What prayer does Hector make for his child in the Iliad?

The prayer that Hector makes for his child in the Iliad is that the boy will one day "kill his enemy and bring home the blood-stained spoils and bring joy to his mother's heart." These words show the importance of warrior values in Trojan society.

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As he heads off out to battle, Hector knows what's at stake. If Troy should fall, then all the men will be wiped out and the women and children sold into slavery. As Hector has a wife and son, he's especially aware of the disastrous consequences that will follow hot on the heels of a Trojan defeat.

Still, he must be positive. And so, before entering the fray, he offers up a prayer to mighty Zeus, imploring him to make his infant son Astyanax chief among the Trojans, not less excellent in strength than himself, and that he will "bring home the blood-stained spoils of battle and bring joy to his mother's heart."

In his prayer to Zeus, Hector is expressing the martial values of ancient Troy, the exact same values shared by their Achaean enemies. And yet those very same values have led to the current situation, where Astyanax is in real danger of ending up being killed or sold into slavery with the fall of his native city.

Hector seems to have no real understanding of the irony here. He's lived...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 995 words.)

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