Please don’t offer me wine, dear Mother; / it may rob me of my strength and weaken my will to fight. / And I dare not pour a libation to the immortals / with unwashed hands, nor may anyone offer prayers / to Lord Zeus when he is filthy with blood and gore.

Hector is dedicated to war and the glory he can receive from it. When he goes home to ask for help in the form of prayer from his mother and her maids, he refuses her offer of rest and refreshments. Hector does not want to be deterred from his single-minded mission, so he will not rest. However, he also knows the rules of interacting with the gods, so he refuses to join her in prayer while he is dirty from battle. He always considers himself at war, even when he is not on the battlefield.

And someone will say, in a generation far distant, / . . . ‘This is the funeral mound of some great man / who in ancient times was killed by glorious Hector.’ / Thus he will speak, and my honor will never die.

Hector knows himself to be a great warrior, so much so that he boasts of his own reputation as he tries to convince the Achaeans to send a warrior against him in combat. Hector issues the challenge as well as the rewards for whoever should win the duel. If the Achaean wins, Hector gives them permission to take his armor as their own provided they leave his body to be burned. However, if Hector wins, he receives the same privilege plus the guarantee that the Achaeans will bury their failed champion where the grave will always be visible to passersby. Hector wants to win the war, but he also wants to ensure generations of people know it was him who won the victory.

Hector, you are a very hard man to advise. / Because the gods have made you supreme in warfare, / you think that you always know best in tactics as well. / But you should not claim preeminence in all things.

Polydamas reproaches Hector for thinking himself superior in all things simply because he is superior in one. Polydamas advises Hector to follow his plan because he has strong tactical sense. Fortunately for the Trojans, Hector agrees with Polydamas and pulls the commanders back to regroup for another attack. Hector sees the need to keep other soldiers safe, but he does not see a reason to remove himself from the danger. Once again, we see Hector’s aggression as he puts himself in a command position he is unequipped for, then carries on into enemy territory without an army. However, Hector’s reaction to Polydamas shows he does not let his high opinion of himself get in the way of sound advice.