Aeneas is the hero in Virgil’s “Aeneid” which is a Latin epic poem written between 29 and 19 BC. It is similar to Homer’s “Odyssey” in parts of the story but the heroes are what makes the stories different. Odysseus uses his wit and lying abilities to his strength in his story, but Aeneas is what you would call your typical “straight arrow” the type of hero that you put on a poster, the one with the big muscles that has the cool big armour. The “Aeneid” is a story of a selfish hero that has to abandon most of his life and city to save him and his priorities.
The genre like most Greek works of literature is an “epic poem” which is a lengthy narrative poem like the “Odyssey” or “Iliad”. Usually about a time beyond living memory that shows us the amazing feats of strength, smarts and strategy of men and women.
The main characters in this epic poem would obviously be Aeneas, but also, his father Anchises, his son Lulus, and his wife Creusa. Aeneas had already been known as a legend/myth in Greco-Roman times, from being a character in the “Iliad”, what Virgil did is he wrote about the disconnected wanderings of Aeneas, it is now considered one of the greatest works in Latin literature.
There were many symbols in this work of writing that all come from “Rome’s Anxieties” which consist of, guilt over the destruction of Carthage, Inferiority complex toward Greece, and Potential loss of Republican Virtue. Another major symbol is fire, which is an uncontrollable force in the poem which mainly symbolises destruction, examples of this would be the Trojan horse, during the attack the whole city of Troy is ablaze, this forces Aeneas to evacuate with his priorities (which are is order) his father, his son, household gods and his wife. Another symbol would be the Gates of War which were entrances to the temple of Janus (god of doorways) In Rome. They were opened in times of war and closed in times of peace. This symbolizes the taking of souls lost in the war that were able to walk through the gate and when they were closed it closed off all of their suffering and anguish.
The “Aeneid” like many other classical epics is written in “dactylic hexameters”; each line consists of 6 metrical feet made up of dactyls (one long syllable followed by two short syllables) and spondees (two long syllables). I would recommend this book, but for people who are really into Greek literature or mythology because this can be a kind a kind of confusing read if you do not really pay attention and grab onto the topic. Overall it was pretty interesting even for being written thousands of years ago, filled with action, adventure, war, love and sometimes mental games. The subtle hints at something being symbols are also like finding puzzle pieces to what Virgil is hinting at throughout the series of epic poems.