Hector is a pure hero

Essay by liyanzhang October 2014

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Hector is a Pure Hero

Commentary on the hero in the Iliad often involves Achilles and Hector. Who does either of them qualify as a hero? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, Hero is the one who shows great courage, strength or ability, admired for his brave deed and noble qualities. Although both of them show super-abilities at the battlefield, Hector, with noble responsibility, is much more a hero than Achilles.

Achilles, a distorted character by personal grievance, fights for anger. By comparison, Hector, a responsible man who cares for his family and loves his country, battles for love. His heroic honor is responsibility rather than success.

His brother brings out fight by stealing Helen. Hector challenges Paris to fight alone with Menelaus.

You want me now to go to battle.

Get others to sit down-Trojans and Achaeans.

Put me and war-loving Menelaus

In their midst to fight it out for Helen, (3, 67-70)

Hearing Paris' words, Hector feels great joys because Paris can respond for his commit.

When grim battle rages between Trojans and Achaeans, Hector returns Troy. He refuses the offer from his mother, Queen Hecuba.

Don't bring me some sweet wine,

For you'll weaken me. I'll lose my battle strength. (6,331-332)

He doesn't take a seat with Helen

But you won't persuade me. For my heart's on fire

To help Trojans, who really miss me when I'm gone, (6,361-362)

Because he knows he is Troy's only guardian. He has to fight for Trojans at the battlefield. His fate is related to his father, his family and Troy. So he tells his wife,

For I have learned always to be brave,

To fight alongside Trojans at the front,

Striving to win fame for father and myself, (6,545-547)

But Hector isn't a warlike spirit without compassion.