Hector in the Iliad Essay

The intensification of Hector’s image begins from the Book VI of the “Iliad”. Hector becomes a symbol of steadfastness of Troy, almost the aim of the Achaean’s struggle, because for the readers of the “Iliad” the death of Hector is equal to the downfall of Troy.

Nevertheless, Hector is killed by Achilles. Priam asks Achilles to give the Hector’s body, in turn offering him gifts. Achilles accepts gifts, returns Hector’s body, and promises not to disturb the Trojans until his body will consign to the earth. Early at dawn, Priam returns to Troy with the body of his son and begins grief. The old mother of Hector is crying, “Alas, my son, what have I left to live for now that you are no more? Night and day did I glory in you throughout the city, for you were a tower of strength to all in Troy, and both men and women alike hailed you as a god” (Homer and Butler 269).

The widow Andromache is also weeping, “Woe is me, O Hector; woe, indeed, that to share a common lot we were born… You will lie naked, although in your house you have fine and goodly raiment made by hands of women. This will I now burn; it is of no use to you, for you can never again wear it, and thus you will have respect shown you by the Trojans both men and women” (Homer and Butler 270).

According the “Iliad”, the death of Hector presages the death of Troy. Consequently, the decisive struggle must summarize the features of dramatic fights at Troy. Indeed, Hector and Achilles duel forces to face the sunset of Troy. This association is reinforced by the scene when Priam appeals to Hector before the fight and in this regard it is particularly interesting the comparison in the scene of universal mourning: “His mother tore her hair, and flung her veil from her with a loud cry as she looked upon her son. His father made piteous moan, and throughout the city the people fell to weeping and wailing. It was as though the whole of frowning Ilius was being smirched with fire” (Homer and Butler 268). The scene of Hector’s body burial at the end of the poem stirs up an impression of the complete tragic end of Ilion.

Heroic deed and glory attach to the empirical nature of human life the feature of ordered completion or completeness, but man continues to exist in his glorious name. That is why a glorious death in battle is honorable and desirable because it paradoxically prolongs the life of the hero, keeping his name in the memory of descendants and joining him to the sacred and the true. In this light, it becomes understandable the cult of heroes and who had been killed at war, and it also becomes clear the phenomenon of self-sacrifice in the war. Warrior simulates feats of the deity, in an effort to approach to the ideal even at the cost of his own live (Morris and Powell 318).

The combat ethic of Greeks was focused on the acquisition of glory. The deviation from the battle was considered as disgrace. Noble warrior, due to own status and to maintain own reputation, must have been fighting on the front.

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