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Compare And Contrast The Aeneid And The Confessions

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Nicole Tschida ENG 210 3-31-18 The Aeneid, The Confessions, and The Spiritual Journey The Homeric epic often foretells of a long perilous journey filled with warfare and trials of the human condition that coincides with the spiritual journey that each human being has to take. How are The Aeneid and The Confessions similar in that they both depict warfare and a long spiritual journey? In The Aeneid, Aeneas’ journey is filled with many trials and temptations both physical as well as spiritual. Aeneas is seen as a model of piety, but he is living in a sinful relationship with his mistress Dido, the queen of Carthage. In The Confessions, St. Augustine tells of his spiritual journey from his adolescence when he had no interest in virtue or Christianity…show more content…
The Aeneid, as well as The Inferno, depict hell as a place where there are multiple levels and where sins are punished differently depending on the degree of severity, the evilest of sins receiving the worst punishments. Virgil like Dante portrays an afterlife in which people are awarded for their deeds. This kind of belief would have been prominent in a character like Aeneas, he would have believed that his deeds would have been justly rewarded in the afterlife. While he most likely did not have the same set of values and virtues that St. Augustine later had after his conversion he did live by a code of honor or a set of values that pertained to his time and culture. The virtue he possessed that motivated him to establish a new home in modern day Rome was one of honor, which was very important to ancient civilizations, both greek and Trojans alike. To them virtue meant having honor, this is how they lived their spiritual journey. The journey that Aeneas takes in book six shows that the ancient cultures of the Greeks, Trojans, and Romans had a concept or understanding of the afterlife that influenced their moral decisions and values. They believed much like Christians that the good would be rewarded and the evil would be punished. While what they believed to be virtuous is different than what we as Christians believe, they like the character Aeneas still…show more content…
No matter the degree of sin each of us commits we are estranged from God to some capacity. It is common for the human person to fall prey to the approval of the world and forget or ignore God, who loves us despite the numerous times we reject Him. He even states how he remembers in his youth that he had wept for Dido for committing suicide because of love (The Confessions by St. Augustine, book 1), but he didn't weep for his own sins and transgressions for God. He could empathize with the tragic plight of a character in a book, but he didn't or couldn't recognize his own tragedy. I think it's all too common for a person to see the faults in someone else and feel sorrow for them, but at the same time, they are unable to acknowledge their own faults and get to the root of their sin. The Aeneid, as well as The Confessions both, have a spiritual journey that hero of the story undertakes, both Aeneas and Augustine have to look at their past to change their future. Aeneas journey is to found Rome and Augustine’s journey is to convert to Christianity. While one journey can be seen as told from the physical side and the other the spiritual side, both journeys involve constant battles and face a long journey that deals with both the physical world as well as the spiritual
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