The Aeneid by Virgil Essay

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The Aeneid by Virgil In Virgil’s famous text The Aeneid he writes about the history of the coming of Rome and the journey of its Trojan founder, Aeneas, from the wreckage of his old home at Troy. While this text is extremely supportive of the greatness of the Roman Empire, it also has a distinctly private second voice that talks about loss. We also find that in Confessions by Saint Augustine the author at times addresses God very personally, and at other times does not refer to him much at all. The private tones of these two texts contrast in that Augustine’s is generally positive, while the corresponding voice in Virgil describes loss. Virgil begins The Aeneid with a general summary of the story that he…show more content…
Given the condition of war, it is not surprising that Aeneas encounters many difficulties on his voyage, as explained in the second ellipsis: “And cruel losses were his lot in war…” (Virgil, 3) The text indicates, therefore, that while the founding of Rome is to be a great thing, the man responsible for it must endure tremendous personal hardship. One of Aeneas’ first and greatest losses is his home of Troy and, with it, many of the people there. Following the Achaean attack on Troy, the city is left in shambles with many people dead, including King Priam. Aeneas becomes enraged with Helen when he sees her still alive after the fighting subsides. “It came to this, / That I stood there alone. And then I saw / Lurking beyond the doorsill of the Vesta, In hiding, silent,… / Helen, that Fury / Both to her own homeland and Troy… / Now fires blazed up in my own spirit— / A passion to avenge my fallen town / And punish Helen’s whorishness.” (Virgil, 53) Having lost friends and family to the Achaeans, Aeneas wants only to avenge their deaths by killing the woman he feels is responsible for them. His mother steps in, however, and turns him away to check on whether or not his father, wife, and son are alright. His mind is thus diverted to more pressing issues as fate wills. Aeneas, in his pursuit of Italy, also loses two wives—Creusa, and later Dido, both whom he loves

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