The Iliad vs. The Aeneid: Essay Example

The Iliad vs. The Aeneid: Essay Example
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The Iliad and The Aineid refer to poems that were composed by different at different times. These two poems were quite similar in the way of their composition and style, but at the same time, they had their striking differences. The Liad was a composition that was made as part of an oral composition that had a tradition theme (Kirk, 34), this can be traced back in the 8th Century B. C. On the other hand, the Aneid was a literary composition that came into surface during the first half of the first half of the 1st Century B.C. This means that these two pieces of literature’s compositions have many centuries between them. Despite of this, there are distinct comparisons that can be drawn effectively from them.

These two pieces of literature have been composed are the story of Trojan war, this war is recorded to have been fought about 1200 B.C. The Iliad poem gives a description about a short period of the tenth and final year of war. The aeneid poem on the other hand describes the escape process of the Trojan Aeneas from the destruction of Troy and the process of his journey towards settling in the new destination – new Land of Hespenia in Italy.

The two pieces of literature have existed for a long time, being a favourite of many people, it is important to understand that Vigil developed an intimate knowledge of the epics of Homer and made great reference to them in the composition of Aeneid (Kirk, 56). In his own words, Vigil says that his poem gives a direct recall of stories of Homer and repeatedly evokes Homer’s conventions. These two parallels have a close relationship that is sustained in both books. It is important to realise that in the original poem composed by Homer, there was no division of the two books. The current division of 24 books that exists currently was done in the library of Alexandria. Vigil had a different idea about dividing his books, on his part, he divided his books into twelve, some of the readers and lovers of Vigils books have often noted that books are highly condensed. The Aeneid poem was composed over a long period, approximately eleven years ago (Putnam, 44), this means that the manner and style that was used in the development of the story is quite different from that of Iliad.

Iliad has been composed with 515 lines while aeneid has more; it has 952 lines, which almost double the number of lines in Iliad. This point to the fact the Virgil had managed to introduced more issues and themes in the composition of Aeneid, at the same time, he is also bale to dwell on them longer and exhaustively, a case in point is the debate that has been established between Juno and Jupiter. It is also important to note that in this composition, Hector, one of the characters is dead by the time the book is reaching in line 365. Around a third of the books, about 22 of them conclude the story. On the other hand, Turnus death happens on line 952 in aeneid, bringing a climax and a conclusion of the book.

An analysis of both books shows that 16 similes have been used amount to an average of 8%in both of them. However, the fact that Aeneid composition is longer than Iliad means that he has used longer similes than those used in Iliad. Another striking difference is in the way mortals have been used and represented in both compositions. For Aeneas, the mortal in the story is Achilles and Turnus, in Iliad; the mortal is a latinus figure that is solely depends on Homeric Priam, in as much as he is not the actual father of Turnus. The kind of conversation that is depicted in lines 18-45, is similar to that of Priam to Hector, which is available between lines 37-76. The address given to Turnus depicts the way a father would speak to his son; in this conversation, he is begging his son not to face Aeneas, but instead concede and leave the matter to be (Putnam, 23).

In the Iliad composition, the gods seem to be much involved in the actions happening in the story, this is depicted the way they seem to be intimate about all the different actions than the way they are doing for Aeneid. In Aeneid, the actions of the gods seem to appear to be separated and removed completely from the mortals. In actual sense, actions that seem to happen on a divine level are often difficult for the reader of these books to make clear comprehension. Some of the explanations that can be given the composition of Aeneid and Iliad can only be advanced as a way of explaining the concept of rationality in humans. For instance, Apollo is citied offering Hector strength and ability to finish the third circuit.

This is an indication of the last effort that can be termed as superhuman in a parlous situation. In addition, there is also another indication of the same concept when Venus makes a suggestion to Aeneas that he should go ahead and launch an attack to the city of Latinus. This provides an explanation of into how Aeneas makes a sudden decision to do it alone, without making consultations to anyone. Other interventions approaches being explained in this two literature composition are beyond meaningful logical explanations, for instance, there is a situation where Athene appears to Hector in the form of Deiphobus and bringing back the spear which initially belonged to Aeneas. Another example is where Jutuma, who is considered the nymph, and is a sister to Turnus substitutes Metiscus in a bid to save Turnus.

There are many other distinctions as well, consider the parallel depicted in the part that is played by Athene in Iliad. In this book, Athene plays an important and active role in place of the victor, this same situation is brought out in the case of Jutuma during the bidding of Juno in place of the other character who becomes the loser. In the different episodes, there is an image of the scales being used to decide the destiny of the loser. In Iliad, Zeus comes out to lift the scales, which is shown in line 209, this happen in order to seal the destiny of Hector completely. On the other hand, in Aeneid, Vigil relies on the same idea and introduces a new twist. When Jupiter is seen as harmonising the different scales in lines 725, in actual sense, this incidence happens to bring to an end the duel.

The contest between Aeneas and Turnus is seen to be delayed in a large part of the book, approximately 100 lines, this is between pages 791 and 886. The matters seem to go beyond the powers of human characters and are left to be resolved between Jupiter and Juno on a level said to be purely divine in nature. One of the main distinctions between the two contests is shown in the way the demise of Turnus happens to bring a sudden end of the Aeneid.

This sudden ending has been the subject of debate and controversy for all the years that the book has existed. Many of the people that have read this book have asserted that the Aeneid is supposed to provide a criticism about Augustus and the costs of humans in the process of establishing the Roman Empire. The Iliad on the other hand does not have an abrupt ending in terms of conclusion, Most of the poems and other literary works that were composed by the Greeks seemed to employ a reconciliatory tone towards their end This means that the death of Hector does not necessarily signify the end of the poem. The gods seem to remain intact and are ultimately surrendered to his father.

Works cited
Kirk Geoffrey. “The Songs of Homer.” Cambridge: Cambridge Press. 1962. Print
Putnam Michael. “The Poetry of the Aeneid”, Cambridge: Cambridge Press. 1965. Print