This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Piety Of Aeneas In Virgil's Aeneid

1214 words - 5 pages

The Aeneid is an epic poem written by Virgil from around 30 to 19 BC that tells the story of the founding of Rome. The protagonist and epic hero, Aeneas, is a Trojan captain who escaped the fires of Ilion to lead a group of refugees to establish the Latin race. This mission, designated by the gods and fate, involved a journey filled with hardships that Aeneas and his people faced with determination and adamant resolve. In particular, however, it is Aeneas' piety that is highlighted as his defining feature. It is crucial to note that, in ancient times, the Latin word pietas referred to not only religious devotion, but also devotion to one's family and country. Therefore, Aeneas possesses the values that were seen as most important in Virgil's era, and he serves as a vehicle by which Virgil both glorifies Rome and its founding and instructs the Roman people as to how they should carry out their lives. Virgil's goal was to have the reader identify that high class of character with Rome itself and its leaders, in particular Caesar Augustus, the ruler of the empire at the time Virgil lived. During that period, Augustus attempted to revive the moral standards of Rome, which had deteriorated over the past generation. Like Aeneas, he is a leader that will bring prosperity to the Roman people. The poem is thus designed to glorify the emperor and explain the origins of Rome, all in the style of Homer's Greek epics.Of the three major aspects of Aeneas' pious character, the duty one has to one's country rises to the foreground. As an accomplished and honored war hero, Aeneas is forced to take on the responsibility of leading the people to the promised kingdom of Latium. As decreed by the gods and fate, he willingly accepts this task and tackles the heavy burdens that it entails. With each trial, Aeneas becomes stronger and a better leader, eventually fulfilling his destiny as the founder of Rome. With his transformation comes a lesser dependence on the actions of the gods, exemplified best by Jupiter's decree in Book X that the gods must henceforth stay neutral in the battle. Aeneas never loses sight of his goal, all the while maintaining his pious duty to the Trojan people. Even in battle, the reader is reminded of his compassionate nature, especially after he kills young Lausus: "He held out his hand as filial piety, mirrored here, wrung his own heart, and said: 'O poor young soldier, how will Aeneas reward your splendid fight?'" After the death of Pallas, however, the reader is shown an alternative aspect of Aeneas' character. Giving into his passions, he initiates an aristeia in which a killing rampage results in the violent deaths of many Latin soldiers. "As men say the titan Aegaeon had a hundred arms, a hundred hands, and sent out burning breath from fifty mouths and breasts when he opposed Jove's thunderbolt, clanging his fifty shields and drawing fifty swords, just so Aeneas multiplied savagery over the whole field once his sword-point warmed." This...

Find Another Essay On The Piety of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid

The Role of the Gods and Fate in Virgil's The Aeneid

1505 words - 6 pages The Role of the Gods and Fate in Virgil's The Aeneid Are the deeds of mortal characters in the Aeneid controlled by the gods or by fate? Aeneas must fulfill the will of the gods, while enduring the wrath of other gods, all the while being a worthy predecessor of Augustus and founder of the Roman people. Of course, the Trojan is successful because he gives himself up to these other obligations, while those who resist the will of the gods

Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of the Gods in Virgil's Aeneid and Metamorphoses

2419 words - 10 pages COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE PORTRAYAL OF THE GODS IN VIRGIL'S AENEID AND OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. There is a significant difference in the treatment of the gods in the Aeneid and the Metamorphoses, even though both authors were writing in the epic tradition. Virgil wrote his Aeneid in the last ten years of his life, between 29BC and 19BC, after the Battle of Actium, in 31BC, which was significant, as it established Octavian as the sole

The Aeneid: Virgil's Heroic Underworld

3473 words - 14 pages gifts and spoils we receives than the well-being of the men who serve him. These comparisons however, could be simply the personal differences between Aeneas and these other heroes. In order to truly see that the qualities of Aeneas are indeed specific and an important part of Virgil's message about morality we must look at Virgil's underworld, and the people who inhabit it. During the events of book six in the Aeneid, Aeneas travels to the

How does Aeneas present himself and his people in Book 2 of the Aeneid?

2954 words - 12 pages The second book of Virgil's Aeneid is the account of the sack of Troy from Aeneas' point of view. Since Aeneas is the narrator, the characterisation of him and his men is particularly interesting because it demonstrates the way in which Virgil intended his future founder of the Roman race to portray himself in the face of adversity. As a result Virgil is able to emphasise the bravery of the Trojans in contrast with the merciless Greeks, showing

Ekphrasis in Aeneas' Shield in Vergil's The Aeneid

1945 words - 8 pages 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

Does Aeneas Control his own fate in the Aeneid?

1082 words - 4 pages While reading The Aeneid, a reader may wonder whether Aeneas has control of his own fate or not. The very large number of interactions of the gods and goddesses may sway the reader’s opinion one direction. Jupiter, Juno, and Venus are always interacting with Aeneas’s life. They were notorious for decisions that affected Aeneas’s life like: first arriving in Carthage, leaving Dido, burning down the Trojans ships, and much more. Throughout

How does Sinon deceive the Trojans in lines 57-144 of Virgil's Aeneid? An exercise in practical criticism

1478 words - 6 pages The portion of Book II of the Aeneid beginning at line 57 and ending at line 194, in which Sinon convinces the Trojans that the wooden horse should be brought inside their walls, is a masterful display of deceit. We shall see that Sinon's skill consists in constructing a story that is believable in its portrayal of human psychology, appealing to Trojan prejudices, and full of pathos, and telling it in a way that is suspenseful, flattering to his

Fitful and Changing: Femininity in Virgil's Aeneid

1011 words - 5 pages regarding gender roles. One such representaton is Virgil's epic Aeneid, which contains depictions of women in positions of power, and also characterizes these women as irrational, emotional to the point of hysteria, and consequently, unfit rulers. Historically, much information about the role of women came out of Athens, where women were expected to center their life around oikos, or the 'home', where a woman would cook, manage servents, raise

Tying Homer's Iliad to Virgil's Aeneid Through the Theme of Warfare

1608 words - 6 pages Warfare is a common thread that ties Homer's Iliad to Virgil's Aeneid. However, the way warfare is treated in the two epics is different. This can be attributed to many factors including the time between the composition of the pieces, the fact that pieces were written by different authors, and the fact that the pieces were written in different places. We can use these pieces to get a view of what the society that produced them thought about

A Comparison of Leadership Abilities of Odysseus in Odyssey and Aeneas in Aeneid

3530 words - 14 pages Comparing the Leadership Abilities of Odysseus in Odyssey and Aeneas in Aeneid      These two heroes have embarked from the same destination but on very different journeys. Whilst they are both Iliadic heroes at the start of their stories, they develop and adapt their manner towards the characteristics required of them to succeed. Before we judge them, it is necessary to determine our definition of a successful leader. A hero from the

The Portrayal of Women in the Aeneid

2389 words - 10 pages How much control do women have over their emotions in the Aeneid? In his poem, Virgil frequently shows women in situations where irrational thoughts lead to harmful choices. Specifically, Virgil presents women as being easily influenced by their emotions. Consequently, these characters make decisions that harm both themselves and those around them. Throughout Aeneas’s journey, divinities such as Juno and Venus are seen taking advantage of

Similar Essays

Aeneas’ Haunting In Virgil's Aeneid Aeneas

1032 words - 5 pages In epic stories the hero is traditionally confronted by supernatural entities that either strive to encourage or hinder him. In Virgil’s Aeneid Aeneas deals with the such supernatural interferences all of which focus on the goal of Aeneas creating Rome and its people. Throughout the books Aeneas is a truly ‘haunted’ individual faced with ghost, gods and even fate itself all of which attempt to prompt and govern his choices. Aeneas is subjected

The Fall Of Aeneas At The Conclusion Of Virgil's "Aeneid"

1123 words - 4 pages message for the conclusion of the poem.The event that transpires can also be interpreted as a criticism of Rome in Virgil's time. At the completion of the last battle, Aeneas is in a position of power over Turnus, just as Rome was powerful in comparison to surrounding states. Aeneas killing Turnus at his time of weakness represents the actions of Rome. Throughout The Aeneid, descriptions of war are particularly violent and disturbing. Through

Role Of The Gods In Virgil's The Aeneid

1360 words - 5 pages for my devotion’ [1.377]. The word for pious in Latin is ‘pietas’ which has many meanings ‘piety, dutifulness, loyalty, affection, love, gratitude’. It is chiefly the duty to the gods, as well as to country and family, all of which Aeneas is shown to display throughout the story. As the purpose of writing the Aeneid was to give the roman empire an illustrious founding, it would make sense for the hero to be of a pious and dutiful nature

Comparison Of Suffering In Job And Virgil's "The Aeneid"

981 words - 4 pages The Meaning of Suffering in Job and The AeneidThroughout Virgil's Aeneid and Job from the Old Testament, great obstacles block the paths of the protagonists. Mental and physical, anguish is placed upon Job and Aeneas. Though both men suffer extreme pain, the extent and content of the tribulations are different.Job's suffering is placed upon him without provocation. Aeneas also believes his "pain [is] so great and unmerited!" (Virgil 2.89