Strong Heroes and Steady Trees Analytical Essay by Hepkitty

Strong Heroes and Steady Trees
Examines the tree imagery within the epics, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", by Homer, and "The Aeneid", by Virgil.
# 49349 | 2,640 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Mar 02, 2004 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Biology (Botany) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)


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Description:

In the three great ancient epics, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", by Homer, and "The Aeneid", by Virgil, all three heroes are compared to trees, showing two attributes that the heroes share. Firstly, the paper shows that Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas manifest their heroic qualities through tree imagery. Heroic attributes allow heroes to rise to the occasion and tend to display qualities that exceed average human capabilities. While each has a different concept of heroism, the tree imagery shows that the three characters are similar because they possess chivalrous attributes. The paper shows that, secondly, the tree imagery manifests the relationships that each of the characters has with a particular goddess. Like strong trees that are helped by nature, Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas, all have powerful attributes, but use the force of a higher power, or a goddess, for assistance.

From the Paper:

"The idea of relating Aeneas to an oak tree is interesting. Oak is used for building homes, and although Aeneas does not specifically build Rome, the idea of city development reminds the reader about Aeneas's heroic duty to discover Rome and also reflects on Aeneas's stay in Carthage, where he helps build the future rival city of Rome. Also like an oak tree, Aeneas is steadfast and unmoving when listening to Dido's pleas, managing to remain dedicated to his heroic duty and the gods' wishes. Every heroic action that Aeneas takes is defined by his duty to the gods (for example, leaving Carthage and finding Rome), displaying the heroic nature of duty; duty inspires Aeneas to "do the right thing." "

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