The Aeneid Character Analysis

Decent Essays

Virgil’s allusions to Roman history and epic works such as the Iliad and the Odyssey allow for various connections and parallels to be drawn between the past, present, and future--especially the various heroes belonging to their respective time period. In book VIII of the Aeneid, three saviors within different time periods are established: Hercules, the past savior of Pallanteum; Aeneas, the present savior of the Trojan legacy and its people; and Augustus, the future savior of Rome. Hercules kills Cacus and brings peace to Pallanteum; Aeneas kills Turnus and through following his fate is primarily responsible for the founding of Rome; Augustus defeats Marc Antony and Cleopatra, providing Rome with 200 years of peace. Within the context of the Aeneid, Aeneas is the present manifestation of the three saviors.
Book VIII begins with Aeneas and his men traveling to Arcadia to recruit the Etruscans to join their side in the war against the Latins. Hercules is introduced in book VIII by way of Evander and his people performing rites honoring the patron and worshiping him as the savior of Pallanteum. After a communal feast shared between the Dardanians and Etruscans, Evander tells the story of Hercules defeating Cacus. The story is a simple case of thievery and deception enacted by the monstrous Cacus, to which Hercules responds with unrelenting anger and a desire for revenge.
In Hercules’ characterization by Evander, one can see the hero’s emotions parallel Aeneas’ in the final

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