The Aeneid: Character Study: Mezentius

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  • Mezentius in The Aeneid
    • Plot
      • Book 8
        • Described as a "tyrant" by Evander and tells Aeneas of how his people overthrew him
        • The prophecy that states that only a non-Italian can kill Mezentius
          • Aeneas assumes this role as he leads the Etruscans
          • "May the Gods heap equal suffering upon his head and the heads of his descendants" - Foreshadowing!
      • Book 10
        • Main fighter of Turnus
        • "Roused five hundred men to fight against him"
        • "By the promptings of Jupiter, took place of Turnus in the battle"
        • Gives armour to Lausus
        • Soldiers try not to fight him in combat but rather "bombarded him with missiles and deafening shouts"
        • "Better man by strength in arms and not by stealth" - Isn't logical but hot headed and animalistic in battle
        • Kills MANY people in Battle
        • Fights Aeneas
          • Gets stabbed in the Groin
          • Lausus comes to his rescue and is subsequently, killed
        • Orodes predicts his death
        • Killed by Aeneas during a duel to avenge Lausus death
        • Pinned under his own horse before he is killed
        • "I have come here to die"
    • Themes
      • Fathers and Sons
        • Lausus sacrifices his life to save his kudos
        • Overcome with grief and decided to die once he hears the news of Lausus death
        • Asked to be buried in the same as Lausus
      • Furor
        • Charges 'hot-haste' into battle
        • "Better man by strength in arms and not by stealth"
        • He is overthrown for his furor! Whilst Aeneas is put into power for his piety!
        • Described as an animal in battle throuhgout
      • Leadership
        • Was king of the Etruscans
        • Overthrown for his furor
      • Sacrifice
        • His death is not presented in a positive light although he is an antagonist
          • Virgils pacifism?
        • Lausus sacrifices himself for Mezentius and vice versa
    • Similes and Emotive Imagery
      • "He stood like a rock jutting out into the ocean." - In battle, (10.693)
      • "Like the wild board who has long kept his citadel among the pines of Mount Vesulus" - (10.708)
      • "Just as a ravening lion scouring the deep lairs of wild beasts, driven mad by the pangs of hunger" (10.724)
      • "As tall as Orion" - (10.764)


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