Essay Sample on Contrasting between Odysseus and Aeneas


Aeneas:  He was known as one of Rome’s greatest poets. He was regarded the best in three poems, the Aeneid being one of them with others that were fantastically written. The Aeneid was classified among the most important poems in Western literature. He wrote it in the last 10 years of his life and it consisted of 12 books. The first six books described the journey of Aeneas from Troy to Rome.

Odysseus: Is a Greek hero who was a man of inquiry mind, brave and also an athlete. Due to his characters, scholars refer to him as a powerful mythic hero. He was a patient man who reasoned before acting but he was very proud and liked women.

Contrast between the two heroes:

The two authors lived in two different worlds in which values and how everything was perceived different at a certain level for example, the Greek culture and literature greatly dominated and influenced the Roman life.

The visit of both the heroes to the underworld came almost exactly in the middle of the story. The purpose why they were composed and the society for which they were created shows that the visits were different even if similar events may have taken place within them.

They both  came up with older myths and legends during the time they were composing their epics but each one of them modified it differently  to suits his style and what he wanted to put a cross and important to his characters.


Odysseus’s story is about making efforts to win home. It is a human story about man, focuses on the tangible real and powerful things in life like wealth, home, war, love, justice, sex, justice and getting opportunities for peace. Other themes of the book come into being to tell his story. Unlike Aeneas, it was written for Augustus a sole great patron and the first citizen of Rome. It has a political agenda and a piece of propaganda, expounding the virtues of Augustus’s form of conservations. It is designed to restore Rome after the long period of civil war. Augustus’ praise is actually the plot of the poem.

Aeneas is a very spiritual guest which is very unique in ancient Africa as compared to Odysseus. Most of the time Aeneas was unsure of himself; he had to be instructed by his father or the gods before acting. For example in the underworld, he viewed the future of Rome’s history to the time of Augustus which gives him confidence to act on his initiatives .On the contrary, Odysseus had self confidence from the beginning of his journey.

Odysseus and Aeneas’ approaches to the dead are different. Odysseus performed sacrifices at the direction of the female goddess Circe while Aeneas prays to the male God and led to the gates by priestess Sybil. Odysseus focuses more on returning to his wife while Aeneas focuses more on successful honoring of God and country.

The two heroes handled their love affairs differently as per their cultures. Odysseus loved his wife as he chose to go home for her and made sure she didn’t cheat on him while Aeneas’ love for his wife was nonexistent. He left her trampled to death as he saved his old father. The Greek culture has as strong family care while in Rome, women are treated like slaves.


In conclusion, Aeneas was a more glorious hero than Odysseus because of what he saw with enchases. His father showed him an array of souls, which were reincarnated and he became among the greatest men in the history of the Romans.


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