The imagery in Virgil's version of the man's story is so much more violent, so much more vile, that it must be seen as a reaction by the ephebe against his own powerful predecessor; instead of submitting willfully to the stories told by Homer, he reforms them, making them abrasive and unheroic, attempting to belittle the Homeric tales by setting up his own version of them.
In re-creating Homer's Hades, and in the process facing up to his predecessor, Virgil exhibits clearly his desire to re-work Homer, to complete and perfect the vision of the earlier poet.
On Oct 1, 2004 Bruce Heiden published: ESSAYS ON HOMER
For Virgil, the Underworld must be categorized and organized as well as justified: thus the grouping of the souls of his Hades by reason or nature of punishment.
In the process, however, of correcting the Homeric vision, Virgil must inevitably face up and come to terms with his great predecessor.