Hector Vs Achilles Essay

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In the Iliad, near the end of the Trojan War, when Hector has been slain, Priam successfully makes a desperate speech hinging on pathos towards Achilles, his audience, to give the body of his dead son to Priam for a proper burial. The stakes of the occasion are high for Priam, as he is in the midst of the enemy host, susceptible to be killed, and anxious to get his son back, even if dead. For example, the main argument used by Priam is one designed to attract pity. Priam makes an apt comparison between Achilles’s own father, Peleus, and himself. Both have mighty sons holding up the strength of their respective hosts: Hector for the Trojans and Achilles for the Achaeans. By drawing parallels between himself and Peleus, Priam attempts to evoke the same kind of compassion for himself that Achilles feels for his father.…show more content…
Achilles, but killing Hector, is destined to fall before Troy, and, thus, he will never return to his own father, and so, “those that dwell near [Peleus] harass him” (626). This unknown factor provides an additional parallel between the two, allowing Achilles to pity Priam in the same way he pities his father. In addition, Priam reminds Achilles that the gods support Priam, a mighty statement, indeed, in a land where the gods are absolute. Effective as it may be however, its supposed effectiveness is diminished when considering the fate of its audience, Achilles, who is already doomed by the gods and has a temper rivalling the heavens. When angered, Achilles will not care whether or not the gods are against him; he is doomed either way. Lastly, Priam makes an attempt to gain the respect of Achilles, who has in past times, in his anger, not hesitated when killing those begging him for

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