Theme Of Honor And Heroes In The Aeneid

775 Words 4 Pages
Homer’s heroes, Hektor, of the Iliad, and Aeneas, of the Aeneid, reveal the contrast between the Greek and Roman concept of honor and glory. Although both characters’ heritage originated in Troy, the two heroes emerge from two very different mindsets and ideals. Aeneas lived after the fall of Troy and during its time of rebuilding, when the Roman values had a heavy influence on the new Trojan culture, which in turn, brought Roman elements into the ideals of heroism. Hektor came from the time before the destruction of Troy, a time when the Greek culture was still an independent and thriving way of thought and life, and it is reflected in the Greeks’ idea of the epic hero. Prior to the sack of Troy, in ancient Greece, honor and glory meant …show more content…
As Hektor states in response to his wife’s plea for him to not return to the fighting, “I would feel deep shame before the Trojans…if like a coward I were to shrink aside from the fighting;/and the spirit will not let me, since I have learned to be valiant/and to fight always among the foremost ranks of the Trojans,/winning for my own self great glory, and for my father” (trans, R. Lattimore; Il. 6.440-46). He resumed his place on the battlefield, in order to protect his family and to honor his father, even though he knew his fate was greatly unfavorable. In this instance, Hektor continued on the Homeric tradition of a son fighting like his father, choosing loyalty towards the family – by acting in such a way, he was exemplifying a duty that was owed to his own kin. Showing this much duty, care, and concern for the family was something that was deeply rooted in Homeric …show more content…
After the relocation of Troy to Carthage, the people began to adopt the Roman values, which, most importantly, put the state first – if individuals protected the state, the state, in turn, would protect the individual. Man’s identity was found in the city-state and their sense of honor was achieved through protecting and showing loyalty to their homeland. The heroic characteristics found in Ancient Roman society were piety, fidelity, and putting one’s duty before their own desires. Allegiance to one’s state was even regarded as more important than family and loved ones. In the Aeneid, Aeneas, the principal figure of the poem and highly regarded prince of the Trojans, demonstrated these traits and characteristics in a prominent way by his actions throughout the

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