Homer, an ancient Greek epic poet, influenced many writers in the ancient Greek and Roman culture, particularly Virgil. Virgil, most famous for his epic poem The Aeneid demonstrates Homer’s influence through similar characters, mythology, and ideals. Homer in both his most famous works the Iliad and The Odyssey weaves poetry based on centuries worth of oral stories handed down and uses a sophisticated style of writing that is still recognized today. Although the tragic hero is defined slightly differently in modern text than ancient Greek and Roman works, Aristotle defined a tragic hero in his work Poetics as “the character between these two extremes,-that of a man who is not eminently good and just,-yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous” (Aristotle). Aristotle outlines that a tragic hero must be great and virtuous yet not perfect because the character must be relatable, their downfall is partly brought on upon themselves, their punishment is not entirely deserved, and the misfortune brings about awareness in the character. Both Homer and Virgil skillfully identify their tragic hero’s, Achilles in the Iliad and Aeneas in the Aeneid, according to Aristotle’s ideals. Both Achilles and Aeneas are famed warriors during the Trojan War and both characters appear in the Iliad and the Aeneid. Achilles fought for the Greeks while Aeneas fought for the Trojans during the war. Homer’s Iliad centers on Achilles and his time during the war whereas Virgil’s the Aeneid began after the fall of Troy and the hardships Aeneas faced after his escape. Virgil and Homer’s tragic heroes have similarities and differences in their greatness and relatability, their tragic flaws brought upon themselves, and their punishment that leads to their awareness and self-discovery.
Although neither Achilles nor Aeneas is “royal” in... [continues]
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