Historical consciousness and heroic view in The Aeneid

In literary history, once Virgil’s name is mentioned, people will be further associated with the epic work Aeneid. In the process of creation, the poet takes Aeneas’ hard course of establishing the empire as the actual starting point, narrates the grand history of the Roman Empire, and applies the interpretation rich in Roman cultural implication. In addition, it also creates the image of Aeneas, which is very typical and full of Roman spirit. Moreover, as far as the concept of “hero” is concerned, it puts forward the revelation with rich significance. Since then, the work not only has a unique historical consciousness, but also has a special concept of hero.
The British poet T. S. Eliot highly praised the Aeneid, believing that it was “a specimen of classical works” and the fundamental reason was its “sense of history and maturity of thought”. Chinese academic circles also believe that the content of this epic is the establishment of the Roman Empire and related history. “Aeneid” this epic on the historical theme of the corresponding narrative, the actual historical consciousness is very rich. From the point of view of essence, the historical significance of epic can be further summarized as the historical concept of Utopia, which holds that the will of God represents the process of history. Simply speaking, it is the realization process of so-called “destiny”. In the process of analyzing this kind of consciousness, we can apply the way from the outside to the inside. Generally speaking, it is to analyze the way that the epic expresses Roman history first, and then to analyze the historical consciousness contained in the epic itself.
For “Aeneas, ji” this work is concerned, Virgil praises not only of the history of Rome, and cooperate fully with octavian advocates the policy, to sing octavian itself at the same time, therefore, not only think this epic simply belongs to a kind of propaganda or a certain “yes literature”, and its application and augustus politics with a comprehensive understanding, And deeply understand its profound display of the cultural spirit of The Times. Virgil first establishes the identity of Aeneas, based on the corresponding Roman legend, establishes him as the son of god. The ancestor of the Julian race is the protagonist Aeneas, and he is the appearance of Augustus as Julian, and establishes the birth of the new Roman ruler from the side. Therefore, the author confirmed the divinity of the Roman rulers by writing the ancestor of Caesar and Octavian as Aurus, the son of Aeneas. The hero Aeneas has the characteristics of courage and strength: in the initial stage, the hero experienced defeat and appeared in front of the public as the Trojan prince, but he did not succumb even though he experienced defeat. Dido, queen of Carthage, loved him dearly, but he was not troubled by any emotion; Based on the comprehensive guidance of the divine will, it has consistently advanced to the great goal of founding the country, and finally achieved a real great achievement and created a brilliant performance after experiencing various hardships. For this figure, it is very similar to the characteristics of Octavian. And in the real history, Octavian not only expressed a clear refusal to Cleopatra’s temptation, but also obtained the real victory in the subsequent struggle of the three males. After that, he not only rectified the moral fashion, but also rectified the government affairs, and was very enthusiastic about restoring the religious belief of ancient Rome. In the process of controlling the speech, he also coadied the corresponding literati. At the same time, the peace of Rome was truly established, and the situation of great unification was formed. In addition, based on the actual description of Aeneas’s achievements, Virgil praises the Roman Empire founded by Augustus. From Virgil’s point of view, it is very difficult to create a Roman empire, and from an essential point of view, the creative authenticity of history and pain go hand in hand.
In the process of tracing history, the epic itself contains a very rich historical consciousness. Although Virgil could not systematically express the concept of history, croce expressed a view that “all history is contemporary history” based on the meaning that “history does not really exist and is the content of the cultural spirit of the era of those who have historical thinking knowledge of history”. In addition, Gadamer believes that history always maintains a restriction on the current reality, and such restriction is “valid”, and the reality also gives validity to history. However, for the new historicists, there is a new view that no matter what kind of text, in the actual interpretation process, it represents the dialogue of two ages and two hearts. Similarly, Virgil’s epic could not present all the historical reality and at the same time integrate his own understanding and transcend and respond to the social trends at that time to a certain extent. And for the design of the epic, can see very clearly that with the echo of the relation with the history of the Roman empire, that is to say, in the “Aeneas, ji” this epic, the actual description of Virgil in the society at that time social and historical framework and background are very similar, and will be the fate of the corresponding ideas and religious ideas collection together.
And Virgil has such point of view, and it considers all sorts of problems encountered in life, such as how to promote the development of the society and other issues are eternal problem, and he himself is unable to solve, about all of this nature also can’t solve the problem of the contingency and necessity of history, as a result, which is based on “fate”, putting everything on the “fate”. Based on this, his philosophical and religious thoughts should be further traced back. Virgil was very epicurean in his early years, but in his later years, he moved further into stoicism, and for Virgil himself, he was more Stoic. Stoic direction of main source is the ancient Greece, and puts forward a concept of cycle time, explains the theory of Heraclitus transformation, think of its cosmology belong to an infinite loop, meanwhile, Heraclitus also believes that both the universe in the past, or now, or in the future, it is a mass of active volcanoes, and possess the characteristics of the eternal, Whether it burns or goes out, there is a certain sense of proportion. The Stoics, on the other hand, believed that burning and extinction were representative of major events in the universe, and that each fire represented either the beginning or the end of the cosmic cycle. For its part, the school of philosophy experienced continuous development, and in the Roman period, it further changed its focus, and moved to ethics and politics. At the time, there were two representatives, Seneca and Epictetus, who said: “The ultimate human goal is peace of mind, and true happiness can only be found in obedience to the benevolent order of the universe.” Not only that, but there is another view, which is “to worship the universe as a god under the rule of an almighty God, who arranges everything that happens for the best.” Both of these Stoic philosophical ideas are reflected in the epic.
At the very beginning of the epic, the author makes the statement that, by a twist of fate, the Greeks have taken Troy. The text reads: “The glory and greatness of ilium and Troas is past, and the pitiless Ubit has handed over all we have to the Greeks.” In the fire of this war, the universe shows signs of chaos and is eager to rebuild. As for the hero Aeneas, he accepted the selection of god, and based on the further guidance of god’s will, the hero not only experienced the sea drift, but also experienced the war with the Latin People, and finally established the city-state, thus restoring the original order of the universe. If the war in Homer is based on the “word” of God, the “word” of God actually represents the will of the universe. Virgil’s own sense of destiny is further enhanced. According to a series of behaviors of Aeneas in the epic, we can further feel that although he suffered a lot of suffering, he still holds good hope and is positive for good. It is because of this that Fate will further advance his great work. As those who traveled with him said to him, “We have not been without suffering, we have endured greater pain than this, and God will put an end to it.”

Thus, for Virgil’s historical consciousness, from the point of view of nature, it is the history of utopian idea, its mainly embodies the following ideas: “people support that the pillar and the historical living is not the activity itself, but the ideal of fullness and superhuman entities and power” (god).
Apart from the historical consciousness, there is another basic feature of the epic, which is the view of heroes. In the Encyclopedia Britannica, it says: “The epic poem centers on the hero, who is sometimes a demigods of military, national and religious importance.” Therefore, to have a deeper understanding of the Aeneid, it is necessary to have a deeper understanding of Virgil’s heroic view. Generally speaking, it is the method and specific intention used in shaping the hero image. In the epic, the hero not only embodies the temperament of the national spirit, but also further reveals the conflict between history and humanity.
The hero that the poet tries to depict is Aeneas, whose character is very different from that of the previous Greek heroes. Achilles is very willful and frank, and attaches great importance to personal honor. Odysseus presents a hero who is intelligent and protects his private property at home. For these heroes, their actual behavior is based on the maintenance of personal value. But regarding the image of Aeneas, in the Chinese academic circles, there is such a view: “He can be said to be an unheroic hero, that is, a hero different from the heroes of the past.” And most people think that the hero image of Aeneas is characterized by fuzziness and lack of distinct personality, but this does not mean that the hero is not successfully created, and Belinsky once said: “The protagonist of a long epic must be the full representative of the national spirit; But the hero must express, through his own personality, all the abundant power of the nation, all the poetry of his essential spirit. And for the figure of Aeneas, he embodies all of this practice.
Based on the rule of Aeneas, Rome achieved complete victory in both literary and military affairs, and the economy was extremely prosperous at that time. The fundamental reason for the achievement of such great achievements was the uniqueness of its national spirit. And Hegel once gave such a high evaluation of the role of national spirit, that is: “It is a particular spirit, rigidly defined, which has built itself in an objective world, which lives and persists in a particular mode of faith, custom, constitution, and political law — within the limits of its whole system — and in the action of the many events which have made up its history. That’s what it does — that’s what this nation is. Nations are made by their cause.” Thus it can be seen that the national spirit plays a vital role in the achievement of a nation’s great cause. In addition, R. H. Barlow also expressed corresponding views on the National spirit of Rome, which he believed was a virtue, including not only piety and seriousness, but also indifference and diligence. At the same time, he also asserted that: “As far as the Romans were concerned, these qualities, which were at work in their early relations with nature and their neighbours, were still virtues above all else.” In the actual Augustus period, the archaic style was restored, and the good character of the Romans rose to a further level, to the poetry of the national spirit. Virgil certainly imparts all this spirit to his hero. However, when we discuss Aeneas’ character, we will have a deeper feeling, that is, the devotion and sense of responsibility of the protagonist. And this quality includes the good virtue of loyalty to the country and the good virtue of love and justice to people, that is to say, he always keeps respect and obedience to God, and has a sense of responsibility to the family and the nation. This quality is not only a comprehensive reflection of its own quality, but also reflects the spirit of the Roman nation.
In the epic Aeneid, Virgil’s depiction of representative figures of the national spirit is very complicated, and it is in the conflict between history and humanity that he further completes the depiction of heroes and makes a comprehensive display. In terms of Homer, the style of its actual relative ranting and magnificent, but for the Everest Aeneas ji, the overall style is filled with a hint of sorrow and depression, and in critical since ancient times, all think that the fundamental reason is that Virgil grasps a doubt about everything and contradictory attitude. However, for its own contradiction, it further reflects its own traditional cognition of the concept of “hero”. In volume 6, When Aeneas leaves the underworld under the leadership of Sybil, he chooses the ivory gate when facing the ivory gate and the corner gate, Yang Zhouhan says as follows: “According to the Odysseus, dreams that appear through the ivory gate are false, and dreams that pass through the horn gate are real, and it was through the ivory gate that Aeneas and Sybil emerged from the underworld. Does that mean that Aeneas was guided astray, and that the path he followed was still misguided? So that his heroism in the war was denied?” However, he did not give a specific answer.
In the Aeneid, the figure of Aeneas undoubtedly further demonstrates the poet’s admiration for his ancestors’ establishment of empire and pioneering historical achievements. However, for man himself, there is still an individualization aspect. Therefore, in the process of history, man will inevitably have corresponding conflicts and contradictions with history, and epics will further reflect such conflicts.
In this epic, Dido and Tulus, though contrasting with Aeneas, mainly serve as a foil to the hero, but they also raise corresponding doubts about the so-called “hero”. Compared with Aeneas, the main meaning of Dido is emotion, and based on the divine will, Aeneas has to face choice, and the object of choice is reason and emotion. Aeneas chooses reason at the expense of emotion, so Dido is too sad and desperate, and chooses suicide. But the author in the process of description, and infinite compassion perfusion to Dido’s death, the main reason is the poet’s own contradiction consciousness, in Virgil’s subconscious, responsibility is the antithesis of emotional relationship, is contradictory and conflict, but if in the so-called responsibility to further away from the feelings are contrary to human nature. Tullus is very much like Achilles, the hero. Some scholars believe that “he must be sacrificed, because he represents the heroism of the Republic, which makes it shoulder internal strife and struggle for power, and does not meet the needs of The Times.” But in fact, this perception is biased. In reality, Tullus not only defended his city, but also his love, and there was nothing wrong with fully affirming his self-worth. But tullus, like some of the protagonists of Greek tragedy, died not because he had done anything wrong, but because he had not acted on the orders of the gods. In the process of analyzing the change of Aeneas’ heart and the transformation of his personality when he killed Turrus due to his own anger, Yang Zhouhan thought as follows: “He suddenly becomes vainful, ferocious, and unforgiving, and the poet’s sympathies shift back to Tullus. Aeneas is further transformed into the old Achilles’ hero, to whom the poet seems to have derogated.” Generally speaking, in the process of creation, the poet painstakingly constructs the so-called heroic code and deconstructs it accordingly. Moreover, from the perspective of the poet, whether the hero’s own behavior is completely consistent with the moral principle is a problem and confusing.
Virgil as national spirit embodied in the protagonist in the process of a comprehensive display, also will further their own confusion and questions out of the show, and on the sublimation, sublimation and the historical conflict level of humanity, and in the process of this kind of conflict on show in the process of the stereo and multi-dimensional gives the codes “hero”.
This paper makes an in-depth discussion and analysis of the historical consciousness and heroic view in the Aeneid. Virgil’s epic creation of the Aeneid is mainly based on Aeneas’s arduous process of establishing the empire and recounts the grand history of the Roman Empire. “Aeneas, ji” an epic contains a kind of historical consciousness, that is the whole process of the historical further due to the realization of “fate”, in addition, is used in Virgil Aeneas, further to the unique concept of hero image expression, is by Dido, further reflected the characteristics of the national spirit, and for this show, It is gradually completed and displayed in the process of conflict between human nature and history.