Aeneas’s Free Will Despite His Fate in The Aeneid Essay

Aeneas’s Free Will Despite His Fate in The Aeneid Essay

Length: 1904 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

When discussing the fate of Aeneas, a thought provoking question is posed that is commonly debated. If Aeneas is commanded by fate, does he have free will? It is important to approach this question with a solid understand of fate. There are two common sides to the debate of whether Aeneas had free will or not. One view believes Aeneas had no choice but to follow his destiny because he was commanded by fate, and prophesied to found the race that will one day build Rome. The other side states Aeneas did indeed have free will, and even though his fate was set, room is available within his fate for events to change. One can argue Aeneas makes some of his own choices, but no particular detail of his life is untouched. Destiny determines that the Trojans will found a city in Italy, but it does not stipulate how that will happen. This is where room is left for free will. After much research and considering the views of many commentators and the proof they showed, the answer can simply be found by going back to the text of The Aeneid.
Camps states both sides of the free will debate in more detail. One side believes Aeneas was presented as being ordered, directed, and reminded from above through prophets and dreams. Because of this he is sometimes felt by the readers to be directed by powers outside himself, and with no character of his own. The other side states that while Aeneas is ordered by a powerful authority, he is not forced, and it is exactly the situation that his will is free and his choices his own that differentiates his circumstances from that of other characters in the story whose wills have stopped to be their own because outside forces have taken them over. Adding a little to these two sides Duckworth considers Vergil’s ...

... middle of paper ...

... 1969. Print.

Duckworth, George E. "Fate and Free Will in Virgil's ‘Aeneid.’” The Classical Journal 51.8 (1956): 357-64. JSTOR. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.
"Fate." The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Ed. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.
Matthaei, Louise E. “The Fates, the Gods, and the Freedom of Man's Will in the Aeneid.” The Classical Quarterly 11.1 (1917): 11-26. JSTOR. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.
Tracy, H. L. "'Fata Deum' and the Action of the 'Aeneid'" Greece & Rome 11.2 (1964): 188-95. JSTOR. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.
Virgil. The Aeneid. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.
Williams, Gordon Willis. Technique and Ideas in the Aeneid. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983. Print.
Wilson, C. H. "Jupiter and the Fates in the Aeneid." The Classical Quarterly 29.2 (1979): 361-71. JSTOR. Web. 19 Apr. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Journey Of Aeneas And The Blessed Groves Essay

- While in the groves, Aeneas’ father Anchises describes to him the future of not only himself, but also of Romans from generations far beyond his own lifetime. His father pays specific attention to the description of Augustus Caesar. When describing him, he says; “...this is the man, this one, of whom so often you have heard the promise, Caesar Augustus, son of the defied, who shall bring once again an Age of Gold to Latium, the land where Saturn reigned in the early times”(Virgil 6. 790-795). The trip to the Blessed Groves also presents another aspect of Roman culture: ancestry and legend....   [tags: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman Republic]

Term Papers
942 words (2.7 pages)

Essay Aeneas : The Beautiful And Wondrous Ruler Of Carthage

- The gorgeous and delightful ruler of Carthage, Dido, has been through individual enduring which parallels that of Aeneas. Virgil depicts her as Aeneas ' equivalent and female partner. She has needed to escape her home in Tyre on account of conditions outside her ability to control, and leads her kin out of Tyre and establishes Carthage. Her husband has been misleadingly killed by her sibling, however she has, like Aeneas, accumulated a gathering of her kindred comrades and touches base in Africa....   [tags: Dido, Aeneid, Carthage, Aeneas]

Term Papers
1322 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate?

- Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate. A common debate that still rages today is whether we as a species have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, controls our destiny. The same debate applies to Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. Does Oedipus control his actions, or are they predetermined by the gods. It’s that question that makes Oedipus a classic, and many different people think many different things. With all the oracles and talk of prophecies, its obvious that there is some divine intervention in Oedipus....   [tags: Destiny, Fate, Free Will, Free Choice]

Free Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

A Comparison of Kurt Vonnegut's Two Novels: Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five

- Free will, the ability of organisms to make choices without being influenced by divine intervention, is one of history’s most debated philosophical topics. Kurt Vonnegut discusses this matter in his two novels Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five. In the first novel, he writes about a religion based on the idea that God puts us in groups to carry out His will. The second novel talks about a group of aliens from the planet Tralfamadore who say that out of the thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, “Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.” In both novels, the protagonists Jonah and Billy accept their unavoidable fate, and so they don’t worry about life or death....   [tags: believing in free will despite fate]

Term Papers
616 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Aeneas’ Haunting in Virgil's Aeneid Aeneas

- In epic stories the hero is traditionally confronted by supernatural entities that either strive to encourage or hinder him. In Virgil’s Aeneid Aeneas deals with the such supernatural interferences all of which focus on the goal of Aeneas creating Rome and its people. Throughout the books Aeneas is a truly ‘haunted’ individual faced with ghost, gods and even fate itself all of which attempt to prompt and govern his choices. Aeneas is subjected to the power of these forces as they lead him throughout a journey to create his fated city, propelling him to victory....   [tags: supernatural, fate, journey]

Term Papers
819 words (2.3 pages)

Aeneas : A Human Man With The Weight Of The World On His Life Essay

- One of the more important values that Aeneas embodies is pietas. Pietas is a nigh-untranslatable word that means great devotion and piety, the two words Lombardo uses most in his translation of the Aeneid to indicate this value. Randall Ganiban, in his introduction to the Aeneid states that “Aeneas is placed in such a difficult position because of his pietas – his duty towards his family, state, and the gods (Ganiban, p.15).” Aeneas struggles to balance his sense of duty towards all three and that fact that despite his immortal parentage, he is simply a human man with the weight of the world on his shoulders....   [tags: Aeneid, Aeneas, Virgil, Trojan War]

Term Papers
1200 words (3.4 pages)

The Story Of Aeneas 's ' The Aeneid ' Essay

- I believe that Aeneas stays true to his duties through most of the poem, through upon meeting Dido, Aeneas gets distracted by her interest in him which in turn also distracts her from her own duties. In start of the “The Aeneid” we read, “Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc’d by fate, And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, Expell’d and exil’d, left the Trojan shore. And in the doubtful war, before he won The Latian realm, and built the destin’d town; His banish’d gods restor’d to rites divine, And settled sure sucession in his line, From whence the race of Alban fathers come, And the long glories of majestic Rome....   [tags: Aeneid, Aeneas, Trojan War, Juno]

Term Papers
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Aeneas and His Ghosts Essay

- Aeneas and His Ghosts The Aeneid Written by Virgil Translation by Fitzgerald I.Pious Aeneas (his background and key characteristics) •Mother is Venus (the Greek Aphrodite) Page 54, Book II, Lines 775-777 “Stepping before me, radiant through the night,My loving mother came: immortal, tall, And lovely as the lords of heaven know her.” •“Favored by Jupiter” Page 164, Book VI, Lines 190-193“… A few Whom a benign Jupiter has loved or whom Fiery heroism has borne to heaven, Sons of gods, could do it…” •Fated oThe gods respect his fate....   [tags: Aeneas Presentation]

Free Essays
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about Is Aeneas a Good Warrior?

- Is Aeneas a Good Warrior. 'I sing of arms and of the man, fated to be an exile', begins Virgil, and it is on precisely the issue of this man of arms that critical debate in recent years has tended to centre. Scholars continue to disagree on whether or not Aeneas is presented as a good soldier, although the question itself is certainly far from black and white, complicated by the culturally relative nature of terms such as 'conflict' and 'courage', as well as by the rather oblique definition that 'good' itself holds....   [tags: Aeneid Aeneas War Papers Argumentative]

Term Papers
2897 words (8.3 pages)

Fate Essay example

- Fate Webster defines fate as a “ a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist” “a persons destiny.” This would imply that fate has an over whelming power over the mind. This thing called fate is able to control a person and that person has no ability to change it. Its been proven time and time again that the human mind can over come any obstacle. An asset to the mind is a persons will. With the combination of a person’s mind and their will to decide their own destiny this thing called fate can be over come....   [tags: Fate Destiny Essays]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)