Epic Traits for Epic Heroes



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Epic Traits for Epic Heroes

By

Zackary Foster



In book 22 the Iliad written by Homer the two main characters show traits that ancient Greeks would have thought to be heroic. The main characters would be Hector and Achilles who are heroes to the armys there fighting with. In book twenty two the two men are about to fight out side Troy in the Trojan War. Achilles is fighting for the Greeks and Hector is fighting for the Trojans. People who read this epic looked up to them in ancient Greece because their personalities showed heroic traits.

First is Hector whose heroic traits include bravery and respect for the gods. “That with might [Achilles] ran, magnificent, like a racing horse that holds its form at full stretch on the plain. So the light-footed Achilles held the pace. Unmoved, Lord Hector stood in the gateway, resolute to fight Achilles.”(l. 26 and 41-42).This shows Hector’s bravery because the mighty Achilles, the one that has killed so many Trojans, is now charging towards Hector who stands alone in the gate of Troy. The Iliad says how Hector has respect for the gods. Zeus says “How sad that [Hector] is hunted around the wall before my eyes! My heart is touched for Hector; he has burned thigh flesh of oxen for me often, high on (the mountain) Ida.”(l. 200-203). Zeus is saying that he is sad watching Hector being chased because of the offerings and respect that Hector has given the gods.



Achilles was the other hero of book 22 and just like Hector Achilles has heroic traits too. “So three times these two [Hector and Achilles] at full speed made their course round [Troy].”(l. 196-197) This part was when Hector was running from Achilles and Achilles would not let him escape. So they ran around the city Troy three times for Achilles would not let Patroclus’s killer get away. Then Achilles power is a trait that’s admiriable. The Iliad says “Achilles drove his [sword] trough [Hectors] neck.”(l.387) This shows Achilles destroying his enemy, making him a victorious warrior and also a hero to the Greek people.

Now those are the traits of Hector, Prince of Troy and Achilles the almost immortal warrior. These few traits are only some heroic traits from these heroes. Hector and Achilles were heroes both on different sides of a war but still both heroes. They might have different views on things but in the Iliad there all heroes.

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