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Who has a closer relationship to their father, Odysseus or Aeneas?

  • Essay length: 1130 words
  • Submitted: 13/01/2005
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AS and A Level Classics

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Who has a closer relationship to their father, Odysseus or Aeneas?

A central theme predominant in both Greek and Roman epics, also in tragedies, is that of the father/son relationship. Both epic heroes have very different relationships with their fathers due to their very different situations. On Odysseus return he has not seen his father for a total of twenty years, whereas Aeneas has been in constant contact with his for up until his death.

Homer uses many epithets when referring to Odysseus within his work, and often refers to Odysseus as "Odysseus, son of Laertes" inferring the pride and honour that Odysseus should feel as the son of Laertes and placing the importance of his fathers achievements and status above his own. Odysseus himself acknowledges and embraces this family connection referring to himself as "Odysseus, son of Laertes" when he reveals his identity to King Alcinous, implicating at Odysseus great admiration for his father.

A specific quote from Odysseus reveals his feelings regarding his relationship to his father. When re-calling his odyssey to King Alcinous, Odysseus states "so true it is that a mans fatherland and his parents are what he holds

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