Known From: The Iliad“One omen is best: defending the fatherland” -Hector, from The Iliad
Hector is a prominent character in Homer’s The Iliad, who gains the wrath of Achilles after he kills Achilles’ friend, Patroclus. Hector is the prince of Troy, the great walled city that is under siege from Achilles and the invading Greeks. Hector is often considered a brave and honorable man, fighting to defend his country from ferocious invaders.
Hector is the first born son of the Trojan king Priam. The young prince is born into nobility and heir to his fathers throne. He has a wife, Andromache, and a young son, Scamandrius. During the Trojan war Hector slays many invaders. It is told that by the time of his death, he was responsible for the death of 31,000 Greek warriors.
Hector is depicted as a loyal son of Troy who wishes only to see his homeland spared from the invading Greeks, and it is never suggested that Hector has any dark or sinister motivations. And while Hector often scolds and belittles his younger brother Paris, the man largely responsible for starting the Trojan war, he still fights nobly to protect Paris and all the citizens of Troy.
Although Hector is a skilled warrior, he unfortunately gains the wrath of Achilles when he slays Achilles’ companion, Patroclus. At the time of Patrocles’ death, Hector stands over him and declares:
“I am foremost of all the Trojan warriors to stave the day of bondage from off them; as for you, vultures shall devour you here.”
These words would gain the attention of Achilles. Hector would be pursued by the legendary warrior throughout the course of the war. Hector would finally meet his end at the hands of Achilles outside the walls of Troy. Achilles slays Hector and proceeds to drag his corpse behind his chariot. Achilles retorts to Hector as he dies:
“I would now be inclined to hack the flesh from your body and devour it, such agonies you have caused me”
It is only after King Priam pleads with Achilles, does Hector ever receive proper burial rites.