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Word Count: 1,051
The heroic code that Homeric heroes follow is that of honour Every hero endeavours to win the respect of his peers In fact achieving honour in life is more important than life itself Hence it is not surprising when heroes such as Achilles and Hector give up their lives to gain the admiration of their peers In Homeric society the person who shows highest usefulness enjoys greatest honour In a war situation as the one presented in the Iliad this would translate to ones fighting abilities Hence courage and physical strength are the two most important characteristics desired from a Homeric hero With this notion of heroism it is easy to conclude Achilles as the better hero Thus the purpose of this paper is two-fold First to ascertain Achilles as the greatest Homeric hero Second to point out the absurdity of Homeric values and prove Hector as the better hero Achilles was pre-destined to be powerful His mother Thetis was wed to a mortal by Zeus only so that her child would not become a danger to Zeus throne Thus Achilles is the strongest mortal alive No mortal can compare to him in physical prowess Since strength is one the most desirable characteristics of a Homeric hero it makes Achilles the greatest Homeric hero in the Iliad Hector cannot compare to Achilles in strength This he himself admits on several occasions This self-admitted inferiority to Achilles is enough to make Achilles the greater hero Achilles is also the better of the two fighters His exploits in war are much greater than that of Hector And he achieves this without the help of any gods Nowhere in the Iliad has Achilles been carried away by a god to safety This shows that he does not meet a match in any of the warriors presented in the Iliad He clearly overshadows them all in combat Hector on the other hand has to be saved by the Gods
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