Duty And Conflicts In The Aeneid And The Iliad

954 Words 4 Pages
Passion coupled with duty can drive nations to prosperity, or if the forces are separate the they can lead to ruin..These forces are so powerful that even the greatest and most powerful societies of today and in the past are swayed by passion and duty’s influence. Those civilizations of the past wrote national epics tackling these forces, two of those books being the Aeneid and the Iliad. The Aeneid discusses four particular civilizations, each of which interact with the forces of passion in different and similar ways. The civilizations that the Aeneid and Odyssey discuss are Rome, Greece, Troy, and Carthage. All four of these civilizations can be classified into two categories, those with equal passion and duty and those with an imbalance …show more content…
The Greeks in this situation of the Iliad and Aeneid were facing an essentially unwinnable war neither side would win or lose. The Greeks had one advantage at their disposal, that being the fact that they successfully combined the sense of duty and passion. Both the Greek and Trojan accounts of the war show this in one sense or another. In the Greek version the Greeks had a real passion for war, and a duty to their leaders. The Iliad shows the Greeks completely devoting their duty to Agamemnon during an essentially unwinnable war; the Iliad also shows how passionate they are about hating and killing the Trojans. The book shows this theme when Agamemnon first rallied his troops with both the passion to destroy Troy and to get his wife back. The reason that they rallied, even some like Odysseus who wanted to stay home, was their duty to Agamemnon as the king. Even the Greek trick of the Trojan Horse having both aspects of passion and duty. Odysseus filled with his passion to get back home from the war and his duty to Agamemnon comes up with the Trojan Horse. A contrived plot that no one would trust if not for their passion directed towards wanting to go home and their duty to winning the …show more content…
The citystate of Sparta is the perfect example of this. Spartan life heavily focused on duty as a principle according to History.com; Spartans were also passionate about their city according to Xenophon. According to Xenophon the Spartans believed that it was their duty to conquer all of Greece. Spartans were very passionate about this duty too, as they believed that they were descended from Heracles who essentially ordered them to conquer. Spartans didn’t just fade away into oblivion either, the Spartans have had an enormous effect on the western world. The Spartans essentially crippled Athens for ten years during the Peloponnesian war (History.com). After the war ended the Spartans broke up the Athenian Empire which dramatically changed the balance of power in Greece. All of the effects that Sparta had on the western world were as was discussed earlier, motivated by both the forces of passion and duty. Sparta has also lived on in our culture, it is present in movies like

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