The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid

The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid

Length: 1356 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid

 

     The story of Virgil's Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most

influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer.  Virgil based the first six

books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both

written by Homer.  The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary

Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded

Rome.  During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known

Rome history up to his own time.

 

      The book is world renowned and also is said by many to be one of the

best works ever.  The last chapter of the Aeneid has caused some problems for

readers.  The first problem that is evident is the manner in which Aeneas deals

with Turnus.  In book XII Turnus states that the fight should be between the two

men as apposed to both armies fighting any further.  Turnus had every right to

dislike Aeneas who came unannounced, tried to take his fiancé, Aeneas' son

killed their sacred deer, and he took his land.  They have a great dual and

Aeneas disarmed Turnus by striking him in the leg.  With his sword to his chest

Turnus makes a last request for his body to be returned to his family, as Aeneas

is considering the request he notices that Turnus is wearing the sword belt of

Pallas and the stoic ways of Aeneas leave him as rage, fury, and anger run

through his body.  He kills Turnus in anger and dedicates his death to Pallas.

This loss of control and act of violence is the opposite of stoicism and the way

Aeneas had been portrayed the rest of the epic.

 

      Turnus has to die for the founding of Rome to occur but he should not

have been killed in such a way.  The killing was payback for the dishonorable

way that Pallas was killed.  The sword belt had images that reflect Augustinian

Rome as did the shield in book eight.  The theft of the belt from Pallas can be

compared to the stolen helmet and the youth slain when his guard was down and

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=16588>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Aeneid by Virgil Essay

- There is a certain misconception that mentions Romans in the past enjoyed violence in their society. A lot of it was known from books in ancient Rome where the writers would describe their gladiatorial fights and the keeping of slaves. History tells us that it is true that the Romans enjoyed the events of the fights and even today it has become part of our culture to see people fight for entertainment and money but without any weaponry that could kill somebody. These particular types of events it is enjoyed even today....   [tags: ancient rome, violence and rage]

Research Papers
1252 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis Of Virgil 's ' The Aeneid ' Essay example

- Throughout Virgil’s epic poem, The Aeneid, the hero Aeneas undergoes a personal journey of establishing Rome, not only in the corporeal sense, but also in establishing the example of how a true and virtuous Roman acts. In the first six books, Aeneas struggles with the concept of gravitas, shown in his lack of true understanding of what was at stake. In the last six books, Aeneas struggles with his own pietas, trying to become the leader that his people need him to be. Eventually, Aeneas conquers the Latins, founds the glorious Roman Empire, and obtains the ultimate achievement of becoming immortalized in history....   [tags: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Roman Republic]

Research Papers
1589 words (4.5 pages)

Why did Virgil Want to Burn The Aeneid? Essay

- Why did Virgil Want to Burn The Aeneid. Publius Vergilis Maro, known to us as Virgil, was born Oct 15, 70 BC in Northern Italy. Octavius, who had always been a friend of Virgil, became Emperor in 27 BC, adopting the name of Augustus. He made Virgil in a sense, a court poet, "although [Virgil] always retained his independence of thought and expression" (Milch 7). However it was the Emperor's initial idea, and not Virgil's own, for him to write the Aeneid. Virgil accepted the project although he later wrote that "he thought he must have been just about mad to attempt the task" (Quinn 73)....   [tags: History Historical Papers]

Free Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

Aeneid vs. Odyssey Essay

- Aeneid vs. Odyssey Both the Odyssey and the Aeneid share some similarities as epics; both describe the trials of a heroic figure who is the ideal representative of a particular culture. There are even individual scenes in the Aeneid are borrowed from the Odyssey. Yet, why are Odysseus and Aeneas so unlike one another. The answer is that the authors lived in two different worlds, whose values and perceptions varied greatly of a fundamental level. To illustrate, two common ideas woven into the Odyssey are custom and recklessness....   [tags: Papers Compare Contrast Odyssey Aeneid Essays]

Research Papers
2152 words (6.1 pages)

Comparing Sir Thomas More's Utopia and Virgil's Aeneid Essay

- Identity and Power in Sir Thomas More's Utopia and Virgil's Aeneid In Utopia and the Aeneid, Sir Thomas More and Virgil describe the construction and perpetuation of a national identity. In the former, the Utopian state operates on the “inside” by enforcing, through methods of surveillance, a normalized identity on its citizens under the guise of bettering their lives. In the latter, the depleted national identity of the future Romans in the wake of the Trojan War must reformulate itself from the “outside” by focusing on defining what it is not....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Research Papers
2365 words (6.8 pages)

Hercules in The Aeneid Essay example

- Hercules is one of the most well-known mythical heroes in history; his associations with adventure and violence exemplify as to why audiences are so interested in him. Virgil briefly writes about Hercules within The Aeneid, showcasing his heroic qualities within a climactic event with the monster, Cacus. Through the characterization of Hercules and Cacus, demonstrations of Hercules’ anger, and exemplifications of vividness, Virgil’s account of the battle between Hercules and Cacus in Book 8 of The Aeneid exemplifies an element of impact, heightening the conflict between the two characters for entertainment purposes....   [tags: Character Analysis, Development]

Research Papers
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Aeneas Fights With Turnus Essays

- Aeneas Fights With Turnus In the Aeneid, Virgil describes many human qualities, problems and characteristics. Some examples which I wish to illustrate can be found in the end of epic, in the scene of the final duel between Aeneas and Turnus. Virgil also introduces a novel idea in his work. Both sides, the Trojans and the Latins, are portrayed as noble people. Even though Aeneas is fated to win, and he is the hero of the work, the opposing force, Turnus, is not portrayed as evil, but rather like a noble person in a very hard situation....   [tags: Aeneid Virgil Essays]

Research Papers
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Ekphrasis in Aeneas' Shield in Vergil's The Aeneid Essay

- The opening of Vergil’s The Aeneid begin with the words “I sing of warfare and a man at war” (Vergil 1.1) which signal two important themes of the epic: warfare and the struggles of one man (Boyle). The epic revolves around a Trojan named Aeneas, who follows his destiny to found the city of Lavinium, a precedent to Rome, where his descendants continued to rule until the birth of Romulus. Vergil adapts the Homeric epic and structure to make social commentary on Roman life under Augustus. Like Homer, Vergil uses a shield as an ekphrasis to show a shift in primal to civilized state and the future history of Rome (Boyle)....   [tags: warfare, peace, cyclical]

Research Papers
1564 words (4.5 pages)

Promoting Morality in the Aeneid and Metamorphoses Essay

- Promoting Morality in the Aeneid and Metamorphoses   Just as the authors of the Bible use an evocative, almost mythological vehicle to convey covenants and laws that set the moral tone for Hebrew and Christian societies, Latin poets Virgil and Ovid employ a similarly supernatural method to foster their own societal and moral goals in Roman society. Where Virgil's Aeneid depicts Aeneas as the ideal, duty-bound Roman patriarch absent from the conflicted Rome of Virgil's youth, Ovid's Metamorphoses lacks the patriotic undertones of Virgil's epic....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Research Papers
1634 words (4.7 pages)

A Comparison of Aneas of Aeneid and Turnus of Iliad Essay

- A Comparison of Aneas of Aeneid and Turnus of Iliad         The subtlety in the differences between Aneas and Turnus, reflect the subtlety in the differences between the Aeneid and the Iliad.  Although both characters are devout and noble,  Aneas does not possess the ardent passion of Turnus.  Unlike Turnus, Aneas is able to place his beliefs in the fated establishment of Latium before his personal interests. Although Turnus is not a bad person, the gods favor Aneas in their schemes.  The roles of Aneas and Turnus are reversed as the Aeneid progresses.  The erasure of Aneas' free will accounts for his triumph and success....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1178 words (3.4 pages)

Related Searches


greed had taken over.  All if this represents the theme of greed and each

incident resulted in death of the thief.

 

      Another problem that the last book of the Aeneid provided for the

readers was how the last scene was written in relation to the rest of the epic.

At the end of the novel Aeneas kills Turnus for many reasons, most them were

dishonorable.  Aeneas had gone through many barriers in the epic.  At the

beginning of the epic Aeneas knew his duty to the people very well, this was

shown in many instances such as returning for his wife during his flight from

troy.  But throughout the epic this theme becomes less and less vivid and the

fact that he starts to understands the Gods becomes more and more evident.   Due

to the fact that Aeneas is half devine shows that he can be in either side of

the line that divides the two.  Usually a being in this state is either more

devine or more human.  At the beginning of the epic Aeneas is portrayed as a

very human person who understands human needs.  As the epic progresses this

fades, his divinity states to show.  At the end of the novel he is very much the

opposite is of when it started and his will to understand human behavior is gone.

 Due to the fact that the piety that he had throughout the epic was no longer

within him.  Aeneas has no need for piatos because in a very short time he will

become a god and he must prepare for this instead of gaining piety.  The last

scene changes our view of Aeneas that has been built up throughout the epic.  He

becomes enraged and clearly not the Aeneas that started out during the fall of

Troy.  This is not necessary a bad thing because the he has ahead of him needs a

strong man and the occurrences throughout the book actually made him the man

that the founding of Rome required him to be.

 

      The third problem that appears in the final act of Aeneas is that his

actions are really not like him at all and is not consistent with the character

which is shown in the rest of the epic.  I feel that for the founding of Rome to

occur Turnus had to die but Turnus did not have to die the way he did.  If

Turnus did live he would have been a constant nuisance and a trouble maker.  He

would have also posed a constant threat to the life of Aeneas.  The fact that he

stole the sword belt of Pallas and killed him with such dishonor does somewhat

justify the act of Aeneas but it goes back to the question of who is the better

man out of the two.  Aeneas let his emotions overcome him and this in turns

shows weakness.  On the other hand Turnus showed strength in accepting his

defeat and making a last request.

 

      Aeneas' character throughout the epic was ever learning.  He went

through much to get to the point where he is at during the battle.  He fought

the walls that Juno put up throughout his journey and became a stronger man at

the end.  Aeneas deals with Turnus in a bad way but this should not totally

dishonor him.  He did make it to his destination and sacrificed much to get

there.  Although Aeneas did make it to found Rome.  Juno also is a victor in the

epic.  The root of Juno's anger was that the prophecies proclaimed that Aeneas

would take over Carthage and he is Trojan.  But now that Aeneas is no longer

Trojan but Roman and Rome will love Juno more than Carthage ever did.

 

      If Aeneas had stuck to stoicism in the story could he have accomplished

his mission without resorting to such violence?  Obviously the Stoic way would

have been much better and much quicker.  If he had not let his emotions get the

better of him he would not have spent seven years with Dido and her death would

not have happened.  Also if he would have gone straight to Italy he would have

arrived long before Turnus was engaged to the princess and there would have been

no war.  Although there is a strong argument that the events throughout the book

built the character Aeneas needed to be the founder of Rome and become a God.

Another point is that the prophecies stated that Aeneas would have to fight many

battles to found Rome the fact remains that if he had gotten there sooner there

would still have been some sort of war awaiting his arrival.  On the other hand

in the last book Jupiter did make a statement that suggested that it was

possible for him to interfere with fate if he wished and change the prophecies.

There is no telling what he could have done had he made different choices

throughout his journey and many people ponder the same questions about life

itself and the choices made in their lives.  The fact is there is no way of

knowing.

 

      In my opinion the last scene insinuates that Rome was founded in

violence.  This in not necessary bad, roman people were very proud of their

heritage and the way that the city was founded.  The Romans fell in love with

Virgil's Aeneid and so did Augustus.  The book was praised by Romans as it

showed Rome as strong and powerful.

 

      The character of Aeneas was modeled after Augustus and the book agreed

that Augustus was a strong leader.  The book actually helped his image and the

love for him grew threw Rome after the publication of the book.  For that

society in that time the epic was written perfectly to suit the need of the

reader.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com