A Comparison Of The Aeneid Vs. The Metamorphoses

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A Battle of Epic Proportions;
The Aeneid vs. The Metamorphoses

In many ways, judging and comparing Vigil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses is inevitable because each of the writers lived at roughly the same time in history, both sought to create a historical work that would endure long past their mortal existences, and while each man was ultimately successful in their endeavors, they achieved their desired goals in vastly different ways. That being said, the epic poem by Ovid is superior because unlike Virgil, whose epic poem utilized a character centered narrative steeped in historical inferences and a theme that celebrated the moral virtues of Greek and Roman society, Ovid defied tradition by creating an intricate narrative that looked
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In addition, the overall theme of the poem highlighted morality, which was a definitive tenet of Greco Roman civilization. In many ways, Virgil wrote the poem as a means of lauding the moral virtues of Roman society and as a personal challenge to outdo Homer’s epic compositions, The Illiad and The Odyssey. Virgil was successful because he had incorporated many of the same tales shared in the works of Homer into one epic poem which presented a linear storyline in the books that detailed the life and times of Aeneas and the Trojans. That being said, Virgil did not stray far from the approach that many writers had used before him; his primary focus throughout the Aeneid was placed squarely upon the back of idealized Greek and Roman moral principles, which were the dedication to ones’ honor, family, and country. By no means is there anything wrong with this approach, but in many ways, the entire poem could be viewed as a “propaganda” piece; while it might have served to enlighten, educate, and create a cohesive and uplifting story for the Roman populace, the poem lacked depth and a more profound exploration of human intricacies. While Virgil’s epic poem has stood the test of time and remains one of the greatest pieces…show more content…
For example, in the Aeneid, Virgil wrote about the love affair between Dido and Aeneas and Dido’s eventual demise; this particular linear link served as a bridge between book IV and book V. Another example of this interconnection between books occurred in the foretelling of Aeneas’s eventual travels to the Cumae and it served as a link between book V and book VI. In much the same fashion, Ovid employed a similar tactic in the interconnections that occurred in the Metamorphoses, but unlike the storyline of Virgil’s singular character-driven epic poem, Ovid linked all sorts of individuals, Gods, and mythological stories into his creative masterpiece. What is more, Ovid often placed stories within stories that also spanned multiple books in his epic poem. A prime example of this powerful storytelling tool was the chronological progression of the story about Baccus. The tale of Baccus began in the book III story of Semele, was expounded upon in the story of Pentheus and Baccus, further explored in the book IV story of Pyramus and Thisbe, and referenced or included in various books and stories that followed. This is just one of the hundreds of individuals, Gods, and mythological stories Ovid included in his poem and a singular example of how
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