Violence In The Aeneid

1343 Words6 Pages
Madison McDonald
Dr. Travis Montgomery
ENGL 2213-02
16 March 2018
Violence in The Aeneid
The Aeneid is bursting with violent acts from the beginning to the end. The main character, Aeneas, constantly faces conflict from both humans and gods. Aeneas is a Trojan hero and prince who embodies pietas, driven by duty, honor, and devotion, which makes him an example of an ideal Roman citizen. Aeneas was called by the gods and determined to be a successful founder of Rome, but he faced complications along the journey. In each conflict along the way, Aeneas dealt with fighting and violence and could not find peace until the end. Honorable Aeneas fought until he could successfully carry out his destiny. Rome is known for their strength in war and fighting,
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Ancient Rome is recognized for strength in war and battles, so the ideal citizen would be strong and willing to fight. Hunt explains that in Rome “one man’s loss was another man’s gain” (177). The culture of Ancient Rome was aggressive, as the men were trained to fight and be devoted to their country. “Male elites had to be on guard to defend against and avenge any slights to their personal, family, and state honor” (Hunt 177). In The Aeneid, Virgil writes “Roman, remember by your strength to rule // Earth’s peoples-for your arts are to be these: // To pacify, to impose the rule of the law, // To spare the conquered, battle down the proud.” As Aeneas is looking at the fate of Rome in the underworld (1151-1154). Aeneas is destined to found Rome, but he must overcome violent deaths, loss, and suffering before he makes it to the end of his journey to eventually find…show more content…
Throughout the epic, violence is evident in the actions and the decision making of the characters in order to obtain peace. The battles and suicides throughout the story are prevalent and gruesome, while moments of peace are minor and fleeting. The characters, whether man or god, result to violence as a primary way to manage their problems. Aeneas is strong, heroic, and seems calm; however, he does not receive true peace and calmness until he has killed his enemy, Turnus, to end the battle and avenge his friend, Pallas. Nonetheless, Aeneas is a noble character who overcomes bad odds and embodies Roman ideals, including violence. Success in war was an honorable characteristic of Roman people, as is evident in The Aeneid. Peace as a result of violence is a significant part of Roman culture and is embodied in this epic. Works Cited
Hunt, John. “Carriages, Violence, and Masculinity in Early Modern Rome.” Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, vol. 17, no. 1, 2014, pp. 175-196. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/675768.
Springer, Carl. E. “The Last Line of the “Aeneid”.” The Classic Journal, vol. 82, no. 4, May 1987, pp. 310-313. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3298000.
Virgil. The Aeneid. Translated by Robert Fagles, Penguin,
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