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Week 12 - Aeneid - Books 5-8

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Timothy Perry

Lecture #11 Page 1 Week Twelve - Aeneid, Books 5-8 Monday, March 22, 2010 FINAL EXAM: April 8th o Only covers material AFTER the midterm (Odyssey and Aeneid) o Three Sections: Short Answer Questions Passage Identification (choose 3 out of 5) write 1 1/2 - 2 pages Passages are one that we looked at in class Key is BALANCE, talk about specific details in the passage (what is mentioned explicitly in the passage) and can go beyond that linking the passage to more general things Essay (Choose 1 of 3) What use does Vergil make in the Aeneid of the Iliad and the Odyssey and models? Discuss with relation to at least two specific passages. Question about allusion Start with a few general remarks about allusion, define allusion Important feature of Hellenistic poetry, very interested in the poetic tradition that preceded them, interest in allusion was adopted by Roman poets and very much used by Vergil Passages to use: Prologue, refers BOTH to the Iliad and the Odyssey Tells the structure of the poem (firs t half --> Odyssey, second half --> Iliad) Scene with Venus and Jupiter Modeled upon the scene of Thetis and Zeus in Iliad 1 Parallel structure More will be talked about today (e.g. Katabasis of Aeneas, etc) Don't just list the similarities, consider the differences and how Vergil transforms the material for his own purposes, what the significance is of the use that Vergil makes Consider the character of Dido in the Aeneid. To what extent can she be viewed as a tragic heroine? Consider how Vergil presents the whole scene (will look more at this today) e.g.) Venus's boots which are associated with tragic actors 3. Discuss at least TWO scenes from the Aeneid in which Roman history is foreshadowed. How is Vergil's depiction of Roman history in the Aeneid influenced by the political situation of his own day? Political context in which the poem was written Reign of Augustus at the end of almost a century of civil wars Aeneid constantly looks forward to the reign of Augustus Examples: Conversation between Jupiter and Venus, Jupiter tells Venus the events upcoming Dido's Curse looks forward to the Punic Wars The Katabasis of Aeneas The Hero Evander Aeneas' shield which depicts future events in Roman history because it is made by one of the gods Don't just describe the episodes, discuss their significance Lecture #11 Page 2 Show WHY Vergil is so interested in looking forward to later Roman history especially considering the political context he is writing in Support of the Augustan Regime? Criticizing the Augustan Regime? Both? Vergil's overall view of History as all of Roman history leads up to Augustus'' reign Aristotle and Tragedy in Poetics o The Plot For Aristotle the plot was the MOST important part of a tragedy The tragic plot involves: 1. Reversal At some point the action should go in the opposite direction from what is expected, be it from the characters or audience's perspective 2. Recognition Someone's true identity should be revealed, which has previously been hidden Ideally the moment of reversal and recognition will be simultaneous 3. Suffering The suffering should be brought about by the reversal and the recognition parts of the plot o The Tragic character is Neither evil nor perfect Guilty of an 'error' Should go through a change of fortune that is tragic going from good to bad fortune (Vis versa is NOT tragic) Not see an evil person going from good fortune to bad fortune, that is not tragic Shouldn't even be a very virtuous person going from good to bad Change in Fortune should involve: Someone who is morally at the same level as we are, not superior or inferior Has to undergo a change from good fortune to bad fortune NOT because of vice or wickedness BUT because of some error Should be someone of great reputation, someone famous and important o The effect of tragedy is Fear and Pity Seen to involve the audience's response but it can also refer to other characters within the tragedy Dido as the Tragic Heroine o Does Aristotle's definition of tragedy apply to Dido? o Plot of Book Four Dido and Aeneas story follows Aristotle's definition of: reversal, recognition and suffering Reversal: unexpected change that Aeneas is leaving Dido even though it looked like he was going to stay in Carthage UNTIL Aeneas is told he must leave Very unexpected for Dido Recognition: Is less obviously presentLecture #11 Page 3 Dido knows who Aeneas is the whole time and Aeneas knows who Dido is the whole time Could argue that Dido only truly recognizes Aeneas when he decides to leave Suffering: Very much present in the Dido and Aeneas story It is very much the result of the reversal of events Initially the suffering is emotional and then becomes physical when she kills herself o Character of Dido Dido seems to fit the bill pretty well Is a person of great reputation, is the Queen of the newly founded city of Carthage She is virtuous but not too virtuous not is she particularly wicked (neither morally inferior or superior) Does she commit an 'error'? Much debated term in 'error' Doesn't seem to mean a moral error but one of judgment In that case we can identify an error in judgment on Dido's part Giving in to her love for Aeneas Not to fall in love with him BUT acting upon them (doesn't keep her feelings in check) Once she gives in to her love for him, that can be seen as her error Giving into love is a very common error for tragic heroines e.g.) Phaedra in Hippolytus by Euripides Both Dido and Phaedra fall in love with people they aren't supposed to Dido wi
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