Compare and Contrast of Odysseus and Aeneas Essay

Words: 2109
Pages: 9

Compare and Contrast of Odysseus and Aeneas

Odysseus, the hero in The Odyssey, and Aeneas, the hero in The Aeneid, fought in opposing sides in the Trojan war. Odysseus was the king of Ithaca and was arguably the smartest king and warrior in all of Greece, whereas Aeneas was a warrior from Troy whose destiny was to found the Roman race in Italy. While both men were highly acclaimed by their respective countrymen as heroes, they shared many similarities in respect to their background, their virtue and their struggles. However, amidst these similarities Odysseus and Aeneas were very different in their social status, their innate disposition and in the defining characteristics of their quest.
In comparing Odysseus’ and Aeneas’
…show more content…
Throughout his voyage, Odysseus constantly praises himself, speaking highly of his own abilities,
“I know well how to handle the polished bow, and would be first to strike any man with an arrow aimed at a company of hostile men, even though many companions were standing close beside me, and all shooting with bows at the enemies. But I will say that I stand far out ahead of all others such as are living mortals now and feed on the earth.” (Odyssey 8.215-223). Aeneas’ innate dispositions are on quite the opposite side of the spectrum in relation to Odysseus’. Aeneas is described as strong, dedicated, and reliant on the gods to help him with his struggles. A great example of Aeneas’ strength is when he defeats Turnus in hand-to-hand combat just one man against one man. Aeneas, though he is reliant to the gods, still knows the qualities that he has. However, he acknowledges that the skills that he has are from the gods and that his success can be attributed to the gods’ gifts and guidance.
Both Odysseus and Aeneas suffered similar struggles in life, specifically the loss of loved ones. While Odysseus was trying to get home, his mother killed herself because she was so consumed with grief. Aeneas’ father died on the journey to found Rome. They also shared the struggle of having to overcome an enemy. Odysseus’ palace was overcome with suitors trying to force his wife’s hand into marriage,