Aeneid Vs Achilles

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Epic poems, a vital part of Greco-Roman culture, has served to memorialize the similar yet unique cultures of Greece and Rome. Two of the greatest of these poems, The Aeneid and The Iliad, share a few things in common, while yet retaining individuality. As the heroes of epic poems, both Achilles and Aeneas have been designed to illustrate traits, complete deeds, and demonstrate morals that were valued in their particular society. Achilles, the hero of The Iliad, demonstrates the values that were more important in Greek culture, namely glory and valor. On the other hand, though Aeneas was undoubtedly valiant and a honorable fellow, he distinctively reflects the qualities that the Romans respect more, loyalty and commitment. Though these…show more content…
Although Virgil's writing has a heavy influence by Homer, Virgil gives Aeneas different motivations from Achilles. Aeneas, unlike Achilles, is motivated by the common good, devoting his life to founding a city. Oppositely, Achilles is motivated by personal glory, to the point where the deaths of his comrades did not even matter anymore. Virgil successfully reflects the patriotism of the Roman Empire in The Aeneid by devoting the entire book to Aeneas pursuing the prophetic founding of Rome. On the contrary, The Iliad is devoted to Achilles and his rage. Though Achilles' goal in the entire Iliad was simply to regain his glory, he was motivated only by the death of Patroclus, which threw him into a frenzy. Homer successfully reflects the importance of personal honor in the Iliad, since the entire conflict is due to the wounded pride of one man. Noticeably, the contrast between these two characters are rather outstanding. Aeneas, in contrast to Achilles, shows a more or less selfless behavior than Achilles, who's sulking leads to thousands of deaths. Aeneas is willing to even leave Dido just to fulfill his purpose. Evidently, Aeneas and Achilles have vastly different…show more content…
Aeneas is portrayed as a dutiful yet irresponsible man. On the other hand, Achilles is portrayed as a brave yet selfish person. For instance, Aeneas after he had arranged a marriage with Dido; however, he leaves her, thus leaving Dido heartbroken. Later on, while journeying through the underworld, Aeneas happens see the shade of Dido again. Rather than apologizing, Aeneas even tries to excuse himself from his deed. Though he left Dido out of duty, he did not even have the responsibility to tell her. Secondly, both Achilles and Aeneas are rather trusting in the gods. Aeneas reflects his trust to the gods by devoting his entire life to a duty that the gods laid on him, even when he had to sacrifice his romance with Dido. Achilles, on the other hand, trusted in Zeus to personally oversee the demise of the Achaeans. Both of their actions prove that they have quite the faith in the gods. Understandably, the Greco-Roman culture have the gods integrated into tradition, thereby leading authors such as Virgil and Homer to give the trait of faith to the heroes. Though the similarities between Achilles and Aeneas are rather numerous, they do share a few common traits such as their

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