Aeneas And Turnus Analysis

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"Stuff," or geras as it was called in Aeneas' time, was the main objective of pursuit for heroes. It bestowed kleos but more often was the means to their untimely end. Aeneas and Turnus both fell under this curse leading to Aeneas' kleos and Turnus' untimely end , but their geras was often bestowed upon them by the Gods. These godly gifts prophesized events to come, and give us a way to compare and contrast the two men - Aeneas and Turnus. In this paper, I will analyze the armor that Turnus and Aeneas receive from the Gods, and show that it prophesizes the world to come, the endeavors of the two heroes, and more importantly it prophesizes the ending of the poem through the scenes depicted on the "stuff" given by the gods. The first, and most obvious place to start is the shield of Aeneas and his other armor, as it is depicted in great length during book 8 of The Aeneid. As Venus begs Vulcan for Aeneas' armor, "breathing divine love into her words, (8.373)" she convinces him to make it, as all women of this day could convince simple minded men - even Vulcan, a god, in this case - to do their wishes with just the slightest "tricks and beauty. (8.394)" Once Venus presents the shield to her son she says "don't hang back from punishing the arrogant Laurentians or the fierce Turnus. (8.613-14)" Aeneas takes this to heart as he slings the shield over his shoulder, because although "he didn't know the stories. He shouldered his descendants' glorious fate. (730-1)" metaphorically putting the city of Rome and it's "uncertain" (but really so certain) future on his back. The second that Aeneas receives this shield from his mother, our tale is over, we know the ending of the poem. Aeneas' shield and Turnus' helmet have already shown us their... ... middle of paper ... ...ill holds so closely. The greatest part of it all is that the whole story comes to the conclusion that one could have pulled away with knowledge of the background very early on. Turnus' helmet marked him as a monster, as much as he shies away, in the Chimera and as an opponent of the divine order of Jupiter. Just as the Chimera was slain by Bellerophan "the greatest hero and slayer of monsters (Kerenyi, 75)," Turnus must be eliminated if peace is to be established, Aeneas' proto-Roman ideals are to be fulfilled, and Aeneas' promise to his mother when he received the fateful armor is to be kept. When Aeneas slays his counterpart, fate is being fulfilled - Rome is being saved for the first but not nearly the last time, and Aeneas' descendents can be born to become gods. Their armor not only prophesized the world to come, but Turnus' untimely death, and Aeneas' kleos.

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