Essay on Compare and Contrast of Odysseus and Aeneas

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Compare and Contrast of Odysseus and Aeneas

Odysseus, the hero in The Odyssey, and Aeneas, the hero in The Aeneid, fought in opposing sides in the Trojan war. Odysseus was the king of Ithaca and was arguably the smartest king and warrior in all of Greece, whereas Aeneas was a warrior from Troy whose destiny was to found the Roman race in Italy. While both men were highly acclaimed by their respective countrymen as heroes, they shared many similarities in respect to their background, their virtue and their struggles. However, amidst these similarities Odysseus and Aeneas were very different in their social status, their innate disposition and in the defining characteristics of their quest.
In comparing Odysseus’ and Aeneas’
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Both men exemplified courage, perseverance and leadership. Odysseus showed his courage through many of his acts when trying to save his men, while Aeneas showed courage when he went head on with Turnus the leader of the Rutuli. Odysseus showed perseverance when he never stopped trying to get home to Ithaca, and Aeneas showed this virtue by never stopping his search for Italy. Lastly, leadership is observed in Odysseus through the respect and dedication paid to Odysseus from his men throughout the long and tedious journey. Aeneas also portrayed leadership in combat, specifically when he led his army into battle against the Rutuli’s and defeated them.
Contrasting characteristics of the two warriors are their innate dispositions. Odysseus can be characterized as distracted, intellectual, and self-reliant. In almost every situation Odysseus is put into, he is distracted by either a temptress or a task he must complete. His arrogance and self-confidence constantly got in the way. For example, when Odysseus is trying to save his men from Circe, he allows himself to get distracted by the seduction of Circe. Odysseus is definitely a warrior that is not solely focused on his ultimate goal, and although Odysseus may not be the strongest warrior, he certainly surpasses every other warrior of his time in battle strategy. He uses his intellect to the fullness of his ability and
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