Fate and Destiny in the Aeneid and the Odyssey Essay example

919 Words Apr 7th, 2011 4 Pages
From the dawning of modern human thought, humans have questioned the nature of life and its passing. One of the most fundamental questions to arise from this train of thought is the ideas of fate and duty. We humans desire to know whether the path of our lives is preordained and unalterable or if it is just a series of consequences from our past actions. If we live by fate and believe our path is already set in stone, then is it our obligation to fulfill that destiny to the best of our abilities or can we resist and hope to forge our own story? It is quite obvious in the epics of both Aeneus and Odysseus that the idea of fate and duty plays a huge role. The difference we see between the two is which is more important and how each epic …show more content…
This resembles the cultural and philosophical natures of the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks placed much emphasis on the individual, life, and pleasure which would naturally honor a hero who struggles tremendously to return safely home. The Romans placed large amounts of emphasis on Rome, what it stood for and their duty, undoubtedly Aeneus’s epic was bred from this culture. Although the cultural differences are evident, these two works both share an inevitable fate which drives the journey. Also, the god’s interference in the hero’s journey for either personal gain or to assure the fulfillment of their fate is evident in both works. Fate and duty have been human concepts for thousands of years; they both entail some form of obligation and are main themes in the Aeneid and the Odyssey. Aeneus’s obligation to his duty compels him to realize his fate. Odysseus, on the other hand simply desires to return home, but is subjected to the will of the gods which only stall his fate. Both works resemble their respective culture’s beliefs and ideals, but regardless of the differences, these two works are classic epics.

Rabun 4
Works Cited
Homer. Trans. John W. Mackail. The Odyssey. 4 Oct. 2007. Google Books. .

Virgil. Ed. Charles E. Freeman. The Aeneid. 3 Mar. 2008. Google Books.

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