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Comparison of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid

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Comparison of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid

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The ancient world literature is filled with epic tales of heroes and gods who go on perilous adventures to foreign lands and encounter many mythical beings along the way. These adventures usually teach a lesson or give insight as to the culture of the area and time period in which it was written. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid are all similar epics in their adventures and their lessons. Throughout the literary works of the ancient world there are many reoccurring motifs such as: the role of the gods, the role of suffering, and the roll of fate. The role of the gods shows heavily in the literary works of this era through the god’s direct interference in mortal events. Within the Iliad Athena, who hates the Trojans, does not directly kill Hector but tricks him into facing Achilles which ultimately leads to his death. Thetis, the mother of Achilles, helps her son and the Greeks throughout their adventures in any way possible. Similarly in the Odyssey gods interfere with the mortals to show their own will over their lives. Although he could not kill Odysseys, Poseidon sent storms to delay him after he disrespected him and blinded his son. Hermes, however, actually assisted Odysseus on Circe’s island by warning him about her potions and giving him a means to protect himself. After Odysseus’ men slaughter the sun god Helios’ prized cattle, Zeus is asked to bring about a storm which destroys all Odysseus’ ships and kills all his men. In the Aeneid, Juno convinces Aeolus to unless a storm on Aeneas as he searches for a friendly harbor, because of her strong hatred for Trojans (Aeneas and his men are destined to destroy her beloved city of Carthage). Neptune senses this storm within his realm so he immediately calms the storm and essentially saves Aeneas. Another ally to Aeneas is his mother Venus who helps her son whenever she can. Although Venus and Juno are on completely different sides in the matter of the Trojans they both make sure Aeneas and Dido fall in...