Literary Analysis Essay on Virgil's Aeneid

Published: 2021-08-11
970 words
4 pages
9 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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Virgils The Aeneid gets construed as a story that revolves the band survivors who left their destroyed homeland to seek refuge in another land. Literal critics argue the story to be more of fiction with the narrative fabric that is derived from both myth and legend. The plot overview images the story on the Mediterranean Sea where Aeneas and other Trojans leave their city of Troy for Italy after facing destructions from the Greek. When the sailors are about to reach the destination, an expected event characterized by a fierce storm happens, and they are thrown off the show and finds themselves in a place known as Carthage. It is at the place where Aeneas meets Dido and narrates a painful story about the difficulties of their journey. It also gets important to note that as the story continues, much comparison gets drawn from the character of Aeneas and Achilles, the protagonist of Homers epic poem. The two characters also get imaged to depict similar and different reactions based on the situations they encounter. Therefore, the paper gets premised on the comparison between Aeneas and Achilles based on their manner of reaction to situations. The discussion will also draw fundamental dependence on the motivations, responsibilities and the families of both the characters.

The first comparison between Aeneas and Achilles gets drawn on motivation. Both of them gets imaged to be motivated towards making some achievements. They are both motivated by glory. Aeneas who was the son of the goddess Venus and the mortal Anchises gets motivated by the glory that awaits the Roman race which he will be one of the people who will help in finding. On the other hand, Achilles draw his motivation based on the prophesized glory of him dying young and glorified at Troy or acquiring the same status at Greece during his old age. It is important to note that the explained point depicts the aspect of similarity and contrast. The similarity gets drawn by both the characters drawing their source of motivation that awaits them from glory. The difference is noted on the kind of glory that each is concerned about, for example, in the case of Aeneas, he gets motivated by the national glory that awaits the entire Roman race (Virgil, Gawain, and Gordon, 2). Therefore, after his survival of the Trojan War, he moves in search of a new homeland which according to the prophecy is Italy where the Roman race would be established. In the case of Achilles, he draws his motivation based on the individual glory with the primary focus on the prophecy which prophesied to him that he would die at a younger age although glorious at Troy or establish a permanent settlement in Greece and acquire the glory at old age.

The next similarity and contrast get drawn on their responsibility. The two are similar since both got charged with the responsibility of leading the warriors to the battlefields. Both of them were leaders and led their teams to the battle. For example, Aeneas was a mighty Greek warrior who led the Trojan War while Achilles led the war against their enemies. The contrast between the two comes in based on how they managed their responsibility. It gets noted in the story that Aeneas was a constructive and civilized leader characterized by chastity, discipline, and love. He never abandoned his force at any moment and led them to successful battles in the pursuit of a new culture and home. He is also noted not to have displayed misuse of powers and emotions at any point and was able to conquer his selflessness for the good of the people (Virgil, Gawain, and Gordon, 5). On the other hand, Achilles gets imaged as a leader who managed his responsibilities in the most brutal way possible. Unlike Aeneas, he was more of a fierce warrior whose primary objective got drawn on concurring the bloody wars. He killed the enemies without contempt, and his attacks and battles meant nothing less of the huge massacre. He did not also respect those who were on his team and the justification for the mentioned got noted when Hector pled with him not throw his body to the dogs. He failed to heed Hectors request and instead, subjected the body to the most brutal treatment of teeing it to his chariot and dragging it on the dust and mud.

Lastly, the final similarity and contrasts get drawn from their families. The two were both demi-gods born of great families. As noted earlier, Aeneas was born of the Trojan Prince one Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite or Venus while Achilles the protagonist of Homers epic poem was the son of King Peleus of the Myrmidons. Their families were both respected and charged with the responsibility of managing a huge population. However, the contrast comes into context based on how each related to the family members. In the case of Aeneas, his respect was maintained, and he made his family and the people proud until the time of his peaceful death in Lavinium (Virgil, Gawain, and Gordon, 8). On the case of Achilles, he became egocentric and proud to the extent where he could not listen to his mother when she made attempts of coaxing him. He later died at the bequest of the gods after Apollo who was angered by the mistreatment of Hector assisted Paris in bringing him down.

In summary, it gets important to note that both Aeneas and Achilles exist as two great heroes that trace their roots to the Greco-Roman mythology. They existed at different civilizations which got separated by geography and many years. Even though the time difference gets noted, they both got described in a manner which ensured the maintenance of their heroic nature.

Works Cited

Virgil, Gawain Douglas, and Gordon Kendal. "The Aeneid (1513)." (2011). Print.

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