The Aeneid

Sacrifice of a Mother: Euryalus's Mother College

Euryalus’s mother always stood out among the others. She left the other mothers behind to stay with her son while most of the women decided to live in Sicily instead of traveling this arduous journey. She also was highlighted in the battle in which her son died as she ran among the soldiers to the front line to find Euryalus’s body as soon as the word reached her. Distinctions were further made between her and the others grieving over the very recognizable body of her son by the speech she gave at his side. This speech said much about the heightened importance of sacrifice and self sacrifice found in The Aeneid, versus either the Iliad or the Odyssey, through the sacrifices made for Euryalus by his mother and the other people in his life and death.


Euryalus’s mother’s entire presence in the poem, The Aeneid, seemed to be of sacrifice for her son. Over and over again, she puts his life above her own, a concept not seen in Homer’s epics. The speech she gives by his side when she sees him dead speaks of her dying as well. “Put your spears into me, Rutulians, if you can be moved,” she says to the men around her, and “dispatch this hateful soul to the abyss,” she says to Zeus, begging them to take her life (Aeneid 9.700-04). Her...

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