The Greek Hero Achilles In Homer's The Illiad

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A recurring theme that can be seen throughout Book XXII of Homer’s The Illiad is the blatant portrayal of the Greek hero Achilles as the superior force in the conflict. His opponent, the Trojan hero Hector, acknowledges this fact throughout the piece. Hector’s parents too recognize this fact, as they beg him not to fight Achilles for they believe he will lose his life in the conflict. Achilles, who is as smug as he is powerful, consistently displays confidence in his abilities and disdain for Hector as an opponent. Even the Olympian Gods, who observe the Trojan War as it unfolds, at one point observe that though Hector is a man beloved by heaven, he is being foolishly chased by a stronger warrior and his death was preordained. The most significant of these examples is that of Hector himself. He is presented as the main protagonist in this piece, as it mostly follows his thoughts, actions, and relatives. He is the powerful Trojan hero that many admire, yet he hints numerous times that he expects to die in battle against Achilles. The first time he displayed fear of Achilles was when he reconsidered his …show more content…
This heavily hints at the idea that Homer was hoping to convey with this piece. By heavily hinting that the Greeks were superior to the Trojans by having the Greek hero be vastly superior to the Trojan hero, the sack of Troy was an inevitable event. This carries significance as a portrayal of one idea that may always hold true. That idea was the natural law of life, which has most popularly been recognized as Darwin’s law of natural selection: the weak are doomed to die at the hands of the strong, and there is no other way around that. Hector knew, even if he at first didn’t want to admit, that if he fought Achilles, he was going to lose and perish. This is a striking portrayal of this natural phenomenon, and makes The Illiad an impactful piece of literature to this

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