Aeneid And Achilles Comparison

1525 Words7 Pages
An epic hero is a significant character depicted in the format of an epic poem that exemplifies a person of considerable strength and extraordinary achievements. The two ancient poems that personify epic heroes and represent the major civilizations of Greece and Rome are the Aeneid, and the Iliad. The Aeneid written by Virgil, is a Latin epic poem that articulates the story of Aeneas, a Trojan who embarks on a journey to the Italian peninsula in order to found the Roman Empire (page 489-490). The Iliad, one of two oral histories told by Homer, describes the tenth year of the Trojan War, following the Greek warrior Achilles and his crisis of identity (page 332). The characters Aeneas and Achilles are the archetypal heroes of ancient times.…show more content…
For example, Achilles has his wrath, and Aeneas has his disposition to do his duty. Aeneas is driven by a nationalistic exaltation that he will be the originator of a great civilization. Aeneas’ main goal is creating that new city. Achilles fights for his personal glory and also battles in the Iliad, to gain revenge against the great Trojan warrior, Hektor, for killing his companion Patroklos. The two heroes’ stories are quite different despite taking place around the same time, Achilles story revolves around war and revenge, whereas Aeneas story exemplifies the struggle between duty and personal needs. Regardless of their differences they do possess some similar characteristics, such as both heroes are demigods, with divine mothers and mortal fathers. The heroes of epic literature are bound by a code of honor, and have certain destinies to fulfill. Aeneas was destined to become the founder and ruler of a new city, Lavinium. Achilles had a choice between one of two fates: he could either live a long life or he could live a short but gratifying life, bursting with conflict, and purpose. Achilles and Aeneas fought as warriors in the Trojan War, but on opposing sides, with Achilles being Greek, and Aeneas a Trojan. The two character differed in way of behavior in similar events that took place in their respective stories. Achilles was cold hearted and blood thirsty on the battle field, exemplified by this quote from book XXII of the Iliad, “No more entreating of me, you dog, by knees or parents. I wish only that my spirit and fury would drive me to hack your meat away and eat it raw for the things that you have done to me.” (Lines 247- 251). Aeneas shows himself to be a relatively merciful warrior by following the orders of the Gods. Achilles achieved the glory he pursued, but died at a young age. Aeneas lived the life he was destined to by prevailing through emotional

More about Aeneid And Achilles Comparison

Open Document