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How important are the concepts of destiny and fate and the role of the gods in the sections of Book II that you have read?

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Introduction

How important are the concepts of destiny and fate and the role of the gods in the sections of Book II that you have read? The concept of 'fate' is arguably the most important theme in, not only book II, but the entire Aeneid. . From the very beginning of the Aeneid Fate decrees that Aeneas must reach Italy with all of his crew and go on to found Lavinium. It is important to realise just what was meant by 'Fate' - this is a completely different idea to that of the Gods. The Gods were not Fate, Fate was not their will. Even Jupiter could not alter Fate; he was merely the instrument to bring about fate of the people. Fate is also frequently misunderstood; it was not a man's entire life laid out before him, but the start and the finish. He himself could decide the path he took to reach this pre-destined destination, all that was certain was that he would arrive here in the end. Aeneas does not have a choice in these matters; because Fate is final and cannot be altered, even by the gods - this is demonstrated when, after ...read more.

Middle

She says to him "Take flight, son, and impose an end to your toil. I will never be away, and I will set you safe in your father's house", just as she disappears into the shadow of the night. She orders him to do this as she knows his ultimate destiny, as we shall see later, and that Troy is destined to fall, making Aeneas' current actions utterly futile. Earlier in book II, Aeneas describes Sinon as "divinely protected by an unfair Fate", again agreeing with the fact that Troy was fated to fall to the Greeks. Throughout Book II Aeneas is free to act and follow his different impulses but ultimately his not staying to fight and die is decided for him by Fate. In this book, Hector and Creusa, and as we have seen, Venus, visit Aeneas in dreams and are representatives of Fate and through them Aeneas finds out that, although he had thought that he had free will the Fall of Troy will happen as decreed by the Gods. Hector is the first to appear in a dream, telling Aeneas of the events unfolding around him as the Greeks wreak havoc within the walls of Troy themselves, and reminds Aeneas of his destiny. ...read more.

Conclusion

And now farewell, and preserve the love of our sacred son" This is one of the most important points of the book with regards to fate and destiny. At first, she, as Venus and Hector have done before her, asks Aeneas of the use of indulging in such grief and reminds him that none of this has happened without the divine will. She tells Aeneas of his fate to plough the "vast expanse of the sea" that has yet been unexplored, coming to the "land of the Evening Star". This land was what we today know as Italy; the country which Aeneas is destined to found. Creusa also hints at little Iulus' fate; to found Alba Longa. We can see that the idea of Fate and the Gods as arbiters of this pre-destined schematics of life are the most recurrent and important themes throughout the Aeneid; as Aeneas becomes involved with one event, ie the siege of Troy, the gods, who know of his fate and as arbiters of it, cause circumstances to conspire to lead to Aeneas leaving to follow his fate. Tom Hoare - 1 - ...read more.

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