We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Nobody downloaded yet

Discuss the concept of national identiy in the Iliad and the Aeneid - Essay Example

Comments (0)
The epic poem Iliad, which was written by Homer in 8th or 7th century BC about the Trojan war and Aeneid, written by Virgil in the first century BC is about the Roman ancestor Aeneas (he was already a character in Iliad) and the war involved have many commonalities…
Download full paper

Extract of sample
Discuss the concept of national identiy in the Iliad and the Aeneid

Download file to see previous pages... People of a certain region had their own national symbols and Iliad as it is said to be based on arguably historical facts, it had much of national romanticism in it. Even though Homer was Greek, he writes Iliad with impartiality towards Trojans too. The work covers one incident of Agamemnon's refusal to return Chryseis to her father; then his decision to take Breseis, Achilles' girl in the place of Chryseis, because he had to return his own to stop Greeks from dying due to some obscure disease and thus creating hatred in Achilles who refuses to fight and this resulting in diminishing Greek strength and increasing Hector's and Trojans'. It also covers Achilles' dilemma about fighting or not fighting, his mother's prophecy etc. Talking about national identity, one can get surplus of it from Trojans and Greeks both. Actually Greeks fight with Trojans because it was a foreigner, Paris, who had taken Helen from her husband, as they were honor-bound to do so according to the oath and their existence was within the national framework of the same identity. Paris was from another state and they felt a common hatred towards him. At the same time, Trojans fought the war, because they were united against the Greeks, who did not belong to their culture and the threat was against an action of their prince Paris. Even though the war (around 1200 BC) was about Helen and Paris, it lasted another ten years not because of the desire to bring Helen back, but because of the national identity and national pride that the war had unleashed. Both the armies fought for their own dignity and pride and Helen was simply an excuse. They did not want to end the war, because they did not want to hurt their national dignity. They dreaded the bad name that might get attached to their region and their clan. So, both the sides had to win the war somehow and thus, it went on beyond all expectations. At the end of it all, Trojans burn the Hector's dead body as though it was a national event that unified them even in their disastrous defeat. We can see that the funeral of their adored Prince resurrects their national identity once again. "And then they gathered again in due order and held a glorious feast in the house of Priam, the god-ordained king" (410). Heroes like Achilles, Hector, and even Paris are there because of the national identity. What we see here is a pure and undiluted form of national identity, and the glorification of the nation that has already existed before the war and gave strength to it.

Another classic, Vergil's Aeneid, has similarly strong national identity attached to it. Here it is the Roman nation, though provisional, against other ethnicities like Trojan, Italian, Greek and Carthaginian. But the national identity here is not what we see in Iliad. This roman identity is not absolutely stable, but adaptable. While Homer simply expresses the already existing national identities impartially, Vergil tries to build the state's identity by demonizing other states. This is another kind of narrative and is a powerful story, and pitted against to Aeneid, Iliad becomes a sincere report. People who have 'failed' in their duties towards the state are treated abominably by all the sides. While talking about war prisoners and the way of dehumanising them, the principle employed here is that they have failed in saving their national pride ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Importance of heroism and glory in the Iliad and in the Aeneid
Two common elements in the epic poems are heroism and glory. These two elements were vital characteristics of the literature of the respective cultures. In examining the epic poems The Illiad and The Aenid, examples of the way in which heroism and glory were exalted elements within the cultural beliefs of Rome and Greece can be observed.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
In what way does the Aeneid fulfill its aim to provide the Romans with a national epic
Correspondence concerning this research paper should be addressed to [Student’s First and Last Name], Department..., University of..., [Address] Contact: Virgil’s Aeneid as a Roman National Epic The purpose of this essay is to analyse Virgil’s epic poem, Aeneid, from the point of view of its contribution to the construction of Roman national identity in early Imperial period.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Virgils Aeneid
In Virgil’s great epic poem Aeneid, the adventures of Aeneas are registered to create a powerful human drama that still retains its force two millennia past. Aeneas, the hero of the epic, is born of a divine union between the mortal Anchises and the goddess Venus.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Heroic Paradigms from Iliad to Aeneid
The story revolve around Achilles, who was the greatest of the Greek warriors at Troy, however when Agamemnon, insults and angers him, he refuses to fight, which turns out to be a devastating blow to the mission. Achilles anger at Agamemnon acts as an integral theme of this epic, hence a short yet explosive outburst nearly undermines the Greeks' struggle and desire to conquer Troy.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Discuss the character of Achilles in Homer's Iliad
This makes Achilles a demigod. Legend has it that Achilles was dipped into River Styx by his mother, in order to make Achilles indefatigable, but his heel was not dipped in water, and thereby making it his point of weakness. Just as Achilles heroic exploits make a larger part of an interesting read, so does his character.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
The first part is about Aeneas' flight from Troy accompanied by his father, Anchises, and son, Ascanius (his wife dies in the confusion following the sack of Troy), and the ordeals he faces, till finally he reaches Rome.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
The Iliad by Homer and The Aeneid by Virgil
The Iliad and The Aeneid contain numerous similarities. Both books are a reflection of the Trojan War and events that took place. This paper will discuss and address other such similarities. Honor, fate, and strife will be explored from a Roman and Greek viewpoint.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Helen in the Iliad and Dido in the Aeneid

These woman characters have some common features and characteristics, but also have distinctions that make them differ from each other. Helen is treated as a character, symbolizing ambiguity of feminine character, and she has become a model for many characters of women described in later writings by various authors all over the works. 

4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
How does film relate to the concept of national identity Discuss in relation to British Realism
No where else does this manifest itself so clearly than in the depiction of social realities of Britain that are politically, psychologically and culturally
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Virgil's prologue from Aeneid
In writing Aeneid, Virgil was attempting to respond to Homer’s Greek-centric works, such as The Iliad and Odyssey. In fact, the structure of Virgil’s story is very similar to
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic Discuss the concept of national identiy in the Iliad and the Aeneid for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us