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Ekphrasis in Aeneas' Shield at Vergil's The Aeneid Essay

Assignment id 1005289
Discipline Biology
Assignment type Essay
Words 1272
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The opening of Vergil's The Aeneid start with the phrases "I sing of warfare and a man at war" (Vergil 1.1) that signal two important topics of the epic poem: warfare and the struggles of a single individual (Boyle). The epic revolves about a Trojan named Aeneas, who follows his destiny to located the city of Lavinium, a precedent to Rome, where his descendants continued to rule before the birth of Romulus. Vergil adapts the Homeric epic and structure to create social comment on Roman lifestyle under Augustus. Like Homer, Vergil utilizes a defense as an ekphrasis to demonstrate a change in primal to civilized condition and the future history of Rome (Boyle). Vergil illustrates the way the Roman values of virtus, iustitita and pietas have prevailed over the barbaric and uncivilized opponents of Rome from the episodes around the shield (Boyle). While Rome became a excellent empire during warfare, Vergil seems to urge peace as opposed to more bloodshed and warn that although peace may have been attained, it is not a permanent condition. Achilles' guard has festivals and a marriage taking place, however, a murder happens during a seemingly peaceful time (Homer 18. 490-508) like this bloodshed and eventual peace on Aeneas' shield (Vergil 7.746). Vergil uses Aeneas' shield such as Homer as an allegoric symbol to worry that even during peacetime there is violence, link history and fantasy together and ultimately show that no 1 person or town may escape that fate. Vergil draws contrasts between Achilles and Aeneas to flaunt his artistic abilities to those of Homer. The two Achilles and Aeneas receive their shield from their mothers and Hephaistos or Vulcan, the god of passion, forges the weapon. Achilles shield details scenes in character and the creation of the world, and portrays agricultural.

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