Aeneas is the name used with reference to the tragic hero in the Aeneid. Hektor, on the
other hand, is the tragic hero in Iliad. Both are fathers and husbands but are portrayed differently.
Both are warriors who are committed to protecting their city and were actively involved in
various battles. Hektor is depicted as a great warrior who protects his city and a father to
Astyanax and husband to Andromache. However, he puts his responsibilities to the city above
the need to be there for his family. Both words and actions can be used in highlighting the
difference between Aeneas and Hektor as far as being a warrior and a family man is concerned.
In Book VI, where there is an intimate scene between Hector and his wife Andromache
can be said to be the most intimate scene in Iliad. It is seen that Hector had been rushing to see
his family before leaving for a battle. Andromache tries to convince Hector not to go for the
battle. Hector’s sense of pride that is associated with his responsibility as a warrior proves to be
greater than his sense of duty to Andromache and Astyanax (AHomer, 2007). He does not want
the shame that is associated with the cowardice act of avoiding war. However, given that
Astyanax was still young and Andromache would have benefited from his presence, Hektor
would have been considered to be a great family man if he would have considered staying with
his family instead of going for the battle. Hector is ready to risk his family being enslaved than
being dishonored by an act of cowardice. However, this can be termed as illogical, given that he
was aware that Troy would fall. Therefore, to Hektor, being a warrior is all about pride.
Unlike Hector, Aeneas can be said to be highly interested in protecting his family. His
interest can only be provided by his actions but his intentions. When Troy is under attack,
Aeneas decides to go back home to help his father, wife, and son escape to the countryside.
AENEAS AND HECTOR AS WARRIORS AND FAMILY MEN 3
Therefore, he is an exact contrast of Hector, who was ready to protect the city at the expense of
protecting his family. It was only after his wife, Creusa refuses to leave the city that he decides
that he should remain behind and protect the city. Therefore, it can be said that Aeneas is a better
family man because he understands how important his role in protecting his family is. He is
concerned about the safety of, not only his wife and son, but also his father.
However, Hektor can be said to be a better warrior than Aeneas because of his
willingness to protect the city even with the knowledge that the outcome was less likely to be
positive. Unlike Aeneas, Hektor is not forced by circumstances to defend the city. Hector is
driven by the pride of being counted as one of the people who stood up for the city. To Aeneas,
standing up for the city was secondary. If his wife was willing to leave the city, he would not
have considered defending his city. However, the difference between the two characters might
also be in the fact that they one is rational while the other is not. Aeneas knew that there were
minimal circumstances for the survival of the city. Therefore, all he cared about at the moment
was making sure that regardless of what happened to the city, his family would remain safe.
Hektor, on the other hand, knew the impending danger but was not passionate enough about the
safety of his family to think about their safety first.
However, Hector should also be considered to have been a better family man because he
was never pushed to think about his family. Hektor is aware of the role that he is supposed to
play in his family regardless of his admission that he would not be able to play it. Such an
assertion can be defended by the proclamation that he would rather be dead than experience his
wife agonizing in captivity. Aeneas, on the other hand, does not give his family a thought until
his mother intervenes (Virgilio, 1995). Therefore, it can be said that Aeneas was not much of a
family man before the incident when he tries to get his family to safety. There is not much that
AENEAS AND HECTOR AS WARRIORS AND FAMILY MEN 4
Aeneas says about his family. The fact that Aeneas was willing to risk the lives of the rest of his
family while trying to save his father’s life can also raise questions regarding his responsibility
as a husband and a father. He does not show much concern with regard to protecting his wife and
son. The lack of interest in saving his son and wife does not make Aeneas different from Hektor.
The primary difference is that Aeneas has the chance of focusing on his family after everything
seemed to have fallen apart in the Troy.
Hector is an ideal warrior. He goes to battle, regardless of the knowledge that the
outcomes would not be positive. Such knowledge does not hinder him from serving the role of a
protector of Troy. He serves the role of a war warrior that the people of Troy wanted. The
abilities of Aeneas as a warrior should not be taken for granted as he led to people of Troy in
various wars. However, Aeneas’s abilities are inferior to those of Hector. Aeneas was not as
brave as Hektor and chose to escape from Troy when things got out of hand. Hector stayed and
fought on to the point when he was killed by Achilles, who had been prophesized to be his killer.
Despite the fact that Hector knew that facing Achilles would increase the chance of drying, he
stayed on and fought for the honor of his people.
Despite the fact that this paper focused on the differences between Hector and Aeneas, it
has emerged that the two heroes had a lot in common as far as being warriors and family men
were concerned. One theme that emerges is that being a warrior often makes it hard for men to
play the roles that they are supposed to play in their families. However, given the context of the
mythologies, it is evident that being a warrior was the primary responsibility of men. Therefore,
the role of men in their homes were often overlooked if they did well in battles and showed high
levels of bravery. The primary difference between the two characters is seen in their intentions as
far as being there for their families is concerned.
AENEAS AND HECTOR AS WARRIORS AND FAMILY MEN 5
Virgilio. (1995). The Aeneid. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions.
Homer.(2007). The Iliad. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.