Odysseus is offer immortality by Calypso if he marries and tays with her but he declines the offer on the basis of knowing that the life she offers is Just an empty existence. An existence without challenges does not equate to or is better than real life. Odysseus accepts that fact that he will one day die and plans to live every moment of his life the way he wants to. ” But if you only knew, down deep, what pains are fated to fill your cup before you reach that shore, you’d stay right here”. With such distinct warnings from a god, what sane man would blatantly disregard them?
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A man that does not fear the Inevitable and acceptance what life requires to be label a mortal. Similarly in The Aeneid the protagonist being Aeneas witnesses first hand what happens to the all the greats and non greats that perished through time. In the Aenied the dead also takes a first class trip to Hades. Just as Odysseus done years before, Aeneas also took a trip to Hades, the underworld also known as the world of dead. The only ironic chain of events in both epics was neither Odysseus or Aeneas was dead during their trip to Hades.
The dead in both epics gives guidance to the protagonist on their Journeys. Each Protagonist learns that death Is Inevitable and Is required. All men that fall will land themselves In Hades. During Aeneas encounter with the dead he learns from his father Anchises the destiny of Rome. “Roman, remember by your strength to rule, Earth’s peoples-for your arts are to be these: To pacify, to impose the rules of law, to spare the conquered, battle down the proud. ” Anchises tells Aeneas that Rome needs not to be more violent but more merciful.
Aeneas also learns how good souls can reach the fields of gladness and not be subjected to an eternal life of mishaps. Odysseus goes to Hades to seek more information on his Journey back home but during his visit, he meets Achilles, the same was Aeneas met
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Achises. Achilles tells Odysseus that “he would rather be a slave on earth rather than a king of the dead” which was a clear indication that the underworld was no great place for the fallen. The Greeks believed that there was great honor In death, especially dying In battle but the Romans disagreed.
During a conversation between Achilles and Odysseus, Achilles asked Odysseus “How did you find your way down to the dark where these dimwitted dead are camped forever, the after images of used-up men? ” A statement like this trom such a great warrior was a clear indication that the Greeks were wrong n their beliefs that there was no greater glory than dying in the battle. Whether your death comes from battle or old age your new eternal home will forever be Hades. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is the man of house. He has a son Telemachus that he doesn’t get to see grown up due him being lost at sea.
Telemachus grows to be the man house during the absent of Odysseus. Penelope, the mother of Telemachus and wife Odysseus loses the will to keep hope alive that her husband will return home hence, putting more pressure on Telemachus to follow his father’s footsteps by becoming a great leader. In the Aeneid Aeneas must also learn to be a leader and protect is father, son and wife during is Journey. In the Odyssey Odysseus’s home after his departure was up for grabs. With no immediate leader the kings castle was vulnerable to infiltration.
Dido in the Aeneid played a similar role to Penelope in The Odyssey. Penelope was viewed as what she was, the wife of a great warrior. Penelope’s treatment during Odysseus pre departure was not the same as his post departure. During his pre departure Penelope was viewed at royalty. No one would dare try the great warrior’s lady. With the absent of Odyssey, Penelope is now view as an available worthy prize. She no longer holds the power to control her home, she is no longer viewed at the lady protected by Odyssey but now viewed as catalyst to the empire.
Dido similar to Penelope is without her mate. Both women believes their man will never return home but as the readers already know this is not the case. Dido the widow is not viewed as a week individual without her husband’s presences. Men lineup to claim her as a worthy prize Just as they did with Penelope, but Dido is reluctant to remarrying due to the remembrance for her dead husband. When it comes to the gods in the two epics, depending on the god, they can either be considered a positive force or a negative force.See More on Odysseus