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The Iliad and the Admirable Hector

            In the well-known epic the Iliad, there are a number of characters who could be classified as heroes and leaders. When the audience analyzes the story from Homer's point of view, the reader finds that Homer admired characters who exhibit bravery, loyalty and nobility of heart. Throughout the story, the main character, Hector, demonstrates all of these virtues. His undying loyalty to Troy, his beloved country; his efforts to maintain peace in his homeland; his boundless counter-attacks on the Achaean army; and his focus on his wife and only son all demonstrate his integrity. Homer, however, makes a point of showing Hector's faults as well, revealing his foolishness, cruelty, impulsiveness, pride, and rare acts of cowardice. In spite of his imperfections, Homer's Hector remains a stately character.
             Hector is one of the most intelligent characters in the Iliad and displays his thoughtfulness and adoration toward his country. In Book 3, Homer touches on how adamant Hector is about stopping the war in order to reduce the number of casualties that would occur, not only for the Trojans, but also for the Greeks. In an effort to cease hostilities, Hector comes up with a plan that no other mortal had thought of during the ten long years of warfare. Hector explains that Paris and Menelaus should battle it out to the death, saying they should "fight it out/ for Helen and all her wealth in single combat. And the one who proves the better man and wins/ let him take both wealth and woman to his house. The rest will seal in blood their binding pacts of friendship" (3.110-114). In contrast to the other warriors, Hector displays a calmer, more judicious demeanor, showing his maturity and greater level of intellect. He questions Paris by asking, "You can't stand up to battling Menelaus? You'd soon feel his force, that man you robbed/ of his sumptuous warm wife" (3.60-62). Hector believes that the loss of one life is preferable to the loss of thousands of lives that would inevitably occur for both armies should the war continue.

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