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The Roles of God's and Fate in the Aeneid

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  930 Words (4 Pages)  •  5,595 Views

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In today's world, destiny would be described as an unknown force that might exist and most of our decisions are done because we have the ability to express our free will. Throughout Virgil's The Aeneid, the role of fate moves the plot along as the gods and goddesses vie with one another to see their desired outcome which ultimately is driven by their own destiny and even destroy those who refuse to follow it. In the epic, it is believed the role destiny is so powerful that not even the gods themselves could intervene to change it. So why does Juno continually try to hinder the fate of the main character if it's unstoppable? On the contrary, later in the epic

Aeneas fate is assisted by the goddess Venus. But is her interference done through her free will or is it overcome by her own fate that is dictated by Jupiter? Ultimately, we can decide the role of god's and fate is a complex part of the epic, at times even contradicting, but needed in order for Aeneas to establish to the foundation of Rome.

Aeneas, the central character in The Aeneid, is aware from the beginning of his journey that he is destined to outlive the Trojan War, lead his people on a long voyage, and ultimately create Rome. He recognizes that his great fate was chosen by Jupiter and he possesses the inability to change it. However, even though Aeneas accepts his fate, it does not necessarily free him from his suffering.

There are other characters, like the goddess Juno, is aware of the destiny Aeneas must carry, yet she still attempts to resist and/or alter its course according to her will. Unlike Aeneas, Juno is not affected by the same fate that rules over humans. Nevertheless, she actively attempts to manipulate Aeneas journey to satisfy her deep anger and resentment against the Trojans. For example in line 95-109, Juno is able to persuade Aeolus, the wind god, to create a storm to pummel the Trojan ships and destroy them while Aeneas is on his way to Italy.

However Neptune, the sea god, manages to calm the storm which allows Aeneas to head for the nearest shore, which just happens to be near Carthage.

One of the things that makes Virgil's Aeneid so unique is usually gods are seen as sources of security and order, but in Virgil's Aeneid, the gods and goddesses tend to create the chaos in an already disorderly world. . Throughout Book I, Virgil emphasizes the continual cause and effect relationship between Aeneas and Juno. At the beginning of the poem,

This, I believe, is a clear example of how the gods are able to interfere and

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