The Role Of Duty In Virgil's Aeneid

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Having a sense of duty is one of the core principles of Stoic philosophy. This distinct value is shown in Virgil’s Aeneid through Aeneas. The concept of executing your duty becomes a clear motif throughout the story. He eloquently writes the Aeneid persuade people that rationality is more important than emotion. Emotion is shown in Aeneas but quickly fades when he is overcome with responsibilities beyond himself. This pattern is most distinct when Aeneas shows his devotion to his duty when he wants to fight to defend Troy, leaves Dido to found Rome, and fights the Latins in order to fulfil his destiny. This in placed in this story for propaganda purposes as well as Virgil’s Stoic bias. As Aeneas tells the story of the fall of Troy to Dido, he explains that the city was completely destroyed and the Trojans had …show more content…
He knows he must marry Lavinia, Princess of the Latin people, however, Turnus is the most suitable native. A war between the Trojans and Latins ensues as Aeneas is concentrated on defeating Turnus in order to win Lavinia’s hand in marriage. The language Virgil uses mirrors Aeneas’ departure from Dido, “...it’s Turnus alone he’s tracking, eyes alert through the murky haze of of battle, Turnus alone Aeneas demands to fight (1077).” In the chaos of war, Aeneas remains focused on the task of defeating Turnus because he knows his importance to the gods who ordered him to found Rome. In defeat, Turnus pleas for his life by telling Aeneas, “Go no further down the road of hatred”(p. 1089). Virgil takes this opportunity to assert the importance of one’s duty when he writes, “...Turnus’ words began to sway him more and more...when all at once he caught sight of the fateful sword-belt of Pallas” (p.1089). Aeneas kills Turnus shortly after because he is filled with an obligation of avenge Pallas. Aeneas is again faced with another choice and chooses to do what he believes he is obligated to do for

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