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Aeneid and Odyssey - A Comparison between Aeneas, Achilles and Odysseus

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Aeneid and Odyssey - A Comparison between Aeneas, Achilles and Odysseus

     A comparison between Virgil's hero, Aeneas, and the Homeric heroes, Achilles and Odysseus, brings up the question concerning the relevance of the difference between the Homeric heroes and Aeneas. The differences in the poets' concerns are explained by the fact that Virgil lived many years after Homer, giving Virgil the advantage of a more developed literary and philosophical society than Homer had at his disposal. But the question remains: how are the differences between the Homeric heroes and Aeneas relevant to the epic at large? This question will be answered by first pointing out the differences between Greek and Roman society, then explaining how those differences relate to the heroes of the three epics at hand, and finally explaining how these differences allow Virgil to portray the Roman values and way of life as more structured and oriented towards a greater-good.


The differences in Greek and Roman societies arise primarily because of the different time periods in which...

... middle of paper ... as he wrote it he was in constant competition with Homer because The Aeneid was a proclamation of greatness for the Romans as the Homeric epics were for the Greeks. But Virgil took advantage of the flaws that the Homeric Heroes had and gave the corresponding virtues to Aeneas thus ensuring Aeneas' superiority and consequently Rome's superiority.


Works Cited and Consulted:

Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: 1996

Virgil.  The Aeneid.  Translated by Robert Fitzgerald.  New York: Vintage Books, 1990.


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