At the end of Book VI in the Iliad, Hector's wife, Andromache, and their young son bid farewell to him on the eve of battle. It is a touching scene of domesticity, showing the kind of tender home life both sides are fighting to preserve. Andromache pleads with Hector not to go to war. He responds by saying:
Wife, I too have thought upon all this, but with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win renown alike for my father and myself.
This passage articulates the importance of courage and heroism in the ancient world. Hector aches to be home with his wife and son, but he can't imagine a life without the honor that comes from being a warrior. He must face battle: to be a coward is unthinkable to him. His entire self worth rests on his ability to fight.
Later, Hector will bless his son by saying to him that he wishes for Astyanax to be:
far better than the father. May he bring back the blood-stained spoils of him whom he has laid low, and let his mother’s heart be glad.
Astyanax has cried in fear of seeing his father in his armor and helmet, not recognizing him. Nevertheless, Hector wants him to be part of the warrior culture when he grows up and become a soldier like his father. Tragically, when the Trojans lose the war, the Greeks will kill the young child.