The Iliad is a poem that stands between literature and history.
The poem is based on the ancient Greek setting. Contrary to other poems, The Iliad opens in the middle of the war between the Achaean army and the city of Troy that results in a plague. Initially, the Greek (Achaean) army had captured the Troy army maidens who were Chryseis and Briseis. These two maidens went to the Greek's commander-in-chief, Agamemnon, and the most powerful warrior, Achilleus. This was a prize for their superiority but later turned out to be the cause of suffering among Achaeans. The people of Troy, later on, demand the return of one of their maidens who had been captured. They want to release Chryseis so that she goes back to the Troy city. Agamemnon refuses to set her free and Chryses prays to their god who brought plague and suffering among the Achaeans.This essay highlights the heroism of Hector and Achilleus. A hero is someone admired for his noble qualities or courage. In the Iliad, different warriors seem to be heroes. However, Achilleus comes out as the more heroic character. Various things make him more heroic than Hector who also plays the major role in the Greek war. Here are some of Achilleus heroic deeds.
First, according to the poem, Achilleus and Agamemnon are the ones awarded the captured maidens. The captured maidens are from the Troy city. Notably, Agamemnon is the commander-in-chief while Achilleus is among the superior warriors in the army. The superiority of Achilleus is the one thing that made him qualify for the prize. Hector is not powerful enough while Achilleus gets the appreciation which makes him a hero.Second, after the Greek commander-in-chief refuses to let one of the maidens go as demanded by Chryseis, Achilleus comes out and faces him. He asks him to let the maiden go so that people can stop suffering from the plague. Remarkably, most people fear the leader and no one could face or challenge him. Achilleus does the unexpected things and the King decides to let Chryseis go. As soon as he lets her go, he sends his troops to take another maiden, Briseis from Achilleus. This step elicits tension since many people think that Achilleus will not accept Agamemnon's request. However, Achilleus shows his heroism by giving out the maiden easily so that the Greek land can remain peaceful.Last, Achilleus is more heroic than Hector because of his stand of pulling out his soldiers from the Greek army. This is among the bold steps ever taken in Achaean. The Agamemnon phobia makes most people to shy away from challenging him in any way. The two heroes have differences since everyone think the other is disrespectful. Agamemnon thinks Achilleus is challenging his leadership by asking him to let Chryseis go. Despite the fact that he surrenders the maiden to the Trojan people, he quickly orders for Briseis from Achilleus. Achilleus also surrenders her maiden but the next step he takes is to withdraw his troops and himself from the army. This is a bold step that makes him be a hero since few people could do that.
Comparison and Contrast
Firstly, both heroes have similarities despite the fact that Achilleus is more superior. The two warriors show acts of maturity that many people did not expect from them. They accept to take some steps for the better life for their people. Achilleus accepts to let the maiden's prize go when Agamemnon orders to surrender the maiden. Agamemnon does that since Achilleus challenged him too to let Chryseis go so that the people could stop suffering. Similar to that heroic and mature acceptance, it is heroic for Hector to admit his fate in the closing stages, even though each person in the world knows what the consequence of his battle will be. Hector run three times around the city since he is afraid of Achilleus.However, their heroic acts also differ in certain ways. While Hector tries to show that he is a hero by running away from the enemy, Achilleus stay to fight them. Hector is depicted as a hero for running three times round the city for the fear of Achilleus. Unlike him, Achilleus never run away from the enemies or people who challenged him. The best example is Agamemnon. Instead of shying away or keeping off, Achilleus faces the commander-in-chief and tells him the truth. This is the main difference between the two heroic acts.
To sum that up, TheIliadis a poem that stands between literature and history
The poem depicts the war between the Achaeans and the Troy city. A hero is someone admired for his noble qualities or courage and Achilleus happens to be one in this poem. There are various things and acts that make him be a hero. According to the poem, Archelleus and Agamemnon are those people who awarded the captured maidens. The captured maiden's awards go to superior people and Achilleus is arguably the most superior warrior. Achilleus faces Agamemnon after he refuses to let one of the captured maidens go as Chryseis demanded. He wants to stop people's suffering from the plague. Due to this fact, he asks commander-in-chief to let the maiden go. It is a commonly known fact that people fear the leader and no one could face or challenge him.