How Well Does Book V Prepare Aeneas For His Destiny

We as the reader know that Aeneas is destined to be a leader of what will become a great empire (no matter how many obstacles he has to overcome). In Book V, Aeneas begins to display some of the characteristics required for this aspect of his future.

At the beginning of the book, the Trojans are embarking on yet another journey by ship, having just left Carthage behind and all the tragic events that took place within its walls. Palinurus informs Aeneas that a great storm is brewing and the fleet must change its course. Aeneas not only takes charge-a characteristic that we would associate with a leader, he also shows that he can look after the tired travellers with the promise of a rest from their efforts. A good leader must also have the ability to look after his people if they face such a situation, which Aeneas does here quite successfully. He does not allow his people to face any danger and he leads them to safety.

While preparations for the games take place, Aeneas can be seen at the centre of a throng of people. All these people obviously know Aeneas is the central figure as far as the organization of these games is concerned, thus Aeneas takes the opportunity to take charge of them as he will have to take charge of his own people in the future. Aeneas shows his planning skills at their best when takes it upon himself to organize the Trojan games, which will consist of several events-“I shall hold a Trojan Games…..let them all come forward, eager to win the palm of the victor.” Aeneas quite skilfully manages to organize a range of prizes while taking into account that every competitor needs to be recognised. Before the race takes place Aeneas says to his men “None of you will depart without a present from me.” Aeneas will require organizational skills if he is to found a new city as destiny says and he shows he is destined to be loved and respected by his people, as he clearly recognises everyone’s value in the games.

Anchises visits his son from the grave in order to conform his destiny. He tells his son that he must overcome the frightening task that is entering “deaths kingdom.” He must do this in order to finally discover where his home is and what his destiny entails. Although this is a daunting prospect, Aeneas’ father has prepared his son for what he must go through in order to find the place where he will found his kingdom.

When Aeneas is told to leave some of his people behind-“persons with no great hankering for glory,” he begins to trace the towns circumference. This prepares Aeneas for his destiny in the sense that it is almost a practise for when he will have to partake of the tasks required when he founds his own city. He clearly knows what is involved.

In the closing moments of the book, Aeneas shows that he has the ability to look after his people once again. As he and those who wish to continue with the journey are leaving, those who are left behind grow distressed at the idea of them seeking Italy once more. Aeneas is said to “console his people with kindly words,” showing he posses the skills of caring for people which he will of course have to do as a the chosen leader of these people.

In the various events that take place in this book, Aeneas has demonstrated the potential to found an empire and has rightly earned such titles as “father Aeneas.”