Why did Hector kill Patroclus in the Iliad?

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In the Iliad, Hector kills Patroclus in a desperate battle outside the gates of Troy because he mistakes Patroclus for Achilles. In so doing, Hector fulfills a prophecy that foretold the defeat of the Trojans.

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In the Iliad , Patroclus is Achilles's best friend. Enraged by the Trojan assault on the Greeks, which has almost reached their camp, Patroclus convinces Achilles to let him wear his armor and lead Achilles's army into battle. Achilles agrees, but he makes Patroclus promise to leave the fight after...

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the Trojans have been beaten back. Patroclus, however, chases the Trojans back to the walls of Troy, slaying many, including Sarpedon, son of Zeus. Hector, the leader of the Trojans, mistakes Patroclus for Achilles and kills him.

The actions of all the heroes involved in this story are determined by the gods. Patroclus's death is foretold by Zeus, who says that Hector will be killed after he slays Patroclus. Apollo plays a significant role in the fighting, filling the Trojans with both strength and fear at appropriate moments and causing Patroclus to "lose his wits" at the moment when he decides to chase after the retreating Trojans rather than honor his promise to Achilles and retire from battle. Zeus decides that Patroclus must die to avenge the death of Sarpedon; Apollo secretly wounds Patroclus, and Hector kills him with his spear, in fulfillment of prophecy.

The death of Patroclus is the turning point in the war. Achilles, devastated by the death of his friend, returns to battle, kills Hector, and defeats the Trojans.

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Why did Achilles cry after killing Hector?

Achilles's particularly egregious treatment of the corpse of his enemy, the Trojan Hector, all stems from the fact that he is desperate to avenge the death of Patroclus, whom he loved so much. In book 23 of the Iliad, after Hector has died at the hands of Achilles, we see Achilles cry again in mourning for Patroclus.

He is certainly not alone in his mourning, however. He bids the Myrmidons not to unyoke their teams of horses from their chariots before they drive the horses around Patroclus's funeral bier. At this point, the Greeks have dragged Hector's corpse back to their own camps, and Achilles therefore declares to Patroclus that he has kept his promise: he has dragged Hector's corpse back to camp to avenge Patroclus's death. The group of Greeks who are with Achilles join with him in lamentations and crying, grieving again for their fallen Patroclus.
Hector's corpse is then flung face down into the ground next to Patroclus's bier. It is very important to Achilles that Hector should suffer great indignities in death. This seems to help him deal with the pain of losing Patroclus. It is also important to Achilles that Patroclus be ceremonially mourned by as many people as possible, while at the same time denying the Trojans the right to mourn their own lost son.
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Why did Achilles kill Hector?

In the early books of the Iliad, Achilles refuses to fight because he is angry that Agamemnon, the Greek leader, has taken the lovely Briseis as his own, since she was promised to Achilles and is rightfully his. However, Achilles does allow his best friend Patroclus to fight while wearing his armor. This will intimidate the Trojans, as once they see the armor, they will believe the mighty Achilles has reentered the battlefield.

Even though he is wearing the armor of the legendary Achilles, Patroclus dies in battle after being stabbed with a spear by the Trojan Hector. When Achilles hears this news, he is overcome with grief, and he goes into a frenzy of anger, guilt, and vengeance. He immediately returns to battle, and he kills so many Trojans that the river is clogged with their dead bodies. He then confronts Hector. Hector wants to flee, knowing he is no match for Achilles, but the gods, deciding it is Hector's time to die, convince him to stay. Achilles avenges Patroclus's death by killing Hector and then, still in a mad frenzy, dishonors his corpse. Rather than returning it to Tory or giving it a proper burial, Achilles ties Hector's body to the back of his chariot and rides three times around the walls of Troy, dragging the body.

Achilles's reaction to Patroclus's death shows how deeply he cared about his friend and how he grieves his parting. We also see how powerful a warrior Achilles is once he is reengaged in fighting.

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