I must disagree with Hektor's commentary above.
"His refusal to flee even in the face of vastly superior forces makes him the most tragic figure in the poem."
He did flee. THREE times... The only moment when he stands and fights is when he thinks he has a buddy by his side to back him up.
("Athene deceived Hector with her words and her disguise.")
Sorry, but that is cowardice (and he is the GREATEST of the Trojans... just saying...) He is a coward by the end of the book, not so different from Paris.
Quotes from Book 22 as evidence:
"Now Hector was gripped by fear and, trembling at the sight of him, afraid to stand his ground by the gate, set off running."
"Every time Hector made a break for the Dardanian Gate hoping to gain the shelter of the solid walls, where the defenders might protect him with their missiles,"
"Hector fled as fast as he could in terror"
"these two warriors ran swiftly three times round the city of Troy"
"[Athena] appeared to noble Hector in the form of Deiphobus, that tireless speaker: ‘Dear brother, swift Achilles pressed you hard there, chasing you round the city at a pace, but here let us make a stand together, and defend ourselves.’
Great Hector of the gleaming helm, replied: ‘Deiphobus, of all my brothers born to Hecabe and Priam, you are by far the dearest, and now I’ll honour you in my mind even more, since you, while the others stay within and watch, have come to find me outside the wall.’
‘Dear brother,’ said bright-eyed Athene, in disguise, ‘our parents and friends in turn begged me not to come here, so terrified are they of Achilles, but I was tormented by anxiety. Let’s attack him head on, not spare our spears, and find out if he’ll kill us and carry our blood-stained armour to the hollow ships, or be conquered by our blades.’"