The Odyssey and Propaganda
“Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid as Propagandistic Literature” Propaganda is a powerful social tool that affects audiences through manipulation and selective perspectives and has actually been witnessed in history as far back as written records exist. It has actually been used to sanction the rise of brand-new leaders, herald a society and its dominance, and push ideological programs to audiences of all backgrounds throughout civilizations. The approaches that propaganda has been utilized are many and include both written and spoken types of interaction to reach the audience.
Literature is not exempt from the use of propaganda and Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s The Aeneid are two historical sources where it can be found. The propaganda seen in these texts share similarities and differences which can be compared and contrasted and include the worths of the societies they represent, the fates of the heroes and what each represents to the society, and how the backgrounds of the creators affect what happens in the story with emphasis on politics and customs.
The Odyssey shares comparable propaganda to The Aeneid, although it is not as right away evident offered the historic backgrounds that caused the creation of each, in regards to the political and social modifications being experienced around the time The Aeneid was written. The kind of propaganda that is highlighted in The Odyssey is based around the dominance and customs of Ancient Greek society and culture, the need of honoring the gods and goddesses, and keeping virtues that are universal throughout society while emphasizing the value of the individual.
It is demonstrated through the journey of Odysseus, which starts with the Trojan War and follows with each adventure that he experiences on his return to Ithaca, ending on a message of the value of homecoming when he reaches the coasts of his island. The dominance of Ancient Greek society is shown right away in the backstory of how the Achaeans got rid of the city of Troy and won the Trojan War. It stresses the intelligence and shrewd of the Achaeans through the example of the Trojan Horse which Odysseus idea of that was used to infiltrate the city. That the Greeks would emerge victorious at the end of a en-year siege over a powerful foe shows the strength of the society militarily. Cultural impacts that are affected by propaganda in The Odyssey demonstrate the achievements, worths, and customs of Ancient Greece through references to the ideal person, appropriate hospitality, and the honoring of the gods and goddesses. The individual in Ancient Greek society was valued as a strong mental and physical individual, who showed cunning and strength, had a silver tongue and demonstrated articulate thoughts through effective rhetoric, that might handle any challenge while producing an everlasting legacy.
The ideal person was also devoted to his family and society, and was committed to the worths and traditions instilled in them from birth. This is all demonstrated through Odysseus and his actions, from creating the idea of the Trojan Horse and showing management in fight, to outmaneuvering the cyclops Polyphemus, to having an unfaltering love for his spouse Penelope. Correct hospitality is discussed through the suitors that have overrun Odysseus’s home, who slaughter his animals, drink his white wine, and made themselves unwanted visitors. Homer is able to supply an example of how not to act when a person is a guest in another’s home.
Conversely, he demonstrates correct hospitality by utilizing the goatherd as an example when he takes a disguised beggar that is Odysseus into his home. The honoring of the gods and goddesses that were above all mortal men and women was important in the culture of Greek society, and this is demonstrated through the occasions of The Odyssey, whether it is praying to a god for safety and health and wellbeing, acting in a manner so as not to anger a god such as Poseidon, using sacrifice to honor the legacy of a god or drinking to the honor of a god to get their support.
Homecoming is the destiny that is credited to the story of Odysseus and his fate of going back to Ithaca stresses the value of never leaving the location you were born or the ones you enjoy, a worth that was very important to Ancient Greek society. These are all examples of propaganda that was utilized in The Odyssey, which was shared through an abundant oral tradition that helped instill these suitables and virtues into the core of Ancient Greek society. Unlike The Odyssey, which started as an oral story and then written at a later date, The Aeneid was written from the point of its production.
It stemmed at a time of political and social change in Roman society, which affected not only its development but the characters and story in it. According to the “Vita Servii [which] states that the writing of the Aeneid had been carried out at the express proposition of the emperor” (Avery 225). As it was commissioned by Augustus Caesar, this suggested that it was rife with propaganda that stressed the dominance of Roman society, its value, and its values such as task and honor.
Caesar looked for to bring back tradition to Rome and advise its residents of its history at a time when this was essential to the ongoing prosperity of Rome under brand-new guideline. Aeneas was used a vessel for analyzing these functions of propaganda and his journey enhanced these virtues. In impact, Virgil “draws particular parallels to accomplish one of his lots of political aims-constructing a nationwide identity for Rome as remarkable and ancient as that of Greece” (Bell 228). Virgil offered a new perspective on the Trojan War, right away dispelling the Achaeans as residue for their trickery, which enhanced the supremacy of the Trojans.
He allowed Aeneas to make it through the Trojan War, and utilized the gods and goddesses that were essential to Roman religion to develop a fate where it was his responsibility to found Rome and produce its prominence, in spite of not being entirely conscious that this was his fate. Due to this, Aeneas embodies the ideal Roman person, much as Odysseus embodied the ideal Greek person. He is filled with task and honor and not quiting in a time of strife, as when he loses his house of Troy.
This is compared to the society of Rome at the time of composing, which was under new leadership and government, and highlighted the value of society remaining strong and thriving. Duty to the gods was stressed through Aeneas and his support from Juno, who advised him that he needs to continue regardless of finding love in Dido. The importance of Roman society is examined when despite being injured in fight, Aeneas is able to recover due to the disturbance of Venus, and was talented a shield that portrayed the future of Rome.
In the scenes on the shield, Julius Caesar can be seen, along with the Fight of Actium, and numerous other essential occasions understood at the time of composing to be essential to the history of Rome and all of which would be a direct result of the responsibility that Aeneas was to serve through his piety. Virgil was efficiently able to develop a politically driven and supported example of propaganda through his writing of The Aeneid, and the significance of its development caused a more unified Rome which benefited Augustus Caesar in his guideline and cemented Virgil is the annals of history as a fantastic epic poet.
Propaganda was an useful tool for both Homer and Virgil, and both males were able to use it in impact to impart and advise the audiences of The Odyssey and The Aeneid of the dominance of the Ancient Greek and Roman societies as well as their worths and traditions that remained deeply rooted in each society until the failure of the particular civilization. Functions Cited Avery, William T. “Augustus and the Aeneid.” The Classical Journal 52. 5 (1957 ): 225-29. Print. Bell, Kimberly K. “”Translatio” and the Constructs of a Roman Country in Virgil’s “Aeneid”” Rocky Mountain Evaluation 62. 1 (2008 ): 11-24. Print.