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The Aeneid Analysis
Literary Devices in The Aeneid
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
In the Aeneid, fire symbolizes unbridled energy, for good or ill. On a literal, instead of symbolic, level, fire imagery features prominently in the destruction of Troy. As a symbol, the "fire" in...
After setting out from Troy, in modern Turkey, Aeneas's fleet ricochets like a pinball off the major landmarks of the Ancient Mediterranean: Thrace, the Greek islands, Crete, Epirus, Sicily, North...
Narrator Point of View
Most of the Aeneid is recounted by an omniscient narrator, who, with the help of the Muses, is able to recount events in the distant past involving both gods and mortals. He is also able to look in...
The Aeneid is an epic because is a long poem recounting the actions of men, gods, and heroes. Like the Greek epics on which it is modeled, the Aeneid uses the poetic meter of "dactylic hexameter."...
Despite the hope it expresses for the future, the Aeneid is also very focused on the transitory nature of human affairs. In keeping with this emphasis – and with its subject matter of struggl...
The first important thing to know about Virgil's writing style is that he wrote in metrical verse – specifically, in the meter known as "dactylic hexameter," which you can learn more about he...
What's Up With the Title?
The title of the Aeneid, or "Aeneis," as it was originally known, is a Greek form of the name of its hero, Aeneas. In this way, it echoes the titles of Homer's Iliad (based on Ilion, an alternative...
What's Up With the Ending?
Ahh, the ending of the Aeneid, in which our valiant hero hesitates before killing his surrendering enemy Turnus, then loses his temper and kills the guy anyway. Wait – what? Good question. Th...
There's no getting around it. Virgil's Aeneid is a very tricky book. On the most basic level, it's going to throw a lot of weird and sometimes obscure cultural material at you that you might not be...
Aeneas and the Trojan fleet arrive in Libya.The beginning of the story reveals the Trojans have already set out on their mission: to found a new home in Italy.Dido and Aeneas have a torrid, steamy,...
Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest
In the flashback narratives of Books 2 and 3 (Book 1 doesn't really count here; it's more like a prelude to the flashback), Aeneas receives various messages from the gods telling him he has to go f...
Three Act Plot Analysis
Aeneas arrives in Libya and starts a love affair with Dido, thereby jeopardizing his future.Aeneas leaves Dido and goes to the underworld where Anchises shows him a lot of cool stuff about the futu...
For a long time, some people have found it difficult to accept that Virgil really meant to end the epic the way it currently stands – with Aeneas killing the surrendering Turnus, so that (as...
OK, so it might be true that, in ancient times, people sometimes made fun of Virgil by calling him "Virgo" – i.e., "the virgin" – because he was so shy. And yet, there is sex in the Aen...
The Iliad, the OdysseyIt would be impossible to give a brief summary of the many, many, many (and also very complicated) ways in which the Aeneid alludes to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Not only is V...
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