Aeneas As A Roman Hero

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are a reflection of his devotion to the ideals of an honorable Roman hero. A roman hero is one whose actions are guided by pietas and stoicism. Aeneas is fated to found the great Empire of Rome. On this journey, he endures many instances of great personal suffering yet continues to act in accordance with the fate, which has been imposed upon him by the gods, exemplifying his adherence to the standards of a Roman hero. Beginning in Book Ten, however, when the gods withdraw from human affairs, the death of a comrade, Pallas, ignites an ineradicable anger in Aeneas, causing him to perform actions in direct contrast with the ideals of a Roman hero. This withdrawal of the gods reveals Aeneas’ true character, as he acts according to his own will, exposing his ignoble nature. illustrates the pinnacle of Aeneas’s betrayal of Roman heroism. Rather than enact clementia , Aeneas chooses to indulge in his rage and kill Turnus, ignoring his invocation of familial piety and violating the characteristics of a truly pious Roman Stoic hero. A Roman hero is one who not only displays great pietas, but also acts in accordance with stoic beliefs. To be pious is to show great devotion to the duty of one’s family, the gods, as well as fate. Stoicism is the belief that one should act according to reason rather than personal desires, submitting oneself to the fate predetermined by the gods. In both pietas and stoicism, actions are performed in order to satisfy the needs of the greater good. Dissociating oneself from emotions allows the individual to pursue a state of ataraxia, emancipation from the torment induced by emotions. By adhering to stoic principles, one will not be moved by their passions, allowing for a full investment in one’s pietas. Aeneas... ... middle of paper ... ...ational anger, yet they are short-lived. As he ponders Turnus’ fate, Aeneas notices Pallas’ belt on Turnus and once more, his vengeful rage returns, Turnus pleads for Aeneas to take pity on him, relating his own father to Aeneas’s. Rather than act piously, Aeneas allows his emotions to vanquish his being, killing Turnus to satisfy his own personal desires of revenge and thus, acting counter to the ideals of a Roman hero. Aeneas’s piety and stoic nature are evident throughout The Aeneid. The fate that has been bestowed upon him necessitates suffering, as he must renounce his own personal desires for the future of the Roman people. Though there are many instances of Aeneas’s piety and stoic heroism throughout the poem, when the gods withdraw from intervening in human affairs, Aeneas’s piety is no longer evident and he bequeaths the heroic ideals that once guided him.

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