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The Odyssey/ Aeneid

Essay by   •  September 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,155 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,738 Views

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Kiki Singh

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INTRO: Virgil consciously incorporated The Odyssey into The Aeneid, for reasons that will be discussed. However, one can only assume that the parallel between these epics has an underlying motive. The heroes of the Odyssey and The Aeneid have many similarities, but more than that the differences are really what emphasize the separate cultures. These two epics parallel the history of the Greek and Romans, creating a connection between the eras. The heroes are depicted as God-like with many strengths and capabilities. The authors play a major role in the differences; they lived in two different areas where the fundamental values differ tremendously. The characters in both epics have separate qualities that are there to resemble the culture that they represent. The resemblance of Virgil's' epic to Homers' isn't just by chance. Although, he adopted many of the Greeks stories, he created a new meaning and explained the roman side to the rest of the world. Virgil deliberately wrote this epic this way to show that while the Greeks focused more on personal choices, a bigger picture and the gods are the reason for the events that happened in Rome.

INTERPRETATIONS: The analysis of Romans, based on Virgil's' interpretation is a mirror image of the opposite of The Odyssey. One can draw parallels from the stories even in the slightest detail. Although similar, these tiny instances are precisely the reverse of what actually happened in the Odyssey. Virgil's stories are not by chance, they are just to disprove The Odyssey and to show why it is based on sole personalities and individual thoughts rather choices which would ultimately benefit a society. The reason he wrote this was to give one a sense of what the Romans went through, and the means by which their leader got them to victory.

SIMILAR?: The stories and locations described are all similarly placed in Virgil's Aeneid. Both The Odyssey and The Aeneid share some similarities as epics; they tell the trials of heroic figures who are the ideal representation of their particular cultures. There are even individual scenes in The Aeneid which are borrowed from The Odyssey. Previously established, Rome is a place where individuality isn't present. Whereas the Greeks are all about showing ones power and neglecting a unified community. The positive characterisics of the Roman side are the lack of selfishness. While Aeneas isn't aiming to be a big superhero, that seems to be one of Odysseus's purposes. Aeneas' main goal is to help his people as subtly as possible and not come off as beastly. However, we all want someone to recognize us for who we are and what we strive to achieve. Alongside this, this means that there are no leaders like Odysseus in Rome. They produce their leaders as people who strive for the benefit of their society rather than their own self-importance.

EXAMPLES: For example, Aeneas wants the fight to be between him and Turnus, solely so that no innocent people are killed (Although it is unavoidable and inevitable for people not to be killed in battle.) While Odysseus puts on a front and always depicts himself as confident and ready to fight, Aeneas has certain conditions in which his vulnerability is highlighted. For instance, Aeneas gives two speeches (FIND REFERENCE)

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