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  • Subject area(s): Hospitality
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  • Published on: 15th October 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Why are the epics the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, and the Iliad, so closely intertwined in writing and time context? The beginning of each poem starts out with a small summary of the story. The epics are also intertwined by referencing other poets’ previous. Each poem has a foundation that praises the glory of the heroes, and the main protagonist in each epic who goes on a journey to tell their story. The epics also share common themes and values throughout each story. There are many factors that can contribute to the epics the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, and the Iliad, being so closely intertwined.

The beginning of each poem starts out with a small summary of the story. This is has been done by Homer in the Iliad, “Sing, Goddess, sing the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus” (Homer, Book 1, Line 1). The writers used a technique to open the poems that is similar to many other epics, by asking a muse, god, or goddess for assistance. The opening lines of the Aeneid, shadow the work done by Homer in the Iliad, “O Muse, the causes tell! What sacrilege, or vengeful sorrow, moved the heavenly Queen to thrust on dangers dark and endless toil a man whose largest honor in men's eyes was serving Heaven?” (Virgil, Book 1, Lines 8-12). In the  Divine Comedy, Alighieri calls upon muses for assistance in the second book, “O Muses, O lofty genius, aid me now! Or memory, that set down what I saw, here shall your worth be shown” (Alighieri, Book 2, Lines 7-9). The epics use the approach of calling upon muses early on to give readers a glimpse of what they are about to read, the story of a great hero and his quest.

The epics are also intertwined by referencing other poets’ previous. Alighieri does this in is first book by referencing Aeneas in the Aeneid writing, “‘I was a poet and I sang the just son of Anchises come from Troy after proud Ilium was put to flame’”(Alighieri, Lines 74-75). In the Divine Comedy, Dante references Aeneas again in Book 2 saying “I am not Aeneas, nor am I Paul” (Alighieri Line 32). Dante does this to refer back to Aeneas’ heroic journey to a new homeland, saying that he is uncertain of his qualities for his journey.  Dante goes on to later see Aeneas in Limbo and references him again in Book 26.

There are references made in Aeneid are based on the Augustan era. “From this glorious source a Trojan Caesar will be born, who will bound the empire with Ocean, his fame with the stars, Augustus, a Julius, his name descended from the great Iulus” (Virgil, Book 1, Lines 284-286). At the beginning of the epic, Virgil describes his story in practically the same way Homer does in the Iliad, because he is going to continue from that sory. Virgil also makes references to  Homer’s Iliad throughout Books 7-12 using the same aspects of warfare throughout the epics.

The epics also share common themes and values throughout their stories. Each poem has a foundation that praises the glory of the heroes, and the main protagonist in each epic who goes on a journey to tell their story. The values praise the glory of the heroes, who strive to live their lives through truth, justice, and morality. These values are instilled in the people of this time through literature. These values are based on great man who did greater things in the fight for justice on their journeys. These values given to their heroes are instilled from the gods. A major theme throughout these epics is the theme of hospitality.  The characters in the epics demonstrated signs of hospitality, because the gods made sure that the people of that time were taking care of each other. In the Iliad,  two character do not fight each other because their grandfathers had a host and guest relationship, showing the emphasis of hospitality during their era.

There are many factors that have contribute to the epics the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy, and the Iliad, being so closely intertwined.  Each poem has a foundation that praises the glory of the heroes, and the main protagonist in each epic goes on a journey to tell their story. The epics use the approach of calling upon muses early on to give readers a glimpse of what they are about to read, the story of a great hero and his quest. The epics also share common themes and values throughout their stories. These three epics seem to encompass their time period while referencing other works done in the past.

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