Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Hero of Aeneid and the Non-Hero of Dante’s Inferno Essay

The Hero of Aeneid and the Non-Hero of Dante’s Inferno Although Dante bases much of Infernos structure on the Aeneid, the central characters, the central voices in each, are used very differently. Dr. Andrew Bernstien, in his essay The Philosophical Foundations of Heroism, defines a hero as ... an individual of elevated moral stature and superior ability who pursues his goals indefatigably in the face of powerful antagonist(s). Because of his unbreached devotion to the good, no matter the opposition, a hero attains spiritual grandeur, even if he fails to achieve practical victory. And that ... the four components of heroism: moral greatness, ability or prowess, action in the face of opposition, and triumph in at†¦show more content†¦When Aeneas leaves the Sybils presence, after finding the golden bough, he finds that one of his crewmen has died Aeneas reactions befit a captain of a ship and reflect his loyalty to his crew who rely on each other to survive at sea. More importantly, the passage develops Aeneas by focusing on his actions. All who were there / Clamored around the body in lament, / Aeneas, the good captain, most of all (Virgil VI: ll. 252-254). Subsequently, when he meets his love in the underworld, the passage follows Aeneas strife: Aeneas with such pleas tried to placate / The burning soul, savagely glaring back, / And ears came to his eyes (Virgil VI: ll. 628-630). Even the act of savagely glaring back is reflexive, and is directed back at Aeneas. These passages develop the moral foundation that Aeneas holds, and argue that he is a m an of moral greatness. In addition to firm morals, a hero must hold onto them in times of conflict and display ability and prowess in their defense. Aeneas trip though the underworld may be the larger obstacle, but Virgil also puts in smaller obstacles which the main character must face and overcome. Aeneas must take the challenge even when faced with certain death, or he would betray the trust and loyality of his men and the will of the Gods. When Aeneas first begins his descent into the Underworld; he encounters, among other horrors, Centaurs, twin-formed Scyllas, hundred-armed /Show MoreRelatedDepictions of the Afterlife1060 Words   |  4 Pagestime; the idea of the Underworld continues in many Greek and Latin poems and it still used today (Spiegel). The best descriptions of the afterlife are found in Dante’s Divine Comedy. In his first book, The Inferno, Dante explores Hell, a place in which sinners dwell after they die. His account is mainly taken from Book VI of Virgil’s The Aeneid, which describes Aeneas’s journey into the Underworld to visit his father. These two works, written many years apart share similar ideas about life after deathRead More Comparing the Struggle in Dante’s Inferno and Book VI of The Aeneid4312 Words   |  18 PagesInfernal Struggle in Dante’s Inferno and Book VI of The Aeneid Does hell have its own history? For Dante, the structural and thematic history of ‘hell’ in the Inferno begins with the Roman epic tradition and its champion poet, Virgil. By drawing heavily from the characteristics of hell in Book VI of The Aeneid, Dante carries the epic tradition into the medieval world and affirms his indebtedness to Virgil’s poetry. Moreover, Virgil becomes a central character in the Inferno as he guides DanteRead MoreVirgil Analysis of Dante Inferno Essay example2202 Words   |  9 PagesVirgil Virgil came to be regarded as one of Romes greatest poets. His Aeneid can be considered a national epic of Rome and has been extremely popular from its publication to the present day. Virgil- Beatrice sends Virgil to Earth to retrieve Dante and act as his guide through Hell and Purgatory.   Since the poet Virgil lived before Christianity, he dwells in Limbo (Ante-Inferno) with other righteous non-Christians.   As author, Dante chooses the character Virgil to act as his guide because he admiredRead MoreAnalyzing Dantes The Divine Comedy2313 Words   |  9 Pagesand his use of contrapasso. Durante degli Alighieri, usually referred to as Dante (1265-1321), was an Italian poet, moral philosophers, and political thinker best known for his epic poem La divina commedia. Essentially, The Divine Comedy describes Dantes journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise guided at first by the Roman poet Virgil, and then by Beatrice, the subject of his undying love. In many ways, though, the poem is both a literary story of a journey and a commentary about the politicalRead MoreThe Inferno, By Dante2284 Words   |  10 PagesThroughout the Inferno, Dante has often presented characters in a way that reflects his own personality: there is the amorous and suicidal Dido for whom he shows sympathy and gives a lesser punishment, while there is the suicidal Pier delle Vigne to whom he gives a much harsher punishment. This difference in placement should reflect a strict moral code that agrees with a pre-established divine order, and yet Dante demonstrates such obvious favoritism. Why? Dido loved Aeneas too much, as Dante loved

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