Aeneas As A Hero

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What is a hero? When we think the word “Hero” what usually comes to mind is an individual pre-destined for greatness with the weight of the world on their shoulders or some great task to complete. Heroes, however, can also become lost or super stressed out in particular situations of great pressure or in their journey in general and are able to act with integrity and grace. This is all true for Aeneas, the main character and protagonist of Virgil's Aeneid, who is such a person, but it’s not like he had done it by himself. He has had plenty of encounters with tons of situations in which death is at his doorstep, in which love and hate, peace and war mix together in what either ranges from great results to agonizing failures. Now in these circumstances Aeneas manages himself with humility, by obeying and doing as the gods wish. Yet, this is the only way Aeneas is really able to go on be a hero and found Rome. His impressive feats, actions, and leadership are all due to the divine beings that dwell up above it the firmament, aka gods. The gods were the ones who took singular interests in Aeneas, benefiting him by providing wisdom or advice and guidance, and, well, granted Juno caused him some misfortunes. However, looking at the bigger picture, most of the perfect chances Aeneas had to display his heroism were sponsored and brought to him by the gods. So the equation is simple, divine intervention + some standard trojan heartthrob prince (BOOM!) = greatest destiny come true.

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