How Does Virgil Use Violence In The Odyssey

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Although Virgil’s composition of The Aeneid mirrors the works of Homer, stylistically and in its overarching narratives, Virgil’s culture is separated from Homer’s by over a millennium. The coupling of deadly violence and prestige in The Iliad and The Odyssey has had time to mature and expire, and Virgil uses this new flexibility to shift the definition of violence to one compatible with fresh Roman standards. Violence grows crueler, war more chaotic. Virgil’s evaluation of violence raises questions about the scope of violence in Rome and The Aeneid -- was deadly violence considered a necessary evil or universally regrettable? The gods seem to have the ultimate authority in beginning wars but they are fickle and nearsighted. Necessity and misfortune …show more content…

The intense hatred of Juno that razes Troy and punishes Aeneas’ crew for years is triggered simply by a bruised ego. Virgil explains Juno’s antagonism as a personal grudge, triggered by the judgement of the Trojan prince Paris that Venus surpassed Juno in beauty: “For deep within her mind lie stored the judgment / of Paris and the wrong done to her scorned / beauty, the breed she hated” (Virgil, The Aeneid, I.41-43). This same slight to her beauty is what leads her to soon ask Allecto to “let sudden quarrel spur / young men to want, demand, and seize the sword” (VII. 449-450), starting a successful campaign against Troy, Aeneas included. Although the will of the gods are beyond the reach of our protagonists, the epic’s conflict is still rooted in private problems -- it is Paris’ judgment of beauty which spirals out to the violence that eventually raises and topples civilizations. The suffering that litters The Aeneid is characterized as unfair and unjustifiable, the violence and the war set on the fickle whims of the gods and goddesses. Although Juno’s hatred could not have been avoided or calmed by Aeneas, her hatred is still painted as avoidable and uncertain in the sense that happenstance was the primary contributor rather than some inevitable

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