John Holloran & Art Ward
9 December 2010
Pride and Arrogance
The epic Iliad, written by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald, is a story of anger, grief and pride. The characters Hektor and Akhilleus are both very honorable leaders in the Trojan war, one might argue that they are the reasons for the swaying of the battle. But what happens when one is held to such a high standard and built up with so much glory? Many of the soldiers in the Iliad, it seems, are so driven to achieve glory and sometimes arrogant with glory already obtained that they make foolish decisions to get more.
Hektor is one of the Trojan’s leading fighters. People look up to him and expect him to achieve great things. Hektor knows this and his decisions reflect how driven he his for honor and his drive is affects his decision making process. Hektor has a family at home. He and his wife both know that he might die in battle. His wife even prophesies in book 22 after Hektor’s death, that their son will have to beg for food. Hektor, well aware of the risks, says to his wife, “these many things beset my mind no less than yours. But I should die of shame before our Trojan men and noble women if like a coward I avoided battle, nor am I moved to” (VI 513-517). Hektor chooses to risk his life and the well-being of his family in order to obtain glory over the Akhaians.
Later on during the battle, upon a few occasions, Hektor ignores the advice of his peers and compromises the army’s well-being. Poulydamas, Hektor’s half brother, is ignored twice by Hektor because listening to Pouydamas’ directions would suggest that he has more power than Hektor. Because Hektor decides to only go by his own decisions, the army was forced to attack the ramparts at the Akhaian ships and sleep outside the walls of Troy the day before Akhilleus returns to battle. Both events result in the Trojans being badly beaten by Akhilleus and the Akhaians.
Akhilleus, a leading fighter on the...