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Discuss the concept of national identiy in the Iliad and the Aeneid
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The epic poem Iliad, which was written by Homer in 8th or 7th century BC about the Trojan war and Aeneid, written by Virgil in the first century BC is about the Roman ancestor Aeneas (he was already a character in Iliad) and the war involved have many commonalities.
People of a certain region had their own national symbols and Iliad as it is said to be based on arguably historical facts, it had much of national romanticism in it. Even though Homer was Greek, he writes Iliad with impartiality towards Trojans too. The work covers one incident of Agamemnon's refusal to return Chryseis to her father; then his decision to take Breseis, Achilles' girl in the place of Chryseis, because he had to return his own to stop Greeks from dying due to some obscure disease and thus creating hatred in Achilles who refuses to fight and this resulting in diminishing Greek strength and increasing Hector's and Trojans'. It also covers Achilles' dilemma about fighting or not fighting, his mother's prophecy etc. Talking about national identity, one can get surplus of it from Trojans and Greeks both. Actually Greeks fight with Trojans because it was a foreigner, Paris, who had taken Helen from her husband, as they were honor-bound to do so according to the oath and their existence was within the national framework of the same identity. Paris was from another state and they felt a common hatred towards him. At the same time, Trojans fought the war, because they were united against the Greeks, who did not belong to their culture and the threat was against an action of their prince Paris. ...
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