Hector of course, is my next target of analysis. I’ve already discussed themes that are portrayed through Hector, but again I feel the need to speak of him as a character all the same. Hector is known in both texts as a brave prince and the most skilled warrior of the Trojans. However, there are some key changes made to various events surrounding Hector that I believe need to be explained. IN THE ILIAD, Hector is still a brave warrior and prince, but tell me, would a brave prince really run around the walls of Troy three times in a terrified pledge for survival? “But trembling gat hold of Hector when he was ware of him, neither dared he any more abide where he was, but left the gates behind him, and fled in fear; and the son of Peleus rushed after him, trusting in his fleetness of foot” – Book 22 the Iliad. That’s right, Hector ran around the walls of Troy 3 times before Athena came to him in the form of Deiphobus and convinced him to rush at Achilles (and therefore die). Hector brave? His last actions say otherwise, or could this be considered wise not to challenge the wrath of Achilles, the strongest warrior in Greece? Athene says this to Hector just before he rushes into combat – “Dear brother, in sooth my father and queenly mother, yea, and my comrades round about me, besought me much, entreating me each in turn that I should abide there, in such wise do they all tremble before Achilles; but my heart within me was sore distressed with bitter grief. Howbeit now let us charge straight at him and do battle, neither let there be anywise a sparing of spears, to the end that we may know whether Achilles shall slay us twain, and bear our bloody spoils to the hollow ships, or whether he shall haply be vanquished by thy spear.”. Whether Hector was brave and wise or a coward is unclear here, but whether we should define a hero by his last few moments or not will ultimately answer this question of character.
As always, I shall now look at Hector from Peterson’s perspective. What makes Hector different in Troy, is that Hector is removed of all negative or undesirable traits, and the events that show these. I would provide an example with evidence, but what it is here is a lack of evidence that will explain the point I am making. Peterson’s Hector is a character of law, bravery, courage and morale. In the film, It would be inappropriate for such a character to act as cowardly or even selfishly as the Hector of the Iliad. As previously mentioned, the Hector of the Iliad runs around the walls of Troy several times, NOPE! Peterson doesn’t like this, It’s gone! In the Iliad, Hector chooses glory over family stating that battle was the only means of “winning my(his) father great glory.”. NOPE! Peterson doesn’t like it, IT’S GONE! When Achilles runs away from Glaucus in book 17 – “When he had thus spoken, Hector of the flashing helm went forth from the fury of war, and ran, and speedily reached his comrades not yet far off, hastening after them with swift steps,” and shows great cowardice not once but twice, Peterson doesn’t like it. IT IS GONE. Those are three of many acts of cowardice from Hector that Peterson did not include in the Iliad. This leads me on again to Peterson’s idea reality of war and how a cowardly Hector would not be suited for this ideal. One could argue that the reality is that war could break down men to do things like this, but Peterson chose a wise and brave character capable of gaining respect from the audience over this. His reasoning could perhaps be the work of one idea or several ideas all working to produce the same effect.
So you’ve heard of him, well now you’ve heard more! That wraps up my analysis of Hector, stay tuned for more, or untuned, I don’t really mind which you are as long as you read my blog 😀