Aeneid Virgil's Hero Term Paper

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Aeneid

Virgil's hero in the Aeneid is, in many ways, modeled upon the Homeric ideal of the hero, as embodied by persons such as Odysseus and Achilles. However, there are also fundamental differences that may initially detract from the status of Aeneas as a true hero in the Homeric sense. Nevertheless, the Aeneas' development throughout the story can be seen as crediting him with greater hero status than might initially be acknowledged.

In Book I, for example, the reader meets Aeneas at a low point. He is portrayed as the victim not only of his circumstances, but also of the gods. This contrasts him directly with heroes like Achilles, who has the favor of at least some of the more powerful gods on his side. Indeed, the Homeric hero is usually favored by the gods in such a way as to fulfill their destiny, or at least overthrow the immediate enemy.

In the case of Aeneas, however, the gods are against him in such a way that he has no defense. The very elements appear to be against him. His reaction to this is also hardly worthy of a hero. He longs to have at least died in his capacity of deciding his own fate; as a "hero" fighting for Troy. In his current situation, he is in mortal danger, but there is no heroic element; he is the victim of elements and gods against which he has absolutely no power. He does not even have the power to mentally defy the elements or the gods.

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2) When he joins Dido for dinner, Aeneas recounts his story. Although he places himself at the central point of the events. This account tends to smack of self-glorification, especially after the cowardly display at the violence of the storm that brought him to Dido's world. Indeed, Aeneas has shown absolutely no heroic qualities, and any claim to heroism that he makes appears to be inflated at best and false at worst.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Aeneid Virgil's Hero in the Aeneid Is, Assignment

The question is however whether there could be some extenuating circumstances to Virgil's hero, which homer's heroes did not have to contend with. No Homeric hero for example had to cope with the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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