Aeneas

  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 1025
  • Grade: 92
In Virgil's Aeneid divine intervention sets the course and challenges that Aeneas must overcome. Aeneas's fate was set but that didn't stop the Gods from trying to help him accomplish his goals or from doing all in their power to stop him. From the first lines of this epic there are gods at work for good or evil. The Trojans are puppets in the hands of the gods in this book. The main gods in this epic are Venus, Juno, and Jupiter. Venus who is out to help her son Aeneas accomplish his tasks and see to the continuation of his lineage. Juno is trying to stop Aeneas from completing his prophecy of resurrecting the city of troy and destroying her beloved city of Carthage. If that is not possible then Juno wants to make fulfilling his prophecy very costly to him. Jupiter the king of god's acts as a referee, regulating between how much harm and good the other gods could do in helping Aeneas, but always maintaining that Aeneas and the prophecy will come to be.
The first act of divine intervention occurs when Juno intervenes in the Trojans safe trip towards Italy, after fleeing from the burning city of Troy. Juno asks Aeolus, god of the winds, to create a storm that would prevent Aeneas from reaching the shores of Italy. Venus the mother of Aeneas asks Neptune to put and end to the storm and grant safe passage to Aeneas and his crew. Neptune stops the winds and calms the waters leaving just one ship destroyed and the rest of the ships separated in Africa. Once upon arriving to the shore Venus cloaks Aeneas so that no one can see him, she also sends her divine son Cupid to make sure the queen falls in love with Aeneas, and gives him all the help he needs in accomplishing his task.
Juno hopes to keep Aeneas on the island and to stay with Dido so that the prophecies do not come true and her favorite city Carthage saved. When Jupiter realizes what Juno is trying to do he sends down Mercury to tell Aeneas to leave, and to continue on with his journey. Aeneas leaves and this causes his wife Dido to commit suicide. Juno feeling pity for Dido sends Iris to take Dido's soul to the underworld.
Finally realizing that she cannot keep Aeneas from fulfilling his destiny, Juno plans to make the rest of the voyage extremely costly to Aeneas. After the death of his father Aeneas held games in his honor. While the men were partaking in the events the women were left to mourn Aeneas's fathers passing. Juno seeing this took advantage, she sent down Isis and persuaded the mourning women to burn the ships of Aeneas so that they could not travel any further and would be forced to settle and build the new city of Troy where they were, in the land of the Darden's. Venus seeing this once again asked Neptune to quench the fires with rain. Neptune puts out the fires and once again tragedy is both started and then avoided due to divine intervention.
Once Aeneas and his crew finally arrive upon the shores of Italy Juno sends down Allecto to cause chaos. Latinus the king of the land where Aeneas landed knows that his daughter is fated to marry a foreigner. Allecto makes Amata, Latinus's wife opposed to Aeneas and informs Turnus, Lavinias previous suitor of all that is going on. Turnus furious that his bride to be was taken from him starts to spread word of the ill happenings among his supportive people, thus enraging them. On top of this Allecto gives the native Italians a reason to start a war with the Trojans. While out Hunting Ascanius shoots and kills a deer sacred to the Italians, this results in the start of the war.
Venus knowing that the war would be brutal asks her husband Vulcan to make armor and weapons for Aeneas as great as that which he made for Achilles. Vulcan makes these weapons and armor for Venus who then gives them to her son. Tiberinus pities the Trojans and the coming war so he advises Aeneas to seek the help of King Evander, an enemy of the Italians. While seeking help from Evander, Juno once again sends down Iris to cause havoc among the Trojans. Iris persuades Turnus to start the war while Aeneas is away. The Italians try to destroy the ships of the Trojans, but they had been blessed by the mother earth and therefore could not be destroyed. Because of the absence of his father, Ascanius tries to lead the troops into war but is held back for his own safety by Apollo. A nymph warns Aeneas of the war going on in his absence and hurries back. Juno finally realizing she has no hope in saving her beloved city tries to save her favorite Italian Turnus. Juno sends Turnus's sister Juturna to lead him from the battle. This only momentarily extends the life of Turnus because he and Aeneas agree to one on one combat to resolve the war. Just before the fight between the two Juno spreads rumors through the Italians camp making them enraged and once again attack the Trojans. Aeneas is wounded in the leg during this second battle but Venus helps the healer take the arrow out of Aeneas's thigh so that he may return to the battle.
The battle between Aeneas and Turnus finally happens and the battle is left to fate. No gods were allowed to interfere, and thus Aeneas was Victorious and the prophecy fulfilled.
The importance of Divine intervention is clearly shown here. Even though the outcome was known long before it did not stop the gods from adding their own spin to the prophecy.
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