Hektor Vs Achilles

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The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic written by Homer which is set during the Trojan War. Throughout the Iliad, there are many different similarities and differences within each book. Helen, wife of Menelaos, was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris which is the cause of the war. Duels are very important in the Iliad and there is a duel between Paris and Menelaos in book 3. There is also a duel between Hektor and Achilles. Duels are important because whoever wins gets the glory, but it is also a psychological feeling, too. The winner feels more worthy of being a man and getting to keep the woman for example. A man’s honor is the most important thing and they needed to keep their reputation under any circumstances. The gods tend to get involved…show more content…
Once confronted with Achilles, he gets scared and runs away just like his brother Paris did in book 3. It is ironic how in in the beginning, he was criticizing weakness and praising bravery, but once threatened by death, he becomes the same way. Homer writes, “As in a dream a man is not able to follow one who runs from him, nor can the runner escape, nor the other pursue him, so he could not run him down in his speed, nor the other get clear.” [Iliad 22. 199-201] Hektor is running from Achilles as he is chasing him and they end up running around 4 times. Hektor behaves differently than Paris because Paris does not run away from the duel. He steps up like a man and does his part, and it is not his fault that the gods intervened and helped him get away. Hektor, on the other hand, was such a coward and didn’t stand up for himself. Once again, a god, Athene, intervenes to help. This is where the theme of deception comes in. Athene deceives Hektor by disguising herself as Deiphobos, his brother. She makes Hektor believe that they will kill Achilles together, but when he turns to Deiphobos to help him, he is nowhere to be found. That’s when he realizes that the gods were playing a trick on him and that he can’t change his fate because the gods have predetermined it already. Unlike the duel in book three, in this one someone dies. Achilles kills Hektor and his dying words were to return his dead body for a proper burial, but Achilles, out of anger refuses. Instead, he desecrates his body by dragging it for everyone to see. [Iliad 22.395-410] In book 3, Menelaos drags Paris until stopped by Aphrodite, but in book 22, nobody is stopping Achilles. Priam witnesses the horrors done to his son’s body, but wouldn’t watch the duel between Paris and Menelaos. With Hektor dying, there is no hope for the Trojans, whereas book 3 gives the slightest bit of hope. Hektor tries to be respectful and fight with dignity by asking for the winner to

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