Flawed Characters In The Aeneid

Good Essays
Throughout ancient literature, the authors and poets of the time depict their characters in multiple different ways. While some depict their characters as flawed individuals, others paint their characters as perfect, god-like beings who can do no wrong. In no story are the lines between perfect and flawed more skewed than in Virgil’s Aeneid. Virgil shows Aeneas as the perfect hero - the hero destined by the gods to bring the Trojans to Italy, and who fulfills his duty to his people, the gods, and his family before himself. However, due to Aeneas’s human feelings shown many times during the epic, Virgil portrays Aeneas as a flawed character in his grand Roman epic, The Aeneid. Virgil shows Aeneas to be both a hero - whose duty towards his…show more content…
Aeneas, more than any, secretly
Mourned for them all (Virgil 1).
Aeneas suppresses his own human feelings and shows how “extraordinary” (Johnson 1) he is by doing so while also furthering his pietas - “the study fulfillment of his duty to god and man” (Sullivan 1). Although Aeneas is suppressing his feelings and is portraying his hope towards his people, Virgil writes about how Aeneas hurts and mourns because of his fallen comrades more than any of his men whom he is leading to Italy. This shows that Aeneas is not the perfect heroine that Virgil alludes to throughout this Augustan propaganda piece, but the opposite - a man who is hurting just as much as anyone else, a man who is following his orders, a man who is a soldier. On the recommendation of Aeneas’s mother, the goddess Venus, Aeneas travels to Carthage, the city-state preferred by Juno and destined to fall to Rome, the city-state Aeneas’s descendants founded. After falling in love with Dido, Aeneas must continue on his fate-driven journey - though it is shown by Virgil to be the opposite of what Aeneas wants:
Aeneas, though he struggled with desire To calm and comfort her in all her pain, To speak to her and turn her mind from
Get Access