In The Iliad, how does Hector's hubris lead to his fate?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The term “hubris” in ancient Greek, unlike in the popular (mis)use in 21st century English, is a legal term meaning something along the lines of aggravated assault. Hector himself is not really guilty of this. Hector does kill Patroclus, but that was under the command of Apollo. Achilles` mistreatment of the corpse of Hector can be seen an example of hubris, because while killing an enemy is a legitimate act in war, defiling the body of an honourable enemy was considered wrong.  The acts of Achilles and Agamemnon at the beginning of Iliad, where they seize the daughter of a priest as a war prize, angering Apollo can be considered acts of hubris; this confirms Apollo’s support of the Trojans, leading to his helping Hector kill Patroclus, which enrages Achilles, and causes Achilles to rejoin the battle and kill Hector.


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