The Aeneid, By Virgil Essay

The Aeneid, By Virgil Essay

Length: 1835 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout the Aeneid, Virgil uses a variety of literary tools to further the values and reforms Augustus Caesar initiated, particularly social and religious ones. Through descriptive passages about the epic’s protagonist, Aeneas, the author enables his audience to compare the Trojan leader to their own contemporary emperor, examining the virtues of both men and their relationship with the gods. The Aeneid is in itself a cultural and artistic monument, Virgil’s chef d’oeuvre that speaks to the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred in his time. The emergence of Octavian as the Roman Empire’s undisputed leader was a gradual process, and the transformation from a young member of Rome’s second triumvirate to that of divine emperor is reflected by the policies he would institute and paralleled by the redesigning of sorts of Roman society. Augustus Caesar called for a return to the religiosity of the past, and this had a profound impact on the Empire’s culture and social values, primarily in the Italian peninsula. Aside from a newfound push for religion, Augustus changed the social and political climate of the Roman Empire. Despite the upheaval Rome had endured, with the crumbling of the Republic in the face of a bloody and divisive civil war, traditional values still held sway in Roman society, and Rome’s long-standing history as well as its culture were not pushed aside but rather incorporated and brought to the forefront of Augustus’s expanding world. While Virgil does not explicitly devote the book to the backing of the emperor’s agenda, the text as a whole continually provides “evidence” that what is crucial to Rome’s success under Augustus are the values he holds in high regard and are all examples of the blessing ...


... middle of paper ...


...t literary work, which would become an integral book in Roman education, was immensely pro-Augustus, and the Aeneid worked in the emperor’s favor as a medium for his cultural, social, and political agenda. The incorporation of historic enemies, such as Carthage, traditional values, such as pater familias, religiosity, from Apollo to Jupiter, and duty, from founding cities to maintaining an empire, worked harmoniously to create a picture of stability and prosperity under Augustus. He was quite literally a promised leader, as depicted on a shield crafted by a god illustrating Rome’s future, and such passages, even if used to relate past and present events, served as propaganda. Virgil’s epic epitomized the restored cultural identity Augustus pursued through social and legislative means, and worked successfully to instill a sense of nationalism in his imperial subjects.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Virgil 's The Aeneid Essay

- Virgil’s The Aeneid is a series of books mainly about a man named Aeneas who has fled his home city of Troy. In book I, Aeneas and some fellow Trojans arrive at the city of Carthage with help from the gods. In Book IV, Aeneas and Dido, the queen of Carthage, fall in love. Aeneas must leave Dido to lead his comrades to Italy, and Dido is devastated that he chooses to leave her. Some readers of The Aeneid believe that Dido is a stereotypical damsel in distress dependent on a man. Others, however see Dido differently since she ruled over Carthage, and her love for Aeneas was caused by the gods....   [tags: Dido, Aeneid, Virgil, Love]

Better Essays
1402 words (4 pages)

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]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Virgil 's Aeneid 's ' Aeneid '

- Rumor’s Rumors Rumors spread like wildfires and like wild fires they can cause great damage. The fire moving slowly throughout the foliage yet rapidly destroying everything in its path. This statement could also be used to describe the way Rumor, the monstrous and conniving creature in Virgil’s Aeneid(Book IV), spread malicious lies through the earth and the heavens. Virgil uses the actions of Rumor to display how destructive gossip can be. To begin, Rumor’s rumors were dispersed out of spite....   [tags: Dido, Aeneid, Virgil, Aeneas]

Better Essays
767 words (2.2 pages)

The Role of the Gods and Fate in Virgil's The Aeneid Essay

- The Role of the Gods and Fate in Virgil's The Aeneid Are the deeds of mortal characters in the Aeneid controlled by the gods or by fate. Aeneas must fulfill the will of the gods, while enduring the wrath of other gods, all the while being a worthy predecessor of Augustus and founder of the Roman people. Of course, the Trojan is successful because he gives himself up to these other obligations, while those who resist the will of the gods, Dido and Turnus, die sad deaths. Juno, the queen of gods, attempts to destroy Aeneas and his men in Book I of the Aeneid....   [tags: Aeneid Virgil Gods Essays]

Better Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)

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]

Better Essays
4362 words (12.5 pages)

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]

Better Essays
1387 words (4 pages)

Role of the Gods in Virgil's The Aeneid Essay

- There are many gods that play a role in the Aeneid. The main ones are Jupiter, king of all deities, Juno the divine antagonist of Aeneas’ destiny and Venus, his mother and his main protector. There are also the lesser gods such as Neptune, Aeolus, and Mercury, who serve as instruments for the main gods to meddle in the events of the story. The interactions between these is clear from book 1 where Juno is fuming because her favoured city Carthage has been prophesized to be destroyed by Trojans, who she already holds hatred for....   [tags: aeneid]

Better Essays
1234 words (3.5 pages)

The Ship in Virgil's Aeneid Essay

- They brave gulping whirlpools and blazing infernos. They withstand the flagrant curses of a dying queen. Transporters of precious civilization, they are described by their captain Aeneas as carrying “gods / Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy” (Virgil I.521-522). Throughout the epic, ships are extremely vital to Aeneas – so much so that Virgil intuitively creates a powerful, unmistakable correlation between the two. In The Aeneid, Aeneas acts like a ship, carrying the weight of the Trojan society to Italy, and suffers like a ship, enduring beat-downs from humans and the gods; in fact, Virgil suggests that Aeneas is a human ship....   [tags: Aeneid, Trojan Civilization]

Better Essays
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Virgil's Aeneid as Roman Propaganda Essay example

- Virgil's Aeneid as Roman Propaganda   Rome was experiencing a great deal of internal turmoil during the period when Virgil wrote the Aeneid. There was somewhat of an identity crisis in Rome as it had no definitive leader, or history. With the ascension of Augustus to the throne, Rome was unified again. Still, it had no great book. The Greeks had their Odyssey, giving them a sense of history and of continuity through time. A commonly held view is that the Aeneid attempts to provide the Romans with this sense of continuity or roots....   [tags: Aeneid Essays]

Better Essays
2054 words (5.9 pages)

The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid Essay

- The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid The story of Virgil's Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer. Virgil based the first six books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both written by Homer. The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded Rome. During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known Rome history up to his own time....   [tags: Aeneid Essays]

Free Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)