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Aeneid (Lecture 2).doc

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William Robins

ENG150Y1 VIRGIL’S AENEID 24/10/12 LIT TRADITION LECTURE 2 • Written 700 years after The Odyssey • “ “ In medias res • Product within and of a literate age – vs. oral poetry of Homer and author(s) of Gilgamesh • based on creative interpretation of past models – Virgil’s style • Differentiation from Homer: historical context of author & intimate background of literature’s composition o notion of authorship much more central • First 6 books – parallel to & imitation of Odysseus wanderings  “The Journey of Aeneas” o Paradigm for Homer –period of wandering, period of epic • Begins w/final episode of war –Virgil’s poem about emergence from war [and into civil war?] • Story of “losers becoming winners” • Therefore, story begins in aftermath of the Trojan war • Pg. 6 – first speech of Aeneas o Comparing own predicament to the one within war o // of Odysseus mourning at sea during Poseidon’s storm – wishing he could have died a more glorious death in the past  Aeneas compared his predicament to the war in the Iliad. As he complains, storm gets worse o Cry of helplessness about the aimlessness of one’s life begins this epic  later on discovers his purpose  first speech  recalls landscape of Odyssey  “ patient, save yourself for more auspicious days.”  Just as he is encouraging his sailors towards hope, he is simultaneously doubtful of it himself • Element of sidetracked hero with goddesses who offer a tempting alternative to returning home (siduri and Calypso)  Dido for Aeneas • Second speech  begins to see more of his purpose in life • Pg. 17 - Aeneas visited by mother, goddess Venus (Aphrodite) // Odysseus accompanied by goddess Athena • Dido welcoming Aeneas//Odysseus welcomed by another kingdom o *point: Dido’s willingness to welcome him is divinely inspired, unbeknownst to her o epic – attributing things to destiny o romance – attributing things to fortune • Historical note: Phonecians sea-faring peoples, like Greeks o made trade simpler ENG150Y1 VIRGIL’S AENEID 24/10/12 LIT TRADITION LECTURE 2 o Greeks picked up alphabet from Phonecians (who didn’t have vowels) o Phonecians = Philistines
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