Theme Of Land In The Aeneid

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The Aeneid follows the mission of Aeneas, a Trojan hero, to found a new city following the destruction of Troy. Throughout his voyage, Aeneas has to overcome many obstacles and persevere through all the hardships in order to create a new city for his people. The Aeneid presents a multitude of themes that begin in Book I and continue throughout the course of his journey. The concept of land versus sea presents itself as a major concept throughout Aeneas’ expedition. The feeling of being on land, versus being on the sea, are drastically different. Vergil uses specific diction in order to make this contrast clear. The land is commonly associated with safety and beauty, while the sea is the unknown and brings about danger. Whenever Aeneas arrives …show more content…
When Aeneas journeys to the Underworld in order to seek his deceased father, he is warned that going into the Underworld is easy, but coming out is what is tricky. However, when describing his time on the water, there is a clear differential in the mood as for when he was on land. When Aeneas begins his journey it is stated that, “urbidus hic caeno vastaque voragine gurges aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam,” (Here a whirlpool thick with mud and with a mighty deep hole seethes and casts up all its sand into Cocytus). The word choice of “mighty deep hole” and “seethes and casts up” is intentional in order to paint a eerie and scary image of the underworld. Not only is the whirlpool frightening, but as is “portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat terribili squalore Charon,” (The dreadful ferryman Charon, of frightful filth, guards these water and streams). So not only are the waters terrifying, but as is the person who works them. Charon is “dreadful” and appears with “frightful filth”. The waters depicted in these lines are used in order to display the scary, spookiness of the underworld. At one point Aeneas was perfectly safe on land, but right when he enters the seas of the underworld, he is suddenly put in danger. Later on in the passage it even reads, “aut ad terram gurgite ab alto quam multae glomerantur aves, ubi frigidus annus trans pontum fugat et …show more content…
Land is a place of safety, where there are beautiful cities made by man. However, the sea is the unknown, full of danger and creatures, like the Scylla and Cyclops. Aeneas was sent on a journey with the men that survived the fall of Troy in order to found a new city in honor of all the people that died. When on the sea, Aeneas and his crew of men suffered many setbacks and had to overcome many obstacles before they finally made it onto land again. While on their journey on the water, Aeneas’ descriptive diction allows the reader to understand the fright that was felt by the men. In lines 200-201, Aeneas describes some of the difficulties that the men had to endure saying, “Vos et Scyllaeam rabiem penitusque sonantis accestis scopulos, vos et Cyclopea saxa,” (You have approached the rabid Scylla and the deeply roaring Rocks, and you have experienced the Cyclop’s rocks). The word choice of “rabid” to characterize the Scylla allows the reader to understand how frightful the monster truly was. Additionally the “deeply roaring rocks” and the “Cyclop’s rocks” convey the dangers of the sea. There is clearly no sense of safety while on the water, there are always risks and there is no way to prevent them. Contrarily, when Aeneas and his men arrive in Carthage and see the busy people of the land working, one observes the prosperity and beauty of the city. The difference of

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