Turnus creates just as many
obstacles for Aeneas as Juno.
He constantly resists destiny,
trying to keep Aeneas from
marrying his prophesied bride and
fighting a war to drive Aeneas from
the shores that he is fated to conquer.

Turnus himself then becomes the last of
Aeneas’s obstacles that he must
overcome to fulfill his destiny.
Aeneas is forced to kill him, and
Turnus’s death ends the poem,
symbolizing the final defeat of
any opposition to fate. 

Juno and Turnus both resist their
destinies throughout the story, and they
are transformed in the epic’s final
resolution; they resign themselves to
fate, which allows the story to arrive
at its preordained end.

Unlike Juno and Turnus, Aeneas
readily accepts his fate. By
sacrificing his personal desires,
Aeneas gives in to the higher
power of destiny. He
recognizes its significance and
allows it to consume his life.

Aeneas grapples with human
emotions and the force of fate, but
only by subordinating his own
anxieties and passions to the
demands of fate does he become a hero.

These images were created by the Genji editorial team and inspired by work by Sadie, Anonymous, and Molly.

His feats of travel, battle, and
diplomacy are admirable, but
can we give Aeneas total credit
for his efforts? Virgil gives Aeneas
a heavy burden to carry, and it
may be impossible for him to
emerge a hero within the confines
of his duty.

The hands of fate do not only bind
mortals. The goddess Juno
repeatedly tries to undermine
Aeneas’s journey because his
founding of Rome will eventually
bring down Carthage. She appears to have more agency than mortals: she often
succeeds in throwing obstacles in
Aeneas’s way. However, she’s still
aware of the futility of trying to prevent the founding of Rome.

We wrote short essays about various topics related to the Aeneid and The Tale of Genji. These essays helped inspire us to create the following projects for Lit Well.


(Inspired By)

In Roman myth, the Gods and the hand of

destiny often guide the heroes in

their quests, but Virgil’s epic poem the

Aeneid raises the question, what makes

a hero?

In terms of greatness, Aeneas may seem

to be one: he is brave, a good leader,

and loyal to his people. But

Aeneas never takes action of his

own accord because his life is

predetermined. He does not right wrongs or

save the day out of personal desire;

Aeneas works hard simply to fulfill

his obligations.

The gods assist and guide him during his

travels, so much so that one might say

Aeneas is more passive than active.

He does not have to do much decision

making, and even when he does decide

for himself, the gods often step in to

remind him of his fated journey. 

This piece was created by our Aeneid essay editorial team.

The Tale of Genji

The V Meta Aeneid: An Epic Poem with Integrated Memes