contend with each other and rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance (Foster: Tablet I: 84). Gilgamesh himself is “two-thirds” divine and “one-third” human, so divine intervention to him is nothing out of the ordinary (Foster: Tablet I: 50). His partner, Enkidu, whom is fashioned out of saliva and clay, is told that he can “become like a god” by his lover Shamhat (Foster: Tablet I: 199). Gilgamesh and Enkidu together take down the fearsome Humbaba, and the bull from heaven, in epic battles of legendary strength and courage. Throughout the epic, the gods constantly look down upon humans and act as they please, often interfering with humans who do not act to their liking in order to satisfy their own

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