Homer And Virgil Term Paper

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¶ … afterlife in two philosophers' representations. Specifically, it will explain and compare conceptions and representations of the afterlife in Homer and Virgil.

Homer and Virgil

Homer and Virgil both described Hades and their versions of the afterlife in their works, and they were far different views. In Homer's Hades, the area looks much like Earth, but it is barren and twisted, the geography is definitely warped and there is little scenery, it is more like a dreamland. Homer sees suffering far differently than Virgil. His residents of Hades do not really seem to suffer much, although he does indicate some tortures inflicted on some poor souls. Mostly, his Hades is filled with people who are there because of personal trials and tribulations, and the Devil does not deem it necessary to place them on display as a warning to others. Virgil's view of Hades is more traditional, with fire erupting out of the River Styx, and a massive gate barring entry (or exit). In addition, Virgil's underworld is also devoid of individuality, which is quite frightening it itself. To know you would spend the rest of your life as one in a myriad of no one's is quite frightening, no matter who you are. Virgil exposes the residents of Hades to the public eye, and this is even more frightening and awful for those who have sinned enough to reach the underworld. Virgil is also quite obsessed with cataloguing all the lost souls in Hades, and making sure they are compartmentalized strictly according to their sin and gravity of the sin. On the other hand, Homer is barely concerned with compartmentalizing, and his world is not so orderly and ordered. It is clear these men had quite different ideas about punishment and the afterlife, and they had unique ideas about what we will face in the afterlife. Their views of Hades are vastly different, but each agrees we must pay for our sins, and however we do it, it will be unpleasant and eternal.

References

Thuleen, Nancy. "Interaction and Reaction in Virgil and Homer." Personal Web Page. 1992. 18 Dec. 2003. http://www.nthuleen.com/papers/L10virgil.html

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