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p. 657. The tragedy of Hectorlocked

  • Barbara Graziosi


‘The tragedy of Hector’ explains how the death of this hero becomes a symbol for the fall of Troy. It also argues that the Iliad does not allow us to view it only from that general perspective. The poem explores how Hector himself comes to realise that he is about to die and it is through Hector that we are shown in detail what it means to draw ever closer to death. Hector is an impressive character, and yet has flaws, including his acute sense of shame. He deserves sympathy, yet the gods abandon him. The poet gives us unprecedented access to his state of mind, and contrasts his hope with what we already know will happen to him.

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