3. hector


Welcome to episode 3! In this episode, we meet the great Trojan hero from the Trojan War, Hector, in his moment of decision. Will he choose to fight the Greek hero Achilles? Or does he take the easy route out? We examine his soliloquy in Iliad 22.99-115. It’s not easy being a hero!


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This week’s passage is Iliad 22:99-115

What shall I do? If I go back through the gates in the wall
Polydamas will be the first to heap reproaches on me, 100
because he urged me at the start of this last deadly night,
when glorious Achilles rose up, to lead the Trojans into the city.
I would not listen to him—but it would have been much better.
But now, since I have ruined the people by my recklessness,
I feel shame before the Trojan men and the Trojan women with their 105
trailing robes, in case some man of low rank may say of me:
‘Hector trusted in his own might and so refined his people.’
That is what they will say; and then it would be far better
to go and meet Achilles face to face and either kill him and return
or die at his hands, full of glory, in front of the city. 110
And yet, suppose I lay down my bossed shield and
strong helmet and lean my spear against the wall, and
go out by myself to meet blameless Achilles, and
promise to give back Helen and her possessions with her,
every single thing that Alexander brought to Troy…

Homer. Iliad. Trans. Anthony Verity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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This week’s theme music: “Super Hero” by King Louie’s Missing Monuments from the album “Live at WFMU” (2011). Used under Creative Commons license. Music used under Creative Commons license and available from Free Music Archive.