In Book 22, Hector killed Patroclus, Achilles’ close comrade. Achilles vowed to revenge for the friend’s death. He found Hector near Trojan walls. Hector tried to reason him, but Achilles was impregnable. He and killed Hector, stabbing him in the throat. Neither did he follow Hector’s request to return his dead body to King Priam.
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Enraged, Achilles chases the Trojans back to the city walls. He kills many of them, and all the rest hide within the walls. Only Hector remains outside to oppose Achilles. Besides, he was wearing Achilles’ armor that he took from Patroclus’s body previously. King Priam and Hecuba try to persuade their son to hide with the others but in vain.
Hector pondered for a while what he should do: run or face Achilles. He decided to stay, but when Achilles came closer, his determination failed him, and he ran. The two warriors made three circles around the walls of Troy.
Meanwhile, Zeus weighed Achilles’ and Hector’s fates on his scales. The god saw that it was Hector’s time to die and allowed Athena to intervene. She comes to Hector disguised as his brother, Deiphobus, and persuades him to stop running and fight.
Hector listened to Athena and said: “Now again my spirit biddeth me stand and face thee, whether I slay or be slain.” They met in single combat, which did not last long. Achilles threw his spear and hit Hector’s neck that was not covered with armor.
Achilles does not return his enemy’s corpse to his family. He tied his legs to the chariot and dragged him around the city. Priam, Hecuba, and Andromache watched this horrible scene.
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