Essay 02 - VIC 201Y Ancient and Mediaeval Literary Modes...

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VIC 201Y Diego Olivera Ancient and Mediaeval Literary Modes 997801035 T, R, 1-2 Thursday, November 11, 2010 NF113 S ECOND W RITTEN E XERCISE While it is worthwhile mentioning epics such as Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad to speak of heroism, Virgil’s Aeneid aptly encompasses the idea of piety to the gods within the character of Aeneas. This feat is remarkable, since Aeneas is seen as honorable and pious, the latter trait not easily shared by heroes such as Achilles or Odysseus; this essay seeks to study the character of Aeneas as pious to the gods and to Dido through the tragic speech he gives her before leaving for Italy. The speech is significant because of the tragedy that ensues, but also because of Aeneas’ heroism through his unyielding faith in Jupiter’s prophecy and the empathy he feels towards Dido; this essay thus focuses on the way Aeneas appeals to Dido while maintaining his piety –to the gods and son, and to the current woman in his life. The essay also studies the use of language in Aeneas’ speech to strengthen the claim he is indeed a hero –and antihero to a lesser extent, but that ultimately he retains honor. To summarize the thesis of the paper, it seeks to explore Aeneas’ character as honorable and pious through the analysis of the passage and its context in its immediate book and in the poem as a whole. Before analyzing the passage, a few definitions have to be established. Piety is the quality of fidelity to one’s obligations; it is also seen as dutifulness and devotion, often used in relation to religion. In the Aeneid , piety is used two-fold to speak of Aeneas, firstly in his character as having unyielding faith, meaning he does not completely question the will of Jupiter, and even through calamity –the fall of Troy, the death of
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Essay 02 - VIC 201Y Ancient and Mediaeval Literary Modes...

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