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The Iliad
The Difference Between

What are the differences between Paris and Hector in Iliad?


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May 28, 2015 12:59PM

Paris and Hector are brothers and although it is not explicitly stated by Homer, it appears that Hector is probably the elder and Paris the younger. Hector is the most able warrior in Troy and is the leader of the Trojan army and he is looked up to by the citizens of Troy, whereas Paris is regarded by his people as 'black death'. They are different in many aspects.

  1. Hector accuses Paris in Book 3 of being 'beautiful, woman crazy, cajoling' and for not facing up to Menalaus in battle and wishes he had never been born, so the whole war wouldn't have happened. Contrastingly, Hector in Book 22 does stand up to fight Achilles, although he does have an inwardly debate as to whether he should fight.

    Paris isn't as capable as Hector in fighting; he hardly participates and when he does, is scared and nothing like what they thought a soldier should be. Paris is a archer and Hector a swordsman who fights face to face showing him to be braver. Hector has to make up for the fact that his father, Priam is old and that Paris is weak at fighting, by being a strong warrior.

  2. They are both husbands, but Paris doesn't have children. Hector has one son with his wife, Andromache, called Scamandrius (Asyanax), who both later meet their unfortunate deaths when Troy is captured.
  3. Hector as a son, is the one that wishes most to win glory for his father, Priam. This was the idea in Ancient Greece, that a son can gain respect for his father by fighting in battle. Hector says in Book 6 that he wishes for his son to grow up to be a better man than he. (However, we know this will never come to be). Hector, especially in Book 22 knows that retreating into the walls of Troy will show cowardice, which is something that he does not ever want to succumb to. Thus, he fights to the death against Achilles.