, Research Paper
A Leader for a New Generation
In Webster s dictionary, a leader is defined as a person that has commanding authority or influence over others. Such a leader can be found in The Aeneid, written by Virgil. The main character in the epic, Aeneas, shows the journey of a leader through struggles and trials. One can see the true definition of leadership through Aeneas s strategy, bravery, and persistence.
During the Fall of Troy, Aeneas shows strategic leadership while pushing through the Greek lines. As the Trojan warriors defeat a surprised Greek crowd, Coroebus suggests that the men wear their trophies. Aeneas agrees and has his men wear the Greek insignia as a shield when breaking through enemy lines. Having success, Aeneas states, Many a combat, hand to hand, we fought in the black of night, and many a Greek we sent to Orcus (the underworld) (II.526-28). Fighting on, as the soldiers around him die, Aeneas climbs onto a high roof and with crowbars, where the flooring made loose joints pried it from its bed and pushed it over , allowing Aeneas to enter the building (II.606-07). His strategy allowed him to continue leading his people in the fights.
Aeneas s bravery points to another strong characteristic of leadership. To be considered brave, one must have enough courage to face death at any time. In order to prove he is no longer afraid of his death, Aeneas says, So fury drove me, and it came to me that meeting death was beautiful in arms (II.425-26). His fear leaves him so quickly that he sees death as beautiful and honorable. This newfound bravery is proven by this proclamation: Here I swear that I did not avoid one weapon, one exchange with the Danaans, and if it had been fated, my own hand had earned my death (II.568-72). Here, Aeneas puts forth his life to take any chance needed to fight bravely.
With Aeneas s strategic mind and bravery, his drive remains persistent throughout the constant trials. While fighting, Aeneas sees his unlucky fate closing in, yet he shouts to his soldiers, You defend a city lost in flames. Come, let us die, we ll make a rush into the thick of it (II.470-72). No matter the offense, Aeneas insists that they run deeper into the fighting to pursue their enemy. Still, Aeneas persists after witnessing the accidental execution of his fellow soldiers dressed in Grecian gear by other Trojan men. Even after their gruesome defeat when stranded on an island following a storm, Aeneas delivers an uplifting speech to the people who think they can no longer go on. This influence assists the people to continue on to complete their destiny.
Throughout the journey of Aeneas, leadership qualities emerge through his defining characteristics. Only when one holds strategy, bravery, and persistence, will he see success. Destined to live this role, Aeneas carries out his fate with outstanding marksmanship.