What parts of the Aeneid are like epic poetry like Homer's Odyssey, what have comedy like Aristophanes, and what aspects are like the Tragedies?

The Aeneid is an epic poem based at least in part on the Odyssey, therefore, there are many elements that resemble it, particularly in the first half. There is no Aristophanic comedy, which would be far too coarse for the national epic of Rome. However, there are substantial elements of tragedy, particularly in the death of Dido.

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The Aeneid is an epic poem, and it is based on the Homeric epics, so it is not surprising that much of it is very similar to the Odyssey in tone and content. Some critics have observed that the first half of the Aeneid, in which Aeneas and his companions make the journey from Troy to Italy, is similar to the Odyssey, while the battles with Turnus in the second half more closely resemble the Iliad. Virgil is competing with his model, fitting twice as much material into half as many books, while building up a hero as resourceful as Odysseus, as brave as Achilles, and more purposeful than either.

There is practically no comedy in the Aeneid, though it is a comedy in the same sense as Dante’s Divine Comedy, since it has a happy ending. This is a long way from Aristophanic comedy, the vulgarity of which would have been altogether out of place in the national epic of Rome, sponsored by the Emperor Augustus himself.

Although the Aeneid is an epic poem in form, it does contain elements of tragedy. Most obviously, the doomed love affair between Dido and Aeneas, and the Queen’s dramatic death are tragic elements in the poem and have often been treated as a separate tragic story since, as they are in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

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