Aeneid Questions and Answers
by Virgil

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In the Aeneid, describe Aeneas’s character as a hero and his motivations.

In the Aeneid, Aeneas is a hero because he is absolutely dedicated to his country and his people and always remains true to his responsibilities. Aeneas has been charged by the gods with a very important responsibility, namely to found the city that will one day become Rome. Aeneas’s primary motivation is to bring glory and honor to his people, which greatly adds to the luster of his heroism.

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There can be little doubt that Aeneas fulfills all of the criteria for an ancient hero. Strong, intelligent, wise, and utterly devoted to duty, Aeneas is the epitome of what a hero looks like, or at least what a hero would’ve looked to ancient Romans. We already know at the beginning that Aeneas is a hero for having fought bravely—albeit on the wrong side—during the epic Trojan War. Aeneas may not have been on the winning side, but at least he acquitted himself bravely on the field of battle. His selflessness in helping his family to safety from the burning city of Troy further burnishes his reputation as a hero before he’s even set foot on his epic journey.

It is the gods’ will that Aeneas should found the city that will one day be Ancient Rome. The very fact that Aeneas has been chosen to fulfill such a destiny is a further indication of his heroic status. Clearly, the gods would not have chosen just anyone to take on such an onerous task.

Once he’s set off on his epic...

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