Duty Bound Aeneas Analysis

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“Duty-Bound Aeneas”
Often mistaken, fate and free-will were not complete opposite concepts to the Romans. Fate outlines destiny, however, an abundance of wiggle room remains. Although Aeneas’ journey is preordained, it’s important to note that he does have free will. His slavery to duty is not necessarily forced, but rather his own choice in accordance to Roman belief. In “The Tragic Queen of Carthage,” Aeneas tells Dido he is not leaving because he’s being forced to leave by the Fates, but because he has an obligation to Rome, which he chooses to live up to. Aeneas’ obligation—duty—is further defined when he first meets Venus. Virgil includes the encounter of Aeneas and the huntress in Libya, to establish Aeneas as the imperial prototype—the
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In Homer’s Iliad, Odysseus is renowned for his brilliance, guile, and versatility, and is hence known by the epithet “Odysseus the Cunning”. Unlike Aeneas, Odysseus took pleasure in the indulgence of self-determination and personal interests. Some argue that this leads him to be more of an interesting character. Nonetheless, Aeneas ' actions are directly defended with his virtue of responsibility; he does not do anything that would intentionally put his men in danger for the sake of self-indulgence or personal interests, such as Odysseus might. However, for every mountain Aeneas climbs, there is something he loses along the way. His desertion of Dido demonstrates an obvious loss he faces. The add up to these loses essentially drains Aeneas of personality. He grows more passive and sterile as the epic unfolds. The losses of personal values, such as family and love, lead to the ultimate loss of individuality in the form of personal character. Aeneas is tied to the Roman duty that calls forth upon him. The gods play him like a puppet, ironically, for their own self interests. Virgil continues to place an emphasis on cost; on the price of glory. It is clear that Virgil denounces the spirit behind Greek autonomy. The saturation of personal desire and interests creates chaos and self-serving abuse of power and

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