Poetics

by

Aristotle

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Hector Character Analysis

Hector is a prince in Greek mythology and a character in Homer’s Iliad. According to Homer, Hector is killed by Achilles in a fight; however, Achilles chases Hector around the city of Troy three times before Hector faces him to fight. Aristotle claims Hector’s pursuit would be ridiculous on stage in a tragedy, but such irrationalities are less problematic in epic poetry and often happen outside the story (meaning they are simply referred to rather than described in detail).

Hector Quotes in Poetics

The Poetics quotes below are all either spoken by Hector or refer to Hector. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Poetics published in 1997.
Chapter 10 Quotes

While it is true that astonishment is an effect which should be sought in tragedy, the irrational (which is the most important source of astonishment) is more feasible in epic, because one is not looking at the agent. The pursuit of Hector would seem preposterous on stage, with the others standing by and taking no part in the pursuit while Achilles shakes his head to restrain them; but in epic it escapes notices.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker), Homer, Achilles, Hector
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hector Character Timeline in Poetics

The timeline below shows where the character Hector appears in Poetics. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10. Epic
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
...in an epic, since readers are not always looking directly at the object. For example, Hector’s pursuit would be irrational on stage, but this irrationality isn’t noticed in the epic. According... (full context)
Chapter 11. Problems and Solutions
Imitation  Theme Icon
...is an error; however, if this error achieves a desired effect, like the pursuit of Hector, then the error is “correct” and therefore not really an error. Aristotle also argues that... (full context)