Comparing Fate In The Aeneid And Homer's The Odyssey

Decent Essays

The idea of destiny or fate is at the heart of most Greek and Roman myths, poems, and stories. It is the ultimate driving force in every person’s life. It is not focused only in a hero or god’s life. Every man, woman, child, and god is effected by destiny. This is an idea that Ancient Greeks and Romans clung to. The idea that no matter what an individual does there is no escaping their true destiny. Every twist and turn taken in life is predestined and the outcome will remain the same. The idea of being able to control one’s own fate is laughed at. This idea of a definite destiny is found in both Virgil’s “The Aeneid” and Homer’s “The Odyssey.” Both hero’s lives are shaped by their destiny and it forces them to make difficult decisions. In “The Odyssey” Homer presents us with an epic hero, Odysseus. A man who fought in the Trojan War and won. All he wants is to return home and be with his family. He was given a prophecy by the seer Tiresias, that determined his destiny, and it read:
“’A sweet smooth journey home, renowned Odysseus, that is what you seek but a god will make it hard for you- I know- you will escape the one who shakes the earth, quaking with anger still, still enraged because you blinded the Cyclops, his dear son. Even so, you and your crew may still reach home suffering all the way…’ (Book 11 lines 111-118).”
Odysseus’ goal was to reach home and return to his family, but fate had other plans. He would be derailed and prohibited from returning home

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