The True Hero of the Iliad The Iliad has many significant characters from Greek mythology. Every one of them have traits about themselves that are contrasting and corresponding to other gods. Two characters that are both exceedingly similar and different are Hector and Achilles. Both of them are considered heroes of the Iliad, but which is the true hero? A hero is someone who is admired for their achievements in war and has respect and honor from many people (Merriam-Webster). Hector is the true hero of the Iliad because of how much he cared for his family and everyone in Troy, the respect and love he received from everyone, and the strength and dedication he had for fighting. Even though Achilles was a “courageous soldier, relatively honorable man, and a respected leader,” (Free Essays 1) alike Hector, he was also a very selfish, revengeful, and harsh man. Achilles was considered selfish because the dominant reason he was in the war was to acquire revenge on Hector from when he killed Patroclus, Achilles close friend. When Achilles got his revenge on Hector by killing him he was immensely harsh on him. “Achilles main flaw is his hunger for revenge,” (Free Essays 3). This is shown after Achilles stabbed Hector. He said, “You dog! I wish my stomach would let me cut off your flesh into strips and eat it raw for what you have done to me,” (Iliad 22: 384-386). It is also shown when Achilles “drug Hector’s corpse around in circles behind his chariot every day until the gods intervened,” (Free Essays 3). It was immensely disrespectful and unnecessary because the people of Troy were already mourning over Hector’s death, even before he was dead. Homer describes Hector with numerous names, including “noble bright-helmeted Hector,” (Iliad 22:259-365), “man-man killing Hector,” (Iliad 6:149), and “Resplendent Hector,” (Iliad 6:146). As well, he is “an extremely courageous and noble Prince of Troy who does not want war,” (Free College Essays 1). It is surprising that Hector decided to lead an assault on the Achaeans. If there was a moderately simple way to get out of the war Hector would have tried to get out of it. Hector did not like there being a war because he was worried about his loved ones and the Trojans fighting, “My heart is out there with our fighting men. They already feel my absence from battle,” (Iliad 6:380-381). Hector had many traits that made him such a significant hero. One of them is how much he cared for all of the Trojans and his family members. When Hector was in the war “his primary duty, as a soldier, is to protect the community and his family in it,” (Free College Essays 3). This shows how much he cared for everyone because his goal in fighting was to protect people unlike Achilles motive for fighting which was for himself. Hector was not afraid to tell the truth to people he cared about. Hector told his brother, Paris, “No one could slight your work in battle. You are a strong fighter, but you slack off – you don’t have a free will. It breaks my heart to hear what the Trojans say about you,” (Iliad 6: 550-553). If Hector did not care about Paris then he would not have told him that because it would not have mattered to him if Paris improved at fighting or not. “Hector also has a personal sake in the battle – he sees fighting his hardest as the only possible means of saving his beloved child and wife,” (Free College Essays 3). Hector gave a large amount of care and respect to other people, but he also received it from others. There are many distinct times when the people of Troy show their deep care for Hector. One of the times was when “the women of Troy mourned for Hector in his house although he was still alive, for they did not think that he would ever come back again from the war, or escape the murderous hands of the Greeks,” (Iliad 6: 525-528). Hector worried about this exact thing while he was gone fighting. “But my shame before the Trojans and their wives, with their long robes trailing, would be terrible if I hung from battle like a coward,” (Iliad 6: 464-466). Not only did Hector receive respect from the Trojans, he also received respect from the Greeks. “Listen to me, Trojans, and you warriors from Greece. Paris, on account whom this war began, says this: He wants all the Trojan and Greek combats to lay their weapons down on the ground,” (Iliad 3:89-92). A little bit later “they pulled their chariots up in rows, dismounted, and piled up their weapons,” (Iliad 3:116-117). It really surprised me that the Greeks obeyed Hector because he was on the opposite side as them. Along with being such a caring person, and having a high authority over people Hector was a very strong and dedicated fighter. Even though Hector did care deeply for Paris, he got mad at him because he did not want to fight in the war and it was causing pain in Troy, “He revails Paris several times for his selfishness and womanizing that brought such great grief Troy,” (Free College Essays 1). Hector did not like to let the people of Troy down. Andromache tried to get Hector to stay in Troy and not go back to the war because she did not want Hector’s family to be orphaned and his wife be a widow, but he went back to the war anyway (Iliad 6: 451-454). Another time when Hector put the Trojans before himself was when he said, “I’ll be much better off facing Achilles, killing him or dying honorable before the city,” (Iliad 22: 124-126). Because of his care for his family and friends, received respect from everyone, and strength and dedication Hector is the true hero in the Iliad. If Hector did not show these significant traits then the Iliad would be tremendously different. Who would the true hero of the Iliad been if it was not Hector?