OCTOBER 30/31: FROM TROY TO
ITALY...FROM HOMER TO VIRGIL (Aeneid, bks. 2-3)
READINGS (Monday class, October 30): Aeneid,
books 2-3, pp. 29-80 (pp. 27-78,
in newer printings).
READINGS (Tuesday night class, October
books 2-3, pp. 29-80 (pp. 27-78, in newer printings).
In our discussion of
Aeneas’ story of the fall
of Troy, we will consider Virgil’s creative use of the Homeric epics,
and the way he describes Aeneas’ gradual transformation into a Roman
hero. This journey continues in book 3 as Aeneas leads the Trojans on a
search for their promised homeland, a perilous quest that highlights
Aeneas' imperfect understanding of his mission.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: INTERPRETING AND
APPRECIATING THE AENEID (Books two and three)
Book two: the fall of Troy
-How does Aeneas feel about the sack of Troy and the loss of
-Summarize Sinon's stories. Why does Virgil have Sinon tell such
an elaborate story?
-Describe and explain Aeneas' response to his dream of Hector's ghost
(395-404) and to the advice of the priest, PANTHUS (442-6).
-COMPARING WORKS>>> How does Virgil use the Iliad in
his description of Priam's death (589-750)? How does your
knowledge of the Iliad affect your reading of this scene?
-What is the point of the vision Venus reveals to Aeneas (817-56)?
-How does Aeneas, the narrator, express his own viewpoint through his
Book three: Aeneas' journey
-In what places does Aeneas try - unsuccessfully - to settle and
his city? Why do these foundations fail? What do they tell us about the
of Aeneas' mission?
-What prophecies does Aeneas receive about his future? What are their
elements? How are they understood - or misunderstood?
-Aeneas promises Andromache that their cities will one day be "one Troy
spirit" (654-55). Is the city of Helenus and Andromache a model for
city? Why or why not?
-How does Virgil use the figure of Hektor - and recollections of his
in the Iliad - during Aeneas' meeting with Andromache and Helenus?
-What is the purpose of Achaemenides' long story of the Cyclops?