Hector Quotations from The Iliad

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Summer Stewart

Summer has taught creative writing and sciences at the college level. She holds an MFA in Creative writing and a B.A.S. in English and Nutrition

Hector is a valiant and compassionate Trojan warrior in Homer's ''The Iliad''. He fights for his brother and his people; he takes on the great Achilles. In this lesson, we will read quotes from the poem to learn more about Hector. Updated: 01/18/2021

Hector in The Iliad

Hector is a strong and compassionate Trojan warrior and the beloved son of King Priam. In fact, Priam loves him so much more than his other children that he says, ''I wish all you had been killed.'' Hector fights valiantly in the last years of the Trojan War, which the poem describes. From the very beginning of Homer's The Iliad, Hector is painted as a dutiful son and husband who proudly protects his homeland, but as the poem moves forward, a dark and not so worthy trait surfaces: Hector's pride. Ultimately, it is Hector's pride and need to look almighty in front of his people that kills him. But no matter the circumstances, Hector is a good man, and he is worth talking about! In this lesson, we will look at both sides of Hector by reading quotes from the poem.

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  • 0:04 Hector in ''The Iliad''
  • 0:51 Hector and His Family
  • 2:03 The Pride of Hector
  • 3:09 Respecting the Enemy
  • 3:44 Lesson Summary
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Hector and His Family

Hector is the ultimate family man in The Iliad. He deeply loves his wife Andromache and his young son. In fact, he loves his son so much that he wishes for him to be greater than himself. He says, ''Zeus, all you immortals! Grant this boy, my son, may be like me, first in glory among the Trojans, strong and brave like me, and rule all Troy in power and one day let them say, 'He is a better man than his father!''' Hector wants the best for his son.

Hector loves his family, but he isn't very happy with his brother Paris' actions. Paris bringing Helen to Troy is what spurred the entire war, and yet he doesn't fight in the battle. Hector and his family could have given back Helen, and even sacrificed Paris' life, but instead, they fight for him.

But Hector doesn't let Paris' action go unnoticed. Hector says, ''Paris, you handsome, woman-mad deceiver, you shouldn't have been born, or killed unmarried. I wish you had — it would have been far better.'' Hector wishes he had been killed or never born because he brings such shame onto the family. Hector hates what his brother has done, but that doesn't stop him from protecting his people.

The Pride of Hector

Hector's pride is what makes Hector a great Trojan warrior, but it's also what blinds him from making smart decisions. During the war, Poulydamas warns Hector about staying and fighting when he knows they are at a disadvantage and Hector doesn't listen. He realizes his poor choice when Achilles is coming in behind him as the army heads toward the fortress. He says, ''I would not obey him, but that would have been far better. Now, since by my own recklessness I have ruined my people, I feel shame before the Trojans and the Trojan women.''

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