Compare and Contrast: Aneas and Turnus

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Compare and Contrast: Aneas and Turnus

Victor Leon
Mr. Campion

The subtlety in the differences between Aneas and Turnus, reflect the subtlety in the differences between the Aeneid and the Iliad. Although both characters are devout and noble, Aneas does not possess the ardent passion of Turnus. Unlike Turnus, Aneas is able to place his beliefs in the fated establishment of Latium before his personal interests. Although Turnus is not a bad person, the gods favor Aneas in their schemes. The roles of Aneas and Turnus are reversed as the Aeneid progresses. The erasure of Aneas' free will accounts for his triumph and success.

Time and time again, Aneas' courage, loyalty, and will are tested in the Aeneid. Through seemingly endless journeys by sea, through love left to wither, and through war and death, Aneas exhibits his anchored principals and his unwavering character.

"Of arms I sing and the hero, destiny's exile...
Who in the grip of immortal powers was pounded
By land and sea to sate the implacable hatred
of Juno; who suffered bitterly in his battles
As he strove for the site of his city, and safe harboring
For his Gods in Latium" (Virgil 7).

As a slave to the gods and their plans, Aneas assimilates his mind and sacrifices his life to the establishment of Latium. As the greatest of all warriors, Aneas displays his superb strength and his leadership capabilities, by guiding the Trojans to victory over the latins and establishing Latium. The selflessness of Aneas and his devotion to the Gods, enables him to leap over and break through any obstacles that obstruct his destiny. Patterned after Homer's Hector, Virgil's Turnus is also a courageous and devout hero. As the most handsome of Rutilians, Turnus' nobility reflects his physical appearance; he is a god-fearing, libation-bearing soldier. Turnus was greatly admired and respected by his subjects: "by far the fairest (of Italian men) / Was Turnus,...
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