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Comparison of Hector and Achilles

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Yet another way that these three characters have different personalities can be seen in the relationships with their families and friends. Hector, leading the way with the close ties to his family, devotes a specific

time for saying goodbye to his wife, Andromache, as well as to his son. He tells Andromache that his pain for the Trojans, if they lose the war, would pale in comparison to the pain he would feel for her if she lost him to Hades (Iliad, p. 80). Odysseus and Achilles, on the other hand, have no qualm about going into battle. Yes, Odysseus does long for his wife in the Odyssey on his way back home, but he is more concerned with getting vengeance with the suitors and taking his rightful place. And Achilles does not seem to even have the same type of loyalty that both Odysseus and Hector have. For example, in Book 9 of the Iliad we see him rejecting Odysseus' and Ajax's request that he join the rest of the troops in battle. He does not feel obliged, at that moment, to help the Greeks on their way to Troy to recover Helen, but then ends up lamenting Patroclus' death later in the Iliad because he himself chose not to fight.

Through all of the examples that have been identified, Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus do all appear to take very different paths in the way that they are portrayed throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey. First, they are different in their leadership skills; second, all of their opinions and actions towards the gods show that they all have different beliefs and how much stock that they actually put into the power of the gods. Lastly, we see that all three of the characters' interactions with their families and friends result in very different outcomes. So although Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus are the greatest warriors among their people, they are all surprisingly diverse in the specific actions and personalities that they decide to take on.



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