Achilles and Hector are the main characters of the worldwide famous “Iliad” by Homer. They are completely different, but at the same time, we can find a lot of similarities between them. So what do these characters have in common and what varies between them?
First of all, Achilles and Hector are considered to be incredible warriors. Secondly, Achilles and Hector are the best and the bravest soldiers within the armies each of them represents. Thirdly, Achilles and Hector have shown themselves as true patriots during the war, taking part in the fight for their land and defending their people. Every soldier is ready to die if it can somehow help their leaders. They prove during the Iliad that they are not only wise enough to control the actions of the army but also brave warriors who can take part in battles as well as other soldiers that encourage them a lot. Both of them are ready to sacrifice themselves in an effort to bring victory for their city. Achilles and Hector think that love has a great power that can rule the world. Last but not least, the glory of Achilles and Hector is so huge that has spread over other countries although they are quite young.
However, they are very different at the same time. First of all, they lead warring armies. Achilles is a leader of Greeks, and Hector leads the army of Troy. There is a difference in their origin as well. Achilles is a demigod, and Hector is a human born from a king.
Achilles and Hector have different values in life. It can be seen, for example, in their attitude to the glory gained in war and to their family. In such a way, Achilles finds it very important to be a famous warrior in order not to be forgotten and to get military glory. We can understand him – from early childhood he knew that if he became a warrior, he would die in the fight. However, he decided that it is far better to die having lived short but glorious and eventful life than just to exist. That’s why he chooses to be a warrior and does everything possible in order to make his name remain in the memory of Greeks forever.
Being blinded by the glory and revenge lust, he sometimes acts too aggressive and cruelly. For instance, he gets very angry after Hector has killed his friend Patroclus, who was like a brother for him. So he had a very cruel and long fight with Hector because their forces were quite equal. We even cannot be sure that Achilles will win without the help of gods. Anyway, having killed his opponent, the hero doesn’t give the people of Hector the opportunity to take and bury his body but leaves it on the battlefield to rot.
Homer shows the Greek hero as an egocentric man. Having lost Briseis, Achilles refuses to continue the war although this fight is extremely important for Greeks. Instead of it, he chooses to sit on the fence and watch how his people are dying. Achilles is a strong warrior, gifted leader, has the sense of self-esteem but may be stubborn, selfish and cruel.
In comparison with Achilles, Hector is more committed to his family. After every fight, he comes back home to stay at least for a little while with his wife. He puts love and family values but not military glory first. It is worth mentioning that he is killed during the war whose initiator was Paris, his brother. However, in place of blaming him for waging war, Hector asks him to get involved in this war alongside his warriors. Here are his words said to Paris: ”Look, your people dying around the city, dying in the arms – and all for you.” In such a way, he wants to show the Trojan warriors that his brother does take care of them and the fate of the city. He also proves that is rightfully claimed as one of the best leaders because he shows that he is able to encourage and lead not only soldiers, but he also has an influence on his relatives. Hector himself chooses to fight because of love to his wife, son, and parents. All his warriors admire him because of his extraordinary bravery. Hector agrees to take part in the battle with Achilles who is a demigod and has only one small jugular.
Achilles and Hector are incredible warriors and leaders. The heroes are highly respected by society and embody all the bravery and strength of their people. Achilles and Hector deserve to be regarded as heroes because of strength, loyalty, and courage they have shown during the war. However, one of them does everything to gain glory in war while another one chooses to fight for the sake of his family. The main difference between these characters lies in their values of life.