top-rated free essay

A Roman Hero

By lauren4 May 23, 2006 977 Words
A Roman Hero

Aeneas can truly be considered a Roman hero in Virgil's poem The Aeneid. Not only does Aeneas represent a true Roman hero, but he also represents what every Roman citizen is called to be. Each Roman citizen must posses two major virtues, he must remain pious, and he must remain loyal to the Roman race. In the poem, Aeneas encompasses both of these virtues, and must deal with both the rewards and costs of them. In the poem, Virgil says that all Romans ought to have two certain virtues: these virtues are to be a pious Roman citizen, and too also remain loyal to the Roman race. In Virgil's poem, he uses Aeneas as a portrayal of not only a Roman hero, but also as the ideal Roman citizen. For a man to be pious, he must do what he is called to do and follow his destiny. Aeneas is above all pious. He follows the will of the gods, even when it makes him suffer. Aeneas' destiny is to lead the Trojan people to the new land of Rome. Although this task is tough for him to accomplish and there are many difficulties along the way, he keeps on striving towards his final goal. Aeneas also, throughout the entire poem, remains loyal to what a true Roman is called to be. Aeneas fights for what he believes in and remains loyal. He keeps on fighting for is empire no matter what the cost may be. Aeneas is used to represent the ideal roman citizen and the ideal Roman hero, but these characteristics do not surface until the poem is nearly over. As the poem is coming to a close, Aeneas begins to explain how it is his duty to fight Turnus. He does not have the desire to have the battle with Turnus, but he has the desire to follow his destiny and do what he has been called to do. He says, "Hold back your anger! Now the truce is set, its terms are fixed, I am the only one who has the right to battle; let me fight, and set your fears aside. With my right arm I shall maintain our treaty. (XII 426-430)" In this quote, Aeneas is saying that it is his right to fight Turnus and it would be wrong for him to give up that right, it would be impious. Although to remain pious and to remain loyal are virtues that every roman should possess, there are some costs that sometimes outweigh the rewards. By following his destiny, Aeneas was put in an enormous amount of danger, which he would not have been put in if he had not fled Troy, in search for Rome. When he first leaves Troy, he knows that he may have to put himself in dangerous positions, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to please the Gods. Also, Aeneas lost nearly everything that he once had during the course of the poem. He lost his father, his lover, and ultimately, he loses his identity. Losing your own identity is the greatest loss that anyone could suffer and Aeneas does experience that loss. These losses that Aeneas endures greatly outweigh the rewards that Aeneas acquires in the end of the poem. Aeneas defeats Turnus and gains the Roman Empire, but that is how the story is left. There are no celebrations; there is no wedding for Aeneas and Lavinia. It is just over. The reward is that he has accomplished what he set out to do, but the reader is not shown how or if Aeneas is rewarded in a physical way. By ending the story in this way, it seems that Virgil agrees that the costs greatly outweigh the benefits. It would appear that if he were to disagree, he would have concentrated much more on the rewards rather than concentrating on all the hardships. The entire poem is based on the trouble that Aeneas must go through in order to remain pious and to remain loyal to the Romans. It is not until the very last page where we are shown the rewards that Aeneas gained from his quest. The last sentence states, "Relentless, he sinks his sword into the chest of Turnus. His limbs fell slack with chill; and with a moan his life, resentful, fled to Shades below. (XII 1268-1271)" This one defeat cannot offset all the trials and tribulations that Aeneas went through to get to that very battle between him and Turnus. It was a tough journey and the only real reward that he got was to know, in his heart, that he did the right thing and remained pious to the gods, his people, and his empire. This is not the only way to interpret Virgil's poem, it can also be looked at quite differently. The poem can also be viewed that by Aeneas remaining pious and going through all the hardships that he did, he single handedly prevented civil war. Everything that Aeneas went through was for the good of the commonwealth and was rewarding for the people. Because his view can be looked at in two ways and is rather unclear, Virgil's verdict is equivocal. In Virgil's poem, The Aeneid, a picture is painted of a very virtuous Roman hero who remains pious and loyal to his people. This is the picture of Aeneas' life. It is shown in the poem, that the costs that come with holding these virtues greatly outweigh the rewards. The rewards, although small, are on the inside of the hero and the costs are large and are on the outside. It is critical to follow your destiny no matter what it is, but that is a virtue that not only Roman heroes, but also all Romans must possess.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • An Ideal Hero: Greek vs. Roman

    ...records. Pictograph, ideogram, cuneiform. d. Institutions for centralized & inherited power . - Priesthood for centralized sacred ritual . - Kingship for centralized political and social structure (Paraoh= kings in Egypt) . 2. Geographical areas of early civilizations (Attached) 3. Ages of early Greek mythology t...

    Read More
  • The Hero Of Julius Caesar: The Roman Hero

    ...The Roman Hero Once upon a time, there was a children born to a widow in a very poor place in the great empire of ancient Rome. It was 47 BC, and the great emperor Julius Caesar was ruling the land with authority and power. The children was called, Victorinous just as his father. His father was killed in battle. He was angry tempered and stubbor...

    Read More
  • roman

    ...An Analysis of the relationship between Caliban and Prospero Their relationship is very important as Prospero and Caliban represent different worlds, the civilised and the uncivilised world. Prospero being the educated civilised character who invades the native Caliban's island. Caliban is a disrespectful and is disobedient. The immedi...

    Read More
  • Aeneas as a Hero

    ...Murphy 1 Amy Murphy EN 102 July 25, 2011 Ms.Gunter Aeneas as a Hero The character of Aeneas emerges as a hero during his escape from Troy in Book II of the Aeneid. He does need help at times, realizing his destiny; and so he is visited by the ghosts of Hector and Creusa, and also, by the goddess, Venus, his mother. These supern...

    Read More
  • Being a Hero

    ...Being a Hero Thesis: Despite his accomplishments and the glory associated with his life, Aeneas only achieves the status of hero through divine intervention, and this god-given position causes him just as much grief as it does splendor. What is a hero? We would like to think that a hero is someone who has achieved some fantastic goal or st...

    Read More
  • Romans

    ...How advanced or civilised were the Romans? Some historians believe the Romans were civilised and advanced whilst others believe they were uncivilised. This essay will use evidence to show that the Romans were civilised. Many Historians believe the Romans were civilised and advanced because Rome was supplied with over 1,000 liters of fresh s...

    Read More
  • The Roman Underworld

    ...THE ROMAN UNDERWORLD The Romans were greatly influenced by the Greeks in religion. Their religious views did not change drastically; however, Romans did believe that life was “the spirit’s death,” and that the soul was freed after healing the earth. In addition, the names of all the Greek gods and goddesses were changed to those of a Roma...

    Read More
  • HEro

    ...Results Hero - IMDb‎ Rating: 7.9/10 - ‎123,269 votes Directed by Yimou Zhang. With Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang. One man defeated three assassins who sought to murder the most ... Hero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia‎ A hero (heroine for a female)...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.