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Fate Would Homer And Virgil Be The Same With Out It?

1067 words - 4 pages

written for AP English class Exam Paper -Fate - Would Homer & Virgil be the same with out it?In Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Iliad, a picture of the supernatural and its workings was created. In both works, there is a concept of a fixed order of events which is called fate. Fate involves two parts. First, there are laws that govern certain parts of mens' lives, such as human mortality and an afterlife. Second, fate deals with the inevitable outcome of certain events, outcomes that cannot be changed by men or gods.Both Homer and Virgil allude to the existence of unchangeable laws, one of which is the mortality of human beings. This can be seen by the fact that character after character dies during war. In Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneas journeys to Hades to visit his father. During his stay, he talks to a large number of the warriors that have died in the Trojan War. The death of these warriors shows the mortality of human beings (Forman 2015). Another unchangeable law is the period of limbo that is said to await the souls of the unburied after death. Homer indicates this law by writing of Patroklos' spirit's return to remind Achilles that, until he has been properly buried, he must wander the earth. These events show Virgil's and Homer's belief in laws that cannot be changed (Strong 62).The second element of Fate deals with the unalterable predestined occurrence of certain events. One example of such an event is the fall of Troy. According to Homer, the destruction of Troy was foretold in Hekuba's dream that her son, Paris, would be the cause. This prophecy was confirmed by a seer. Although Hekuba tried to avert the disaster by attempting to have Paris killed, fate overcame and Troy was destroyed as a result of Paris' judgment concerning the golden apple of discord (Strong 15-16). Virgil also writes about a similar situation when Venus pleads with Jupiter to help Aeneas with his journey.Meanwhile, on Olympus, Venus, the mother of Aeneas, berates Jupiter for allowing her son to be persecuted in such a manner. Jupiter calms her and reminds her of the many prophecies concerning her son and his progeny: how he will found the city of Lavinium in Latium and win a great war; how his son Acanius will build the city of Alba Longa; how the twins Romulus and Remus, his descendants, will be born in this town and how they will found the city of Rome (Milch 22).The union of the Trojans and Latins to form a new race is another example of a predestined event found in the Aeneid. This illustrates the unchangeable will of Fate, even to the degree that the gods believe what is foretold must happen (Camp 42).Even though certain events are ordained by Fate, the time tables for these events are flexible. Since Achilles was mortal, he was ordained by fate to die during the Trojan War. This can be seen in the Iliad when Homer writes about Achilles. Though his death was inevitable, it was postponed as a result of being dipped in the River Styx. '...at birth, his mother dipped...

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