Hector Vs Achilis

1097 Words5 Pages
In the Iliad, by Homer, Achilles and Hector both fight for honor, but they are very different individuals because of their motivations to fight, personality traits, and moral codes. One similarity between Hector and Achilles is that their pursuit of honor will be their demise. Hector and Achilles, not unlike most warriors, both fight for honor. (Homer). However, each of these characters is motivated to fight by very different conceptions of honor. Hector and Achilles also have considerably different personalities; Hector being a compassionate, loving family man, and Achilles a ruthless killer. Another notable difference between these two characters is how they live by their moral codes and apply them into every aspect of their lives (Home). As sworn enemies on either side of a brutal and lengthy war, Hector and Achilles have several significant differences, and only share a talent for fighting, and a hatred for each other. Hector and Achilles are both excellent warriors; however they both fight for very different reasons. Achilles has menis, which means that he has a great deal of killing force. This superiority over all of his peers in battle translates into social statues and honor through respect. Through his accomplishments in battle, Achilles receives the Trojan girl Briseis which is a token of honor. (Homer). When the commander of the Greek army, Agamemnon, takes Briseis from Achilles on the grounds of his inherited right, Achilles refuses to fight, even when he is offered other material gifts. This can be seen when Achilles’ says, “I don’t need that kind of honor, Phoenix, my honor comes from Zeus, and I will have it among these beaked ships as long as my breath still remains and my knees still move.”(Iliad, 103). Achilles’ motivation to fight can be seen in how he refuses to fight after Agamemnon insults him and strips him of his honor.
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