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Destiny In The Aeneid And The Odyssey Essay, Research Paper

Destiny plays a crucial and ultimate part in the texts we have read thus far. It is none more apparent however than in The Odyssey and The Aeneid. The destiny of the two great heroes Odysseus and Aeneis is at times so obvious it spoils the readers excitement, but on the other hand is so necessary that the epics’ credibility would crumble with the sheer omittance of such an element. Odysseus’ and Aeneis’ fates are predetermined from the first page of the their respective epics and continue to string them along to the end of their heroic triumphs.During Aeneis’ wanderings in The Aeneid, he undergoes many hardships and makes many personal sacrifices. During every occasion, Aeneis is able to calm himself by remembering the great nation he is fated to find. This knowledge continues to strengthen him throughout the epic and fuels his desire to dream of the new Rome to which is to come. The attitude of Aeneis displayed in the scenes would not only provide inspiration to the Romans, but to anyone keen enough to understand such great man and his attributes. Fate is projected none more obviously than in the first book of The Aeneid. In that book, Jupiter reveals to Venus the immediate future of Aeneis- his establishment of the Trojans and the successful foundation of Lavinium, but also predicts the births of Romulus and Remus, the founding of Rome, and various other historic events. These predictions help build credibility and continuity to other prophecies later on in the poem that refer to the actual future. In The Aeneid as well as The Odyssey, the future is clearly spelled out and the heroes partially know it, their job is to carry out successfully the fate to which is already predetermined to them, completion of which solidifies their heroic qualities and caps off the endings of these great epics. I think that we mortal beings are partially controlled by destiny to an extent. God seems to have mapped outlines to which each one of us must live. These outlines are definitely flexible, because one is most certainly able to do what they please at any given time. However, there is a potential or fate that hangs over each one of our heads whether good or bad and one that tries to live their lives to its fullest almost always seem to reach that fate. God in my eyes, most definitely mixes in adversity purposely into each and every one of us. This adversity whether harsh or mild, steers us on the course to which we are to follow. I believe that everything, be it good or bad, happens for a reason and is just God’s little plan to have we humans live our lives the way they were meant to be lived. Future is an element in life to which I think the individual human has the most control over. For example, the majority of college students at the University of Iowa are going to school with the intent on earning a degree on hopefully working in the field to which their major has schooled them. This step in a young person’s life is quite influential and shows how much potential control a person has over his/her future. If young Johnny wants to become an account, through hard work and determination, he most likely can do so if that is what he wants to do. The consequences to partially deciding your own future are very simple, you get what you put into life. Some people are just not cut out to play sports or be a doctor, but if they really want to, it doesn’t ever hurt to try. Fate is something to which exists somewhat in our lives, but is very flexible in nature. With a immense attitude and a willingness to excel, I think anyone can change and/or determine their own fate. Otherwise life would not be as challenging and interesting as we know it to be.

Women are portrayed in many different ways in the texts we have read this semester. On the surface you could say that women are portrayed in general, as very insignificant and unimportant. Stereotypically the women are presented very poorly at times, but when you analyze their situations a little more closely, you can see some of them play significant roles in their respective stories.For example in The Odyssey in the opening chapters Penelope is angry, frustrated, and helpless in nature. She misses her husband Odysseus very much, which is to be understood. However during the course of the epic she develops as a character very well. She ends up showing great intelligence, loyalty, and true beauty. Initially, Penelope seems like another secondary character in the epic, but in the end she really proves herself as an intelligent central character to the poem.Athena is another good example of how a woman is portrayed in a positive manor in The Odyssey. “The grey-eyed goddess,” is a dominant figure in The Odyssey that personifies wisdom, and often seems to play the part of self-control in relation to Odysseus. Athena plays a major role in the slaughter of the suitors, which exemplifies her loyalty and ultimate ties to Odysseus’ fate. Women are also portrayed poorly in some of our readings. For example Amata in The Aeneid is presented as a very unstable person who takes her own life due to love. Many see this type of act as negative and direct correlation to the intelligence of Amata. Women in myth often present themselves as tied to love and the sheer thought of hardship makes them precarious. Dido is another example of such a phenomenon. She is the Phoenician queen of Carthage who is in love with Aeneis and commits suicide when abandoned. Even though an intelligent woman, her stupidity for love shows, and she kills herself over not being loved. This kind of instability is a common stereotype towards women, even in present day. Women by composers of classical myth are generally tall, beautiful, submissive, fertile, chaste, and silent. But what many do not realize is that their true nature is often the opposite. Because they often lie and scheme to gain any power they can over the male, however slow and at times ineffective. A good woman in myth must be loyal to her husband at all times, even though he is allowed to do what ever he wants at any given time. Secondly, she must be intellectually quiet, in other words her intelligence must not rain supreme or show to be greater than her husbands. It is like the common stereotype “seen but not heard” type concept. In summary women need to be forgiving toward anything, loyal, quiet, and secondary to anything that may go on in the story. Women can most definitely be heroic in classical society. They have the benefit of knowing many women in the past have actually meant something to the civilization of people. There are countless examples of women who have made a difference, but they often go unrealized by the general public and are not studied as heavily as their male counterparts are. Stereotypes that have lived for hundreds of years are the main reason more women do not progress as such. Just the common stereotype of woman are not as smart as men and are not capable of doing anything as important, still exits to this day. Its is present in the labor markets, political arenas, and even in the household. The segregation of women is disturbing and must be dispelled, the successful completion of such a practice will allow us all to become better people and a better society as a whole.

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