Essay: Speech of Achilles to Agamemnon

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[. . .] " (The Iliad. Bk 6 532-535).

Hector replied to what Andromache who told him that if Hector fought and died, he would risk a great deal; leave his son orphan and his wife a widow. Hector knew of these as facts, and he was greatly aware of what his actions may result in. However, he was not self-seeking and he did not want to do only what would be good for him and his family. Even though he had great love for his wife and his son, he did not want to abandon his duties; he wanted to do what is true and right according to justice. The essence of him saying this, which may seem that he does not care for his wife and son, is because he was looking at it through the bigger picture; this is what philosophical rhetoric is about. He knew that it was his duty to go off into battle, and he was not concerned about his own well-being; he sought for the betterment of the lives of others, no matter what the cost -- even with his own life. This is all which is true, noble and just.

"I've learned it all too well. To stand up bravely, always to fight in the front ranks of Trojan soldiers, winning my father great glory, glory for myself." (The Iliad. Bk 6 537-539).

This line shows a lot of courage in Hector. He put his men before himself, and even though he is a prince of Troy, he did not regard himself any greater than other Trojans. He did not even say that he will fight with them, deeming himself as equal, he wanted to fight in the front ranks, meaning if he anyone were to die, he were to die first. This shows that Hector is complete and does not feel that he is lacking anything. He does not question his position, and his structure seems very whole and sure. He does not speak of himself in a way in which he should be held higher than the rest. Also, in the last line, he stated that he wanted to work for his father's glory, putting his own glory second. This is very noble of him, and it does not in any way seem self-righteous. He is doing work not for himself, but for the advantage of others. He regards his father here as someone who is great, and someone who deserves glory. He has great regard for men as well as nobility and truth.

"…one day let them say, 'He is a better man than his father! -- when he comes home from battle bearing the bloody gear of the mortal enemy he has killed in war -- a joy to his mother's heart.'" (The Illiad. Bk 6 564-569).

This line is what Hector wishes for his son. This shows that Hector was not looking out for all his intentions, he does not hate anyone who is greater, equal or above him, he even wishes that his son were a better person. This shows that he regards others more than himself, and he walks in truth and in love; this is what makes his structure whole and true.

The two speeches differ in context as well as in tone. Their situation was the same, they were both pertaining to the war. Achilles saw this as a moment in which he can brag and verbally bring down his enemies. This showed characteristics of the base rhetoric; one who hates all which is true and good. Whilst Hector shows love and compassion, he was not self-seeking and he only wished he could do more for his country. Even as a prince of Troy he did not glorify himself as above others, and he looked out for the well-being of all his men, and was willing to fight by their side, no matter what. His intentions were not for himself, and he were to do it for the glory he wanted to bring his father. He continually looked for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Speech of Achilles to Agamemnon.  (2010, November 6).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Speech of Achilles to Agamemnon."  6 November 2010.  Web.  22 July 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Speech of Achilles to Agamemnon."  November 6, 2010.  Accessed July 22, 2019.