The paper lays down a detailed analysis of the prologue of Virgil’s Aeneid in Milton and Shakespeare. The main discussion of this paper is centred on the themes brought up in the poem, and the underlying various aspects of epic outlined in the poem. The paper has as well included some quotes supporting the identified themes and the various aspects of epic Virgil is alluding to in his poem.
One of the main themes outlined in this poem is war. The first three lines depict this theme: ‘Arms, and the man I sing, who, forced by Fate, and haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate, expelled and exiled, left the Trojan shore.’ Greek warriors set the city of Troy on fire. This has been the home of Aeneas and other Trojans who struggle to rescue themselves from the impending death from fire. They finally flee to the coast with a worry of finding another home. With competing emotions, due to his lost friends and the loss of the whole city, Aeneas gains courage from the fact that he did not die in the attack, and therefore moves on. It is this courageous search of a new peaceful home that led to the discovery of the Rome city, Aeneas new home. An aspect of epic comes out here because Virgil introduces the poem without a name of the person he is talking about.
Another main theme in this poem is great man. This man has many dimensions described in this story in relation to war. Virgil describes him as a man on exile, victim of war, great warrior and later describes him as a conqueror because he gets the city of Rome which later becomes the Roman Empire’s Capital city. This courage to search for a new home for his family and friends describes Aeneas as a great man. The theme is clearly seen in the third, fourth and the fifth lines in the poem: ‘Long labours, both by sea and land he bore, and in the doubtful war, before he won the Latian realm, and built the destined town’ (Virgil 1). The lines show how difficult was for the man to explore the new home for his future generations.
The theme of supernatural powers is also extensively brought out in the poem. In the sixth line: ‘That lasting hate, of Juno’, Aeneas believes that Juno is the source of all this ill fated incidents affecting the Trojans. Several gods are mentioned throughout the story, for instance, Jupiter, Juno and Venus. Aeneas calls it the force of uncontrolled hunger which the goddess had. Goddess hugger comes from the opposing force between Juno and the Trojans over the city of Carthage. The deaths reported show how supernatural power is inevitable and cannot be revoked. One aspect of epic expressed in this theme is the comparison of a storm of sea with civil war. This is because Virgil compares an aspect of human being to another aspect of nature.
In conclusion, the prologue of Virgil’s Aeneid explores three main themes: A great courageous man, war and the power of the supernatural. The themes are interconnected in the story and they all influence the outcome of each other. The nature of the war has been used to explain how strong Aeneas is, while the power of the goddess is blamed for the origin of the war.