Aeneas and Hector show leadership through faithfulness and respect to the gods and goddesses. Faithfulness to the gods.
Hector prays to the gods before fighting.
Aeneas obeys the god, Apollo, in leaving Dido.
Respect for the gods.
Hector makes an offering to Dione’s daughter, his mother, and other gods for protection. Aeneas discharges ritual vows to the gods after the fighting. Aeneas and Hector act out of unselfishness.
Aeneas acts out of unselfishness by turning away from his emotions. Aeneas leaves Dido for his people and the new Troy.
Aeneas helps his people and encourages them in the burial rites for Misenus. Hector acts out of unselfishness by serving the gods and continuing on his fate. Hector dies because that is the will of the gods.
Hector loves his family but continues his fate to bring glory to Troy and his family. Aeneas and Hector do not back down from any situation.
Aeneas cries a lot throughout the epic.
This shows his human qualities.
When Palinurus dies, he takes control of the ship.
He leaves Dido in search of his new homeland.
Hector fights with heart.
Andromache begs Hector not to leave.
He has the strength to let go of his family.
Hector, from the Iliad, and Aeneas, from the Aeneid, stand out as great warriors that show many traits of an epic hero. They obey the gods. They put others before themselves. Their motivation is their country and family, rather than personal glory. Hector and Aeneas remain faithful to the gods, acts out of unselfishness, and are strong in tough situations.
In most epic poems, the gods and goddesses play important roles. In order for the gods to be on one’s side, one must obey them, pray to them, and offer gifts to them. Aeneas is a good leader because he performs all of these acts throughout the Aeneid. Virgil points out Aeneas giving gifts to the gods at the beginning of the Aeneid: “As I made offering to Dione’s daughter, my divine mother, and to other gods who give protection to a work begun […]” (Virgil’s Aeneid 66). In the fighting scene later on, Aeneas calls on the gods to steady his aim before throwing the spear at his enemy. Thus, he is successful in wounding his enemy. In contrast, Mezentius relies on himself. He does not call on a god to steady his aim, meaning he thinks he can do everything on his own to be successful. Mezentius does not aim well because he does not pray to the gods. Aeneas is a good leader because “[…] for burial of the dead, he first in early light discharged his ritual vows as victor to the gods” (Virgil’s Aeneid 331). A good leader takes care of his fellow comrades. Throughout the Aeneid, Aeneas performs the proper funeral rites for his father and for his fellow comrades. He is a courageous warrior filled with compassion. In Book XI, Aeneas prepares funeral rites for the ones who die in battle and send his promises to the gods. Turnus contrasts with Aeneas as a bad leader because he does not show respect for his comrades. Turnus does not make any offerings. Aeneas proves he is a good leader by caring about his people who have died. He cares about their underworld lives. Aeneas starts the Aeneid with gifts and prayers, and he ends the Aeneid with gifts and prayers. He is constantly praying to the gods for strength; he never disobeys them. Aeneas is a good leader because he puts his faith in the gods in everything he does.
Homer shows the difference between Hector’s and Achilles’ obedience to the gods in the Iliad. Hector wants to please the gods in everything he does. When he is at his moment of death he says, “[…] must long since have been pleasing to Zeus” (Homer’s Iliad 443). Hector says these words before Achilles kill him. He is willing to die to fulfill his purpose. The gods wish that Hector would die. Hector is committed to the gods and his men. Achilles words are different: “Die: and I will take my own death at whatever time Zeus and other immortals choose to accomplish it” (Homer’s Iliad...
Cited: * Homer. The Iliad of Homer, translated by Richmond Lattimore. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1951. Print.
* Virgil and Robert Fitzgerald. The Aeneid translated by Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Random House, 1983. Print.
The Classical Weekly, Vol. 23, No. 22 (Apr. 14, 1930), pp. 172-173
Published by: Classical Association of the Atlantic States
The Classical Journal , Vol. 46, No. 6 (Mar., 1951), pp. 277-280
Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South
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