Fate

625 Words3 Pages
Throughout the course of a lifetime, people question every event that happens, whether it be fortunate or to their disadvantage. Some believe that it is fate, whom is the culprit at hand, leaving them the only option of accepting what comes to them. Others, however, insist that they have complete control over their lives and the free will to decide what will happen. Yet, to answer the question of whether or not one's life is determined or if it is the result of free will, one must understand the difference between the two. In order to justify the arguments of fate and freewill, we can turn to two different works. These works are the Aeneid by the poet, Virgil and City of God by Saint Augustine. Both are focused on the city of Rome, but argue for completely opposite ideas. The Aeneid is based on the fate of the main character, Aeneas, who will found the greatest city ever, Rome. In contrast with this, Saint Augustine's, City of God, explains how the fall of Rome is attributed to the choices that the pagan Romans made rather than the possibility that Christianity caused the decline of this great city. In the Aeneid, It is a known fact among the gods that Aeneas' fate is to discover a promised land, Rome. Yet, Aeneas faces many obstacles that he needs to overcome on this journey and most are initiated by Juno. Her purpose in doing this is because she knows that Aeneas' Rome will destroy her treasured city of Carthage in later years to come. The mother of Aeneas, Venus, goes to Jupiter, the god of all gods, and frantically begs to know why Aeneas must overcome all this toils placed before him. She wonders if Aeneas' fate is still true. Jupiter replies to her: "Fear not, my daughter; fate remains unmoved. For the Roman generations. You will witness Lavinium's rise; her walls fulfill the promise; (Book I, lines 69-71) These lines suggest that fate is unchangeable. It can be stalled but eventually, it will happen. In The Aeneid, we can conclude that free will is not an option for the people in these ancient days. Aeneas even says: "It is not my own free will that leads me to Italy."(Book IV, lines 491-492) The common idiom, "What must be, must be!" would be well known by those of these times who believed that these gods controlled everything, especially the fate of each and every one of them.

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