Similarities And Differences Between The Odyssey And The Aeneid

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It is well known that Virgil was a creative genius. Although his creativity was evident, it is also understood that his works have been greatly influenced by the works of other writers, such as Homer 's, The Odyssey. The two epics are very similar in some ways, but also extremely different. A comparison between Homer 's, The Odyssey, and Virgil 's, The Aeneid, will show the different aspects of the Greek and Roman cultures. The Odyssey portrays Greek civilization while the Aeneid portrays Romans. Both of these epics have been used to portray the differences between each civilization, and in this essay I will be comparing how Virgil uses literary parallels from Homer 's, The Odyssey, to prove the point that Roman civilization is much more …show more content…
In the epic, Aeneas sacrifices all of his happiness and private life for the good of his people and his duty. He embodies the Roman value of duty in the epic. In contrast, Odysseus is not driven by any sense of duty or obedience. He leaves Troy to return to Ithaca, but he does not reach home until ten years afterwards. And when he does arrive, he does so without any of the men he left with. Self-interest is what drives Odysseus. Odysseus even strays multiple times from his path. For example, when he is on the island of the Cyclops and when he went with Circe and Calypso. He did all of this while putting his friends and followers in danger and betraying his wife by cheating on her with Calypso. The returning to Ithaca was only after the order of the Gods. And the Gods ordered him to return after he fulfilled himself by Calypso. Odysseus ' actions portray self-interest. His private life and happiness is all above his public duty, which is what the Romans despise. Aeneas ' character compared to Odysseus ' self-interested character propels Romans way beyond that of the Greeks. Secondly, Virgil combines the themes from the Iliad and the Odyssey, which are war and journey into one theme, a journey that ends in a war. Although he combines both themes, Virgil and Homer 's views on war are extremely different. Aeneas fights for the future while Odysseus fights for

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