The Aeneid By Vergil is a captivating poem which describes many aspects of a famous Trojan warrior, Aeneas. Vergil uses Book One of The Aeneid to establish Aeneas as a hero. He shows that Aeneas is respectful, religious, hard working, kind and caring, among many other things. These are all traits that define what a hero really is, and prove to the reader that Aeneas is truly a heroic character. This paper will examine the many ways Vergil portrays Aeneas.
Throughout the book Vergil portrays Aeneas as a strong leader and clever Trojan. An example of his hero like qualities is shown when he is said to be one of best chiefs.
“Aeneas was our chief; he had no peer in justice, goodness, and the arts of war. (544-545)
Throughout the book Vergil describes how Aeneas is an inspiration to the Roman kind. He depicts Aeneas as a successful Trojan and a great leader. This quote helps the reader visualise Aeneas as the hero he is.
Another example of Vergil portraying Aeneas as a hero, are his use of the words “good” and “great” to describe this Trojan. For example, on page 14 as Aeneas was introducing himself to Venus, he said,
“I am Aeneas the good;the gods I’ve saved ride in my ships. My name is known in heaven.” (378-379)
This proves that he is so revered, that he even knows he is considered “good” and “great”. Due to the many times Vergil uses the words “good” and “great” to describe Aeneas, the reader is tempted to believe that Aeneas is truly “good” and “great”. The usage of these words “good” and “great” show Aeneas is true hero.
In addition, Aeneas proves that he is a hero by being capable of fighting and surviving against his enemies, especially Juno. It is a key quality of a hero to be able to protect themselves, and Vergil proves the when Juno says,
“What? Drop my design? Am I defeated, And can’t keep a Trojan king from Italy?” (37-38)
Juno’s anger is a demonstration of Aeneas and his uncanny ability to survive. One assumes that heroes can survive anything, and Vergil clearly states that this is a quality of Aeneas. Aeneas is able to survive, even after Juno’s many attempts to put an end to his life.
O – Aeneas is physically superior to his fellow trojans.
R – “Venus breathed on him/to give him strength and vigor”.
E – As a demigod Aeneas is very strong and a talented archer
O -Another good quality that Vergil shows is Aeneas’ care for his family. On page 21, Aeneas says,
“Aeneas, whose father-heart could not rest easy, dispatched Achates to the ships, to tell Ascanius the news and bring him back”. (643-645)
When you think about a hero one of the first thing that comes to mind is how kind and warm-hearted they are towards others. They are expected to hold a special place in one’s heart, and this is something Vergil continuously demonstrates to the reader these unique traits of Aeneas. It is clear that Aeneas is caring person not only to his son Achates, but towards his other Trojans. His infinite kindness, especially towards his family, is proof of this Trojan hero.
Overall there are multiple ways in which Aeneas is portrayed as a hero. Vergil shows his respectful, kind, caring, hard working, strong, and tough qualities. Not must a hero possess these qualities a hero must be able to use these qualities to become the best leader the can become. Throughout the book Aeneas is proven to be a hero very many literary devices. In conclusion, Vergil proves to the reader that Aeneas is a true hero.