What are Hector's motivations in the Iliad for being a great warrior?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Hector's motivations as a great warrior are fairly clear.  He recognizes the Greek threat as significant.  Hector understands that his motivations as a great warrior do not lie in his own individual accomplishment as much as they rest in the success of Troy.  His commitment and motivations lie with the soldiers he commands.  Hector demonstrates absolute loyalty to them.  When faced with the unenviable task of confronting Achilles, where certain death is nearly absolute, he does not evade his responsibility.  He sacrifices himself, knowing full well what the outcome will be.  This shows his motivations as a great warrior who stands for the welfare of his people.

At the same time, I think that Hector's motivations rest with his family name.  He fights in the name of his father, never relenting to Priam's wishes or to the throne that is representative of his lineage.  Even when his brother does the ill- advised action of taking Helen, Hector stands for him and defends him.  The defense of family becomes another motivation for Hector.  In both of these motivations, Hector's heroically selfless nature is evident.