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Virgil The Art Of Imitating Ho - Essays

Virgil The Art Of Imitating Ho


“Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah.”1 “Homer, Virgil. Virgil, Homer.” The Aeneid, the greatest Latin
epic of the battles and wanderings of the Trojan hero, Aeneas, and his founding of the ruling line
for the Roman Empire was written by the great Latin poet Virgil. Or so it seems. When one is
reading the Aeneid and has also read both Homeric epics, one can almost instantly see many
parallels between Homer and Virgil. Not only are there parallels in the actual style of writing,
but the most prominent parallels come in the aspects of structure, events, and characterization.
The Aeneid is, in actuality, “... a structural and thematic reworking of both epics of ...

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and feeling. When reading the Aeneid, one can clearly see and hear the Homeric
echoes present in the epic.
The Aeneid is clearly divided into two parts, “The ‘Odyssean’ Aeneid”3 and, “The
‘Iliadic’ Aeneid.”4 The first six books are based on the Odyssey while the last six books are
based on the Iliad. To clearly see that Virgil was indeed basing his working on Homer, let us
examine the Homeric echoes that are present in the first half, or the Odyssean Aeneid. The first
parallel that presents itself is the immediate situation of Aeneas and his ships. Just as Odysseus
and his crew were lost after the end of the Trojan War, so too are Aeneas and his crew. Just like
Odysseus was battered by a storm and almost killed after leaving Calypso’s island5, so too are
Aeneas’ ships being battered by a storm set on by Juno. The general situation is the clear
parallel, however. Not only the storm, but the fact that ...

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and how he will have to fight a bloody war with the inhabitants there upon his arrival. Just as
Odysseus meets the souls of people he knew, so too does Aeneas as he meets Dido, Palinurus,
and his father Anchises. The fact that he does leave Carthage raises a very subtle echo between
Homer and Virgil, the rejection of happiness or immediate luxury in exchange for the struggle
for something much better. In the Odyssey, Odysseus rejects happiness and luxury with
Nausicaa, Circe, and Calypso to struggle and perhaps even die to return home to his own wife.
So too does Aeneas reject happiness and luxury with Dido, even though he is truly in love with
her, to struggle and wage war on ...

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Added: 11/8/2007 09:48:33 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1816
Pages: 7

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