Essay about Tying Homer's Iliad to Virgil's Aeneid Through the Theme of Warfare

No Works Cited
Length: 1491 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Warfare is a common thread that ties Homer's Iliad to Virgil's Aeneid. However, the way warfare is treated in the two epics is different. This can be attributed to many factors including the time between the composition of the pieces, the fact that pieces were written by different authors, and the fact that the pieces were written in different places. We can use these pieces to get a view of what the society that produced them thought about war and how the view of war changed as time went on in the ancient world.
The Iliad is a poem of war. The entire narrative takes place at or near a battlefield with men who had been fighting a seemingly never ending war for over nine years, and portrays many many battles great and small. At the beginning Homer invokes the muse by saying “begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed, Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.”(Homer, Iliad 1.7-8) This is the first of many battles throughout the poem.
The conflict between Agamemnon and Achilles could be considered the most important even in the poem. It removes the Greeks' greatest hero from the battlefield for most of the poem. An interesting situation arises because of this. Achilles, the great hero, is refusing to fight. Glory on the battlefield is the measuring stick for any Greek man of high birth, and Achilles refusing to fight would be considered to be an act of shameful cowardice. However, there would be damage to Achilles' pride if he fought for Agamemnon. This conflict between pride and duty would be a difficult issue for a Greek man to resolve, as both were important in Greek society.
As mentioned before, glory on the battlefield is very important to Greek society. This is reflected in the Iliad. Combat is e...

... middle of paper ...

...umped the individual in Rome. A Greek soldier may have loyalty to his polis, but that was the only sustained state he had. There was no “Greece,” therefore outside of a few occasions, no centralized state to be loyal to. Even though the Iliad does portray a united Greek nation, the rift between Achilles and Agamemnon shows why they had trouble as a nation to unify. On the other hand the Aeneid shows that the father of the Romans, Aeneas, succeeded because he knew his duty. He did the things he did because he knew he would found a people that would eventually be the most powerful people on earth. It was not just the glory Aeneas won in battle in the poem that was important, but the glory of the people that would spring from him that was important. Personal glory is trumped by collective glory. That is the difference between the two people and the two poems.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Deus Ex Machina And FaDeus ex Machina and Fate vs. Dutyin Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneidte Vs. Duty - Deus ex Machina and Fate vs. Dutyin Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid The actions taken by the gods in the works of Homer's The Iliad and Virgil's The Aeneid are numerous and important. Both works gain their momentum from the activities of the gods, and without these heavenly actors the two stories would quickly become stagnant and fizzle out into inaction. The central divine driving force in both of the works is the wrath of two female gods: Juno(Hera:Greek) and Minerva(Athena:Greek). These two are responsible for much of the driving force in the two stories as they settle their vendetta with the Paris and the Trojans....   [tags: Iliad Aeneid Homer Virgil] 1032 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
God and Man in Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Dante’s Inferno Essay - God and Man in Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Dante’s Inferno The truest of man’s goals is to create art. Art is a by-product of the gift of man over the animals, creativity. Truly, creativity is a replication of God in man and a very possible interpretation of the Genesis 1:27 phrase “in his own image,” along with others—the possession of an immortal soul or the ability to speak. And creativity’s ultimate end product is art. And art more often than not in the history of man has led man to pay homage to his creator....   [tags: Iliad]
:: 6 Works Cited
1232 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Virgil's Purpose in the Divine Comedy Essay - It is difficult to determine the true nature of Virgil in Dante's Commedia. At times, he grants incredible advice that parallels the wisdom of some early church fathers, and other times he shows no expertise in any situation, to the point of conferring entirely misinformed counsel. This disparity is confusing mainly because Virgil looked like he would be an infallible guide at the beginning of the Divine Comedy. Yet there are plenty of occurrences confirming Virgil's shortcomings beyond doubt. So what is Dante trying to convey in Virgil's personage....   [tags: Virgil in Dante's Commedia, Literry Analysis]
:: 5 Works Cited
1745 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Justice and Love in the Iliad Essay - Simone Weil argues that the way Homer presents war and the use of force in the Iliad, in all of its brutality, violence, and bitterness bathes the work in the light of love and justice (pg 25). The point Weil is making is that by depicting the suffering of all of these men regardless of their side, or strength Homer equalizes them in a “condition common to all men”(pg 25). Because Homer equalizes them the reader can feel empathy, or at least compassion for all of the men. However while Weil is correct about how Homer’s descriptions of war and force reveal justice and love, she is wrong in thinking that justice and love are mere “accents” to the Iliad, and progress through the story “withou...   [tags: Iliad] 974 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
An Observation of Virgil's Aeneid, Book II Essay - An Observation of Virgil's Aeneid, Book II The Romans, unlike the Greeks were not gifted in abstract thought. They constructed no original system of philosophy, invented no major literary forms, and made no scientific discoveries. Yet, they excelled in the art of government and empire building, they created a workable world-state and developed skills in administration, law, and practical affairs. In the Punic Wars, the Roman republic defeated the Carthaginians in North Africa and Rome inherited the Pergamene Kingdom from the last of the Attalids in 133 B.C....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1106 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Be Warned and Study Justice:The Shifting Definition of Justice in Virgil’s Aeneid - Be Warned and Study Justice:The Shifting Definition of Justice in Virgil’s Aeneid A twenty-first century reading of the Iliad and the Odyssey will highlight a seeming lack of justice: hundreds of men die because of an adulteress, the most honorable characters are killed, the cowards survive, and everyone eventually goes to hell. Due to the difference in the time period, culture, prominent religions and values, the modern idea of justice is much different than that of Greece around 750 B.C. The idea of justice in Virgil’s the Aeneid is easier for us to recognize....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid]
:: 4 Works Cited
4362 words
(12.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Comparing Fate in Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad - Fate in Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad         In Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad, a picture of the supernatural and its workings was created.  In both works, there is a concept of a fixed order of events which is called fate.  Fate involves two parts.  First, there are laws that govern certain parts of mens' lives, such as human mortality and an afterlife.  Second, fate deals with the inevitable outcome of certain events, outcomes that cannot be changed by men or gods.       Both Homer and Virgil allude to the existence of unchangeable laws, one of which is the mortality of human beings.  This can be seen by the fact that character after character dies during wa...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 1067 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Virgil and Dante Essay example - Virgil and Dante In the note to Canto V regarding Francesca and Paulo, the Hollanders exclaim that “Sympathy for the damned, in the Inferno, is nearly always and nearly certainly the sign of a wavering moral disposition” (112). Indeed, many of the touching, emotional, or indignation rousing tales told by the souls in Hell can evoke pity, but in the telling of the tales, it is always possible to derive the reasons for the damned souls’ placement in Hell. However, there is a knee-jerk reaction to separate Virgil and, arguably, some of the other souls in limbo from this group of the damned, though, with careful perusal of the text, the thoughtful reader can discern the machinations behind the...   [tags: Virgil Dante Inferno Essays] 1904 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Virgil's The Aeneid Essay - Virgil's The Aeneid      In Webster’s dictionary, a leader is defined as a person that has commanding authority or influence over others. Such a leader can be found in The Aeneid, written by Virgil. The main character in the epic, Aeneas, shows the journey of a leader through struggles and trials. One can see the true definition of leadership through Aeneas’s strategy, bravery, and persistence.      During the Fall of Troy, Aeneas shows strategic leadership while pushing through the Greek lines....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid Essays] 476 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Virgil’s Aeneid - Virgil’s Aeneid In literature, the feats of a main character are defined by the sacrifices he/she makes with respect to those he/she holds dear. In this way, loved ones are woven into the story to give perspective; they multiply the joys as well as the sorrows, allowing the protagonist to experience a wide range of emotions. In Virgil’s Aeneid, an epic narrative about the legendary founding of Rome, Dido is present to strengthen the character of the protagonist, Aeneas. Many tragedies befall her throughout the work, especially in Book IV, which initially evoke sympathy in the reader....   [tags: Virgil Aeneid Essays] 1387 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]