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Greek And Roman Culture In Homer’s Odyssey And Virgil’s Aenied

1033 words - 4 pages

Both Homer and Virgil were great writers who wrote about the same war from two different perspectives. Because both writers came from two different backgrounds, Homer being Greek and Virgil being Roman, their culture became the theme of the epic heroes journey as warrior being either Greek or Roman.
The Odyssey, written by Homer, is a heroic tale about the adventures of Odysseus in his pursuit of returning home to his wife. The Aeneid, written by Virgil, is also a heroic tale about the escapade Aeneas endures while in pursuit of finding Rome. When comparing and contrasting both epics, one must first explore the protagonists and their culture. Within the Greek culture physical and military strength as well as fighting for oneself, mainly for personal satisfaction, are highly favored and is seen evidently within Odysseus’ role. He possesses the endurance, nobility, and desire for glory of a true Greek warrior. His acute mind helps him solve his most difficult challenges while his good deeds and triumphant battles earn him immense respect amongst the Greek gods. However Odysseus’ attitude is continuously being shaped by his culture and subjects him to having a tragic flaw. Odysseus’ tragic flaw is his constant search for glory, Even though he rules his own homeland, he is still in search for a more profound glory of all lands. This flaw gets in the way of his ultimate goal of returning home to his family and kingdom. Odysseus’ flaw also greatly affects his personality. It causes him to appear prideful and/or conceited. His hubris seems to command respect from people rather than earning it. It is not that he is totally arrogant; it is the glorification and the praise he wants to receive. His behavior furthermore explains why the Greeks admire intelligence, strength, and pride of the warriors with the land in which they live and breathe on.
In contrast, Aeneas is the son of a mortal and a goddess, therefore he is born with a divine tutelage, which is highly favored amongst the Roman gods. Aeneas embodies many characteristics that the Romans seem to value, such as his obedience to the will of the gods, robustness, and amiability. Having a strong family bond is also very essential to the Roman culture but most importantly the relationship between the father and son. According to, “By being dutiful to your father, you are preserving the past and honoring the source of your own existence; by setting a good example for your son, you are allowing the past to continue into the future” (Shmoop Editorial Team). Moreover, having strong leadership skills is a quality the Romans pride themselves by. The Romans are more inspired by their warriors leading their nation versus an individual leading himself, similar to the Greeks. Similar to the Greeks and Odysseus, Aeneas’ attitude is also shaped by his culture, which subjects him to having his own tragic flaw—uncertainty. His uncertainty stems from the fate in finding a new city., which leads to...

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