In The Iliad, how is Achilles responsible for Hector's death? I'm writing an essay for World Literature.  I am confused.  How do I start the intro and thesis for this persuasive essay?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

From one perspective, the answer is very easy. Achilles is responsible for the death of Hector, because he killed him. If we probe a little deeper, we can say a few more things.

1. Achilles probably would not have killed Hector, had Hector not killed Patroclus. Without the death of Patroclus, the Trojans would have probably won the fight against the Greeks.

2. The gods are also ever present in these Greek epics. So, if you consider them, the question is how responsible are these mortals, when the gods are over them?

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Achilles is responsible for Hector's death because he kills him.

Achilles had been staying in his tent, angry because Agamemmnon had taken Briseis from him.  While he was there, his best friend, Patroclus, got killed.  Patroclus had been wearing Achilles' armor, which Hector stripped from Patroclus' body.

So when Achilles heard his friend was dead, he went to take revenge on Hector.  He saw Hector was wearing his (Achilles') own armor.  Achilles knew the weak spot of that armor was the throat and he stabs Hector in the throat with a spear.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial