The Aeneid is an ancient Latin poem, telling the legendary story of a Trojan who travels to Italy and later becomes the ancestor of the Romans. The poem depicts many themes that are resonant with the era in which the poem is set and with the Roman people. Below is an analysis of some of the themes/symbols that are listed in the poem and hence will go ahead to explain their authenticity as themes. Themes are fundamental, and sometimes universal ideas that have been explored in literary work. They include the following:
During the Aeneid, many of the characters make offerings to the gods, these offerings are made with the aim of securing favour from the gods. . A good example is of Aeneas, as he is seen making sacrifices to one God or another most of the time. His sacrifices are aimed towards seeking favour to aid him in his endeavours. This points out to a fundamental idea that has been explored in a literary work, it qualifies as a theme.
The main relationships that have developed and are intimate in the Aeneid are those of fathers and sons. An example is of Aeneas and Anchises, even after Anchises death Aeneas still holds him in high regard and respect. Therefore, familiar relationships as a universal idea that has been explored in literary work qualifies this as a theme.
Since the reverence of the gods was held in very high regard by the Virgil’s, offering sacrifice to the gods was a very important facet of society at the given time. A good example is of Aeneas’s sacrifice of the white cow and suckling of Juno. This sacrifice in return helped them gain favour and assistance from the gods whenever they asked for it, therefore as a fundamental idea that has been explored as is in this literary work, it stands as a theme.
The gods used weather and climatic conditions as an avenue of expressing their emotions towards the people and reveal their desires and will for the people. A good example is the storm that Juno sends in the early days of the epic. This portrays her rage while Venus on the other hand shows her affection for the Trojans by bidding Neptune to protect them. The making of the symbols literal by connecting the seen (storm) with the unseen (divine) as depicted in this literary work, validates it as a theme.
The name of the poem comes from the fundamental idea of “pious”, this is what Virgil mostly refers to as Aeneas. Aeneas entails a strong sense of duty and commitment to family and the gods. This is the fundamental drive for Aeneas’ mission to Italy. In his endeavours and quest, he is ensuring that he observes duty to the Trojan people under his command, his descendants and ancestors and more importantly to the gods.
Virgil and Cobbold B G. Vergil's Aeneid: Hero, War, Humanity. Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2005. Internet Source.
Virgil and Robert Fitzgerald. The Aeneid. New York: Random House, 1883. Print.