Sunday, March 24, 2019
Essay on Fate and Human Responsibility in the Aeneid -- Aeneid Essays
Fate and Human Responsibility in the Aeneid If youre going to write an epic about great heroism, dont use the Aeneid as your primary guide. Its not that heroism cant be found in the Aeneid, its fitting hard to prove. First off, Virgil writes a story in a fatalist universe, wherein every action and every event is under Jupiters divine jerk . Fatalism is all-pervading in Virgil . . . in it the Aeneid the words fatum and fata occur some 120 clock (Bailey 204). And in the first three books alone the word Fatum or Fata occurs more than forty times (Sellar 334). Venus praises Jupiter as one who commands and governs the events of gods and men . . . (1321-21). Furthermore, Phoebus tells Aeneas that the baron of gods allot the fates, revolving every happening . . . (3484-87). So whenever Aeneas wins a battle, whenever Aeneas needs help, whenever Aeneas catches a cold, Jupiter has control. And though not all events are fated (e.g. Didos suicide), most events are under the control of the gods . Aeneas even admits that he doesnt have a cede will (4491-92), because he is bound for Latium. If a universe is fated, how can anybody be responsible for his or her actions? The very base of fatalism obliterates any notion of heroism because it removes the potential for human responsibility . why should Aeneas be praised for conquering Latium? Why should Aeneas be called a hero? The interesting paradox within the Aeneid is the idea of human responsibility interwoven with fatalism. Though Aeneas knows that fate has promised his settlement in Latium (1286-87), he doesnt sit around waiting for Jupiter to zap them all into Latium he is on a constant quest to settle there. And t... ...he Aeneid. LERMA, di BRETDCHNEIDER, ROMA, 1983. Henry, Elisabeth. The Vigour of Prophecy, A Study of Virgils Aeneid. Bristol Classical Press, Great Britain, 1989. Lyne, R.O.A.M. Further Voices in Vergils Aeneid. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987. Poschl, Viktor. The Art of Vergil, ensur e and Symbol in the Aeneid. Trans. Gerda Seligson, Greenwood Press, Connecticut 1986. Paschalis, Michael. Virgils Aeneid Semantic Relations and Proper Names. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997. Sellar, W.Y. The roman letters Poets of the Augustan Age. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1877. Silvestris, Bernardus. Commentary on the First Six Books of Virgils Aeneid. Translated by Schreiber and Maresca. University of nor-east Press. London, 1979. Quinn, Kenneth. Vergils Aeneid, A Critical Description. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. 1968.