Virtue in Epic Voyages: How Homer, Sir Edmund Spenser and C.S. Lewis Displayed the Significance of the Pursuit of Virtue Throughout the Treacherous Journeys of Their Heroes
This essay explores the profound influence of literature in cultivating virtue within its readers. By examining three timeless works, Homer's The Odyssey, book II of Sir Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and C.S. Lewis's The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader’, collectively referred to throughout this essay as "epic voyages," we delve into the enduring power of storytelling to impart moral lessons. These narratives have withstood the test of time, testifying to their continued relevance as tools for virtue education. Throughout the essay, we analyze the virtues exemplified by the heroes in these tales: prudence, courage, temperance, hopefulness, and humility. We observe how these virtues guide and shape each hero's journey, offering readers fictional exemplars to inspire their own pursuit of virtue and illuminate the profound impact of literature in training individuals in the path of virtue. In the world of these epic voyages, readers embark on transformative journeys alongside their heroes, uncovering valuable insights into the human experience and the pursuit of moral excellence. Through our exploration of these timeless narratives, we uncover the enduring legacy of literature as a catalyst for virtue education, encouraging readers to navigate their own moral journeys with prudence, courage, temperance, hopefulness, and humility as their guides.