Comparing The Aeneid And Homer 's The Odyssey Essay

Comparing The Aeneid And Homer 's The Odyssey Essay

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We have read two myths of great heroes this semester, Virgil’s The Aeneid and Homer’s The Odyssey. In both of these tales we get to go along with two great heroes on their journey home and all of the troubles that they face. Although these stories tell us about two great heroes and their journey there are a lot of differences. In this paper I will compare and contrast scenes from both myths and suggest a reason that this borrowing was appropriate for what Vergil was trying to do with his version of the myth.
To begin, I will discuss how both heroes have the help of a god or goddess and how both have a god or goddess that is opposed to them. Odysseus has offended Poseidon because he blinded his son that is a Cyclops, Polyphemus, because Odysseus had to have the last word. “Cyclops, if anyone, any mortal man, asks you how you got your eye put out, tell him that Odysseus the marauder did it, son of Laertes…” (139). After the Cyclops realizes that the prophecy he heard long ago that he would lose his sight to Odysseus, he prays to his father, Poseidon. Polyphemus prays:
Hear me, Poseidon, blue-maned Earth-Holder,
If you are the father you claim to be.
Grant that Odysseus, son of Laertes,
May never reach his home on Ithaca.
But if he is fated to see his family again,
And return to his home and native land,
May he come late, having lost all companions,
In another’s ship, and find trouble at home (139).

Odysseus always finds his way out of troubles thanks to help from the goddess Athena. At the very beginning of the book when we find out Odysseus is still trying to reach his home, Athena is telling Zeus why Odysseus deserves to make it home. Athena says:
But its Odysseus I’m worried about,
that discerning, ill-fated man. He’s...

... middle of paper ...

... also gets to see and hear about all of the amazing things that his family will do which further shows us how he is a much greater hero than Odysseus. I think Vergil is trying to restate that the Romans are much better than the Greeks in every way, including their heroes.
In conclusion, although these myths tell about the journey of two heroes they are very different. Each hero is portrayed a certain way to complete the task the author has in mind for that story. There are also multiple similarities because Virgil borrowed some of his ideas from Homer and uses them his own way to portray a message to the audience. Just because these two stories tell the journey of a hero on his way home, or to create home, does not mean there are not going to be a lot of differences. Each author does a great job at portraying the message they want to with these particular scenes.

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