The Iliad Essay: A Hero And A Coward

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“A Hero and a Coward” The period in which the events in The Iliad took place were different than the times of today. Back then, the Greeks and Romans most important characteristic of life was to be a remembered hero. In the present day, this concept would be thought of as irrational or egotistical. Pride created the downfall of all characters in Homer 's epic poem, The Iliad. In the epic, two generals face off in the Trojan War. Leading the Greeks, Agamemnon proves to be incapable and inept at guiding his men. Hector, however, leads the Trojans with bravery and ferocity. When comparing the two commanders, Hector proves to be the superior compared to Agamemnon because of his bravery in combat, motivational skills, and honor. First, Hector …show more content…
He kills Achilles’s apprentice Patroclus, who is a tough warrior in his own right. Even though Hector does run during his final battle with Achilles, he eventually stops running and fights till his death. He decides this fate earlier in the war and stays to his word, “If Achilles really has risen up again and wants to come out, he’ll find it tough going, for I will be there. I, for one, am not retreating. Maybe he’ll win, maybe I will. The War God doesn’t care which one he kills” (Homer 234). He shows bravery even though he knows that his death is coming. In result of Hectors excessive pride, his death and the loss of his fellow warriors. Agamemnon lives through the war by hiding during battle, but Hector fights till the very end. It shows the total difference between these two characters, who assumingly are the antipodes of each other: Hector is a brave commander, who has a dignity and skills in the battle, and Agamemnon, who does not care about his army and hides behind their backs during the battle. Hector’s leadership ability far surpasses Agamemnon because of his motivational skills. Agamemnon struggles with rallying his troops. Achilles gives him a particular problem because Agamemnon becomes selfish about the women. Hector, however, has no real issue with motivating his men. He even forces Paris to fight despite Paris’s cowardice. He can command his men because they respect

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