The Iliad Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Line). We used Richmond Lattimore's translation.
'Now is your time for big words, Hektor. Yours is the victory
given by Kronos' son, Zeus, and Apollo, who have subdued me
easily, since they themselves stripped the arms from my shoulders.
Even though twenty such as you had come in against me,
they would all have been broken beneath my spear, and have perished.
No, deadly destiny, with the son of Leto, has killed me,
and of men it was Euphorbos; you are only my third slayer.' (16.844-850)
If you've read Book 16, you'll know that what Patroklos says is technically true: Hektor was only the third person to strike him (though he was the only one to deliver a fatal blow). All the same, it definitely sounds like Patroklos is trying to knock Hektor's ego down a few notches, basically telling him he talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.
'If it is true that brilliant Achilleus is risen beside their
ships, then the worse for him if he tries it, since I for my part
will not run from him out of the sorrowful battle, but rather
stand fast, to see if he wins the great glory, or if I can win it.' (18.305-308)
Have you ever gotten yourself into a difficult situation just because you were afraid to admit you couldn't handle it? Sure you have. You should understand what Hektor's going through at this point.
'Ah me! If I go now inside the wall and the gateway,
Poulydamas will be first to put a reproach upon me,
since he tried to make me lead the Trojans inside the city
on that accursed night when brilliant Achilleus rose up,
and I would not obey him, but that would have been far better.
Now, since by my own recklessness I have ruined my people,
I feel shame before the Trojans and the Trojan women with trailing
robes, that someone who is less of a man than I will say of me:
"Hektor believed in his own strength and ruined his people."'(22.99-107)
This is a classic example of pride's double jeopardy. Because he was too full of himself to listen to Poulydamas's advice back in Book 18, Hektor now finds himself in a bad situation. But, for the same reason, he can't get out of that situation because he's afraid of Poulydamas saying "I told you so."