Man Crush Monday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Roadside Reader meant to show some loving to our favourite literary males! From obvious choices like your Jace Herondales and Mr. Darcys, to more obscure or debateable characters such as the Nicolas de Lenfents or Heathcliffs of the world, here is your chance to make your case on their behalf!
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For my inaugural Man Crush Monday post, I had to think long and hard about who was really, truly worthy. Who is the male character that I have always held close to my heart, a flame burning eternal? The question is overwhelming as there are so many. Yet, perhaps the best place to start is at the very beginning. The very beginning of time that is. My Man Crush Monday is none other than…
Hektor of Troy
That’s right. I’m going all the way back to Ancient Greece and the Iliad. This man is the embodiment of perfection, right down to his stupid, unwavering loyalty. Hektor, greatest hero of Troy, devoted husband, son, and brother. He is an amazing warrior, bested by none save the demigod Achilles. Often overlooked by readers and overshadowed by the flashier Paris and Achilles in the Iliad, Hektor is the stalwart ideal. Which is why his fate is so tragic, it always brings a tear to my eye.
Alas! the gods have lured me on to my destruction. … death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and there is no way out of it- for so Zeus and his son Apollo the far-darter have willed it, though heretofore they have been ever ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.
- Book XXII, Iliad
He knows before he goes to this last battle that he will finally fail, but he goes nonetheless. Out of duty to his people. Yet, he takes no joy in the coming battle, leaving only with sadness and heavy heart.
And Hector answered, “Wife, I too have thought upon all this, but with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win renown alike for my father and myself. Well do I know that the day will surely come when mighty Ilius shall be destroyed with Priam and Priam’s people, but I grieve for none of these- not even for Hecuba, nor King Priam, nor for my brothers many and brave who may fall in the dust before their foes- for none of these do I grieve as for yourself when the day shall come on which some one of the Achaeans shall rob you for ever of your freedom, and bear you weeping away. It may be that you will have to ply the loom in Argos at the bidding of a mistress, or to fetch water from the springs Messeis or Hypereia, treated brutally by some cruel task-master; then will one say who sees you weeping, ‘She was wife to Hector, the bravest warrior among the Trojans during the war before Ilius.’ On this your tears will break forth anew for him who would have put away the day of captivity from you. May I lie dead under the barrow that is heaped over my body ere I hear your cry as they carry you into bondage.”
He stretched his arms towards his child, but the boy cried and nestled in his nurse’s bosom, scared at the sight of his father’s armour, and at the horse-hair plume that nodded fiercely from his helmet. His father and mother laughed to see him, but Hector took the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the ground. Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled him in his arms, praying over him the while to Zeus and to all the gods. “Zeus,” he cried, “grant that this my child may be even as myself, chief among the Trojans; let him be not less excellent in strength, and let him rule Ilius with his might. Then may one say of him as he comes from battle, ‘The son is far better than the father.’ May he bring back the blood-stained spoils of him whom he has laid low, and let his mother’s heart be glad.'”
-Book VI, Iliad
And this why he is my eternal love and the inaugural Man Crush Monday