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ENG150Y1 Lecture Notes - Axial Age, Aeneid, Turnus

Course Code
David Roberts

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Aeneid (lecture 4)
“Axial Age”
o Ethics: apprehending one’s life in light of abstract ideas
o Universality: Essential values of life are universalized, the truth of the world
o Interiority: within oneself a secure basis for judging and acting ethically
o Tension between norms of society and the call of the divine
o 6th Century BCE
o “transmigration of souls”
Rebirth, transferring of souls once the human body is dead, Greek reincarnation
When Romans picked up the transmigration of souls, they transformed it in certain ways
o Romans place in the afterword (elysian fields) was graded on their contribution to the
community and world, for those who were most involved in the running of the world,
those who have conquered their passions and governed well.
Such as Dharma: but the absolute goal for dharma is to achieve moksha, to
escape the wheel of rebirth
Achieved through priest type people creating a separation of the world
o Page 183” the elysian fold... great benefactors.
o 185 “must we imagine father... daylight so?
o Virgil Creates this idea
He twists the philosophy to create poetic potential, create a plot for Aeneas to
view the underworld
What Ending? : Ending of the Poem is twofold
o Venus to Jupiter in book 1: “What finish to their troubles will you give?”
o “To the victors belongs epic, with its linear teleology”
Teleology- An account of events based upon how they end
Dynamic between memory and _______
o (his idea in Beyond the Pleasure Principle) His previous theory was wrong: Everything
was based on desire
o Only when mastered can identity be established
Virgil’s life: a life through an intense civil war
o Caused Virgil to flea Rome
o The epic is written for a nation coming out of a civil war
The traumatic past is still a burden (beginning of the story, the falling of troy)
The sense that our gods have been conquered, not just us
It doesn’t show that the Trojans were at fault, it doesn’t show that they were
Book two: The Trojan horse is a major sign of deception,
The moral strip isn’t through right and wrong
Book three: the repetition of the past that the idea of the old land should be
reconciled in some way. A desire that is both necessary and somewhat
debilitating. Like the repetition that Freud talks about; the burden of the past
that one keeps repeating until one has mastered it
147: “miserable women that we are... set fire to those infernal ships with me!”
To gather the history, to slowly sift history, to say farewell to some parts of it, to
accept it.
Funeral games
Change of the theme of weather
o Quote from 147, the storm is to help Aeneas
196: “be with me... a greater task awaits me
o Creates a civil war
o To see them fight is to see the sides of a person fight
o Book six: tale of two sides that ought to be together are fighting
376: “Turnus will rise in fame... pact to be unmade”
o A priest kills a Trojan first, causing the war to rise again after an idea of peace is present
o Juno and Jupiter agree to not fight,
o Between Latin's and Trojans
End of the Poem:
o Spare the conquered
o Turnus is crushed by his own boulder, Aeneas wounds him, Turnus begs for mercy.
A. Shows mercy at first, like a Roman
A. Sees a hilt of his friend, decides to get vengeance, not very Roman like
o With peace promised, but not fulfilled.
o Memory and vengeance on one hand, memory and forgiveness on the other
o Some ways the poem has a lurking of revenge from the past of the civil war, the Trojans.