Virgil\'s Aeneid


The story of Virgil\'s Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most
influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer. Virgil based the first six
books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both
written by Homer. The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary
Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded
Rome. During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known
Rome history up to his own time.
The book is world renowned and also is said by many to be one of the
best works ever. The last chapter of the Aeneid has caused some problems for
readers. The first problem that is evident is the manner in which Aeneas deals
with Turnus. In book XII Turnus states that the fight should be between the two
men as apposed to both armies fighting any further. Turnus had every right to
dislike Aeneas who came unannounced, tried to take his fiancé, Aeneas\' son
killed their sacred deer, and he took his land. They have a great dual and
Aeneas disarmed Turnus by striking him in the leg. With his sword to his chest
Turnus makes a last request for his body to be returned to his family, as Aeneas
is considering the request he notices that Turnus is wearing the sword belt of
Pallas and the stoic ways of Aeneas leave him as rage, fury, and anger run
through his body. He kills Turnus in anger and dedicates his death to Pallas.
This loss of control and act of violence is the opposite of stoicism and the way
Aeneas had been portrayed the rest of the epic.
Turnus has to die for the founding of Rome to occur but he should not
have been killed in such a way. The killing was payback for the dishonorable
way that Pallas was killed. The sword belt had images that reflect Augustinian
Rome as did the shield in book eight. The theft of the belt from Pallas can be
compared to the stolen helmet and the youth slain when his guard was down and
greed had taken over. All if this represents the theme of greed and each
incident resulted in death of the thief.
Another problem that the last book of the Aeneid provided for the
readers was how the last scene was written in relation to the rest of the epic.
At the end of the novel Aeneas kills Turnus for many reasons, most them were
dishonorable. Aeneas had gone through many barriers in the epic. At the
beginning of the epic Aeneas knew his duty to the people very well, this was
shown in many instances such as returning for his wife during his flight from
troy. But throughout the epic this theme becomes less and less vivid and the
fact that he starts to understands the Gods becomes more and more evident. Due
to the fact that Aeneas is half devine shows that he can be in either side of
the line that divides the two. Usually a being in this state is either more
devine or more human. At the beginning of the epic Aeneas is portrayed as a
very human person who understands human needs. As the epic progresses this
fades, his divinity states to show. At the end of the novel he is very much the
opposite is of when it started and his will to understand human behavior is gone.
Due to the fact that the piety that he had throughout the epic was no longer
within him. Aeneas has no need for piatos because in a very short time he will
become a god and he must prepare for this instead of gaining piety. The last
scene changes our view of Aeneas that has been built up throughout the epic. He
becomes enraged and clearly not the Aeneas that started out during the fall of
Troy. This is not necessary a bad thing because the he has ahead of him needs a
strong man and the occurrences throughout the book actually made him the man
that the founding of Rome required him to be.
The third problem that appears in the final act of Aeneas is that his
actions are really not like him at all and is not consistent with the character
which is shown in the rest of the epic. I feel that for the founding of Rome to
occur Turnus had to die but Turnus did not have to die the way he