Saturday, September 29, 2012

Virgil's Perspective on Fate

It seems to me that Virgil unshackles humans from the gods in the Aeneid. I shouldn't say people, but at least demi gods seem to be released from some of the gods fate. Aeneas chooses to follow what the gods ask of him in the Aeneid, unlike Oedipus who has to discover his own fate, and in fairness had the choice not to push Tiresias into telling him his fate, but at the same time the gods didn't treat him as valuably as the do Aeneas who is stuck inbetween a struggle between the Greeks and Italians, and is used as a pawn, yes, but a pawn that at least is given some choice to do what the gods tell him. Unfortunately I can't find any quotes because I forgot my book in my locker, but Aeneas does choose to follow what the gods ask of him, and indeed the gods share their opinion's with Aeneas and Aeneas is expected to follow, but is given the option of denying the gods' suggestions. Opinion?

1 comment:

Mitchell D said...

I think it is more typical of plays to have people to succumb to their fates because they are powerless to the Gods. Sophocles had his characters even try to avoid their fates, but were unable to do so. From the little that I remember of the odyssey, (which was sadly not focused on in my English I course) Odysseus was not a man who did what the Gods told him; although they still helped or hindered him along the way. It seems as if the epic poems have the main characters have superhuman capabilities and are directly aided by the Gods. In the plays there were more references to Gods and were usually seen only in Deus ex machina, such as in Madea. Maybe the fact that the Heroes in epic poems are almost on equal footing with the Gods so they are able to disobey them and make their own decisions. Overall I think there are a lot of differences between plays and epic poems, and the protagonist's relationships with the Gods is just one of them.