The Iliad And The Aeneid Analysis

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In ancient Roman history, Virgil a great poet wrote two of the most epic poems in The Iliad and The Aeneid. Both poems contained main characters that were meant to showcase the greatness that was to be a standard for being a great Roman hero in respect to Achilles and Aeneas through respect to Gods, duty to their country and loyalty to family. Although these characters were similar in their own respect, Virgil made a clear distention in the two using their personalities and different motivations.

In comparing these characters, you will first find that both were demigods were one parent is a God and the other parent is a mortal. Achilles mother was the immortal Thetis and his father was the King of Thessaly, Peleus. While Aeneas parents were
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Achilles’ mother Thetis asks Hephaestus, the God of blacksmithing to make her son a replacement shield with distinctive imagery. The description of the shield was Homers way of showing ekphrasis which is well known in ancient Greek poetry for being very detailed to help the audience visualize the art without seeing it. On the other hand, Venus convinced Vulcan to produce a shield for Aeneas that would depict a great and powerful Rome. On both shields, the artist was sure to create scenes of great wars in ancient times as well as the prophecy of Aeneas in rule of a future Rome. The descriptions were very detailed in both cases. Achilles’ shields had various images of the universe, sun moon, and the stars along with imagery of fighting between countries. It was also described as “glittering like lighting, and being with a silver strap and five layers thick” ln 518-519. Moreover, Aeneas’ armor depicted a much different scene created by Vulcan. It showed …show more content…
In regards to the motivation, each character differed in the personalities which reflected how each respected poem played out. Achilles, though a good leader, showed an overwhelming arrogance and what ancient Greeks called hubris. Achilles was also moved more by his anger when faced with adverse situations. The first lines in “The Iliad” displays Achilles angry with “RAGE: Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades' dark, And left their bodies to rot as feasts For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done” lines 1-5 . Having this great anger motivating his every move lead to great consequences and ultimately his demise. Aeneas on the other hand seemed more even keeled but still a good warrior. He was more self-less than Achilles and showed the Gods that he was willing to devote his life for which is was destined to beget an empire in Rome. Here the difference in fates totally dictates the characters personal approaches. Achilles knowing that he want his name known for being a great warrior has to have a more selfless outlook versus Aeneas who want to appease the Gods and do their will in founding an

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