Aeneid book 6 summary and Analysis
  • September 28, 2022
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Aeneid book 6 summary and Analysis. The Aeneid Book 6 shows Aeneas’s journey to the underworld the land of the dead in the modern outlook and simple language.

Virgil’s Aeneid Book 6 underworld has an ethereal, dreamy air to it, yet it is recognizably a place separated into several districts, with individuals categorized according to the nature of their deaths or the sorts of lives they led. Its two most important kingdoms are in direct opposition to one another Tartarus to the left and Elysium to the right. The setting of Aeneas’ encounter with his father, where virtually every aspect lends itself to a philosophical or historical interpretation, is the greatest example of Virgil’s preoccupation with abstract notions and ideals.

Aeneas’s journey to the underworld

In Virgil’s underworld deep in the valley, Aeneas sees his father, an image that highlights Anchises’ noble and peaceful nature when he was alive; He is linked with knowledge and calm in Elysium since he embodied these qualities when alive. Although it contains many conventional features, such as the five rivers Acheron, Phlegethon, Cocytus, and Lethe, Charon and his ferry, Styx, and the three-headed dog Cerberus and etc.

Aeneid book 6 summary

Aeneas’ journey to the underworld occurs immediately after the hero abandons Dido at the command of God. The Dido episode demonstrates that Aeneas was still a man with human frailties until Mercury reminded him of his responsibility.

The event with Dido had a significant impact on the development of Aeneas’ personality and circumstances. Funeral performances for Aeneas’ father Anchises are held at the Sicilian harbor, where they took refuge from the storms, just before they reach the underworld.

As a result, Aeneas completes his final severe human responsibility, freeing himself for his new position as an agent of fate. Aeneas ascends a hill to Apollo’s temple to speak with Deiphobe, a Sybil. Sybil describes her destiny, depicting the horrific conflict and her adversaries, while Aeneas makes sacrifices. Aeneas wishes to be escorted to Hades’ underworld, but his mother forbids him from embarking on such a perilous journey.

Under the guidance of Sybil, Aeneas follows his path to Hades. Before all dead souls can enter Hades, they must cross the river. Finally, they visit the beautiful Elysian Fields, where the blessed souls spend their happy time in Hades.

Aeneas enters a neighboring holy grove and plucks a golden branch from a big tree as per his instructions. Aeneas pursues his journey to Hades with the help of Sybil. All deceased souls must cross the river before entering Hades. Finally, they get to the lovely Elysian Fields in Hades, where the blessed spirits spend their pleasant time.

Aeneid book 6 Analysis


Aeneas seeks for his father with zeal, and when they finally meet, they embrace each other warmly. These spirits were purged of their crimes and spent a thousand years in Hades, according to him. While Anchises recognizes these individuals and explains their sizes, he also provides Aeneas with a synopsis of Roman history from the foundation of the empire to the legends.

Aeneas eagerly searches for his father, and when they meet, they hug each other with great love. He explains that these souls were cleansed of their sins and lasted a thousand years in Hades. Aeneas’ knowledge of the fate of Rome and his contribution to it sparks his imagination and intensifies his passion for his holy achievement. Aeneas rejoins his friends on the beach and soon begins their journey.

Aeneas’ visit to the underworld is of great dramatic and spiritual significance. By the time his visit was complete, Aeneas’ personality went through several subtle changes.


Name: Md. Rabby Sharif Ador


Read more: Contribution of Socrates and evaluation on his death

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