Who Is Hector in The Iliad?

The epic hero is the first-born son of the King of Troy, Priam. He is the husband of Andromache and the father of Astyanax, his baby son. Hector is the commander-in-chief of the Trojan forces and the heir of the throne after Priam’s death.

The greatest Trojan warrior disapproved of the war. Still, he commanded the army through several subordinates: Polydamas, Deiphobus, Helenus, and Paris (the latter three were his younger brothers).  

The Iliad describes three Hector’s duels: with Protesilaus, Great Ajax, and Achilles. In the fight with Protesilaus, Hector killed his opponent. In the second duel, Ajax broke Hector’s shield with a big stone and wounded him with a spear through his armor. Then, Apollo intervened, and the fight ended. Hector and Ajax exchanged fateful gifts: Hector gave his sword, with which Ajax later killed himself. Ajax gave his girdle, which Achilles later used to fasten Hector’s corpse to his chariot to drag around the walls of Troy. The third duel, with Achilles, brought Hector to death. 

Before Hector’s death, he passes some heart-touching moments with his family, Andromache, and baby Astyanax. Homer presents Hector as a kind and caring father and husband.  

The hero would have been a decent successor of his father, King Priam. After his death, Priam came to Achilles to collect the body. He said that the only son that could have helped him was dead. Hector’s death marked the beginning of the fall of Troy.

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