The Aeneid Character Analysis - Aeneas (Book 12)

  • Created by: Sunset
  • Created on: 09-05-13 19:28



  • LEADER - he is referred to as 'Father Aeneas' 'pater Aeneas' as he is the father of his people and founder of Rome
  • BRAVE - 'when he heard the name of Turnus' he reacts immediately. 'when an empty surface of plain lay open etc.' he heads straight for Turnus
  • STRONG - described as a mountain 'as great as Athos, or as great as Eryx etc.' 'quantus Athos, autquantus Eryx...' Also that 'Latinus himself was amazed by these huge men...' emphasizes his strength. He is described as a bull 'taurus'
  • FATED - Jupiter places his fate in his scales of fate
  • DETERMINED - 'and though wounded pressed on' 'et saucius instat' He carrys on although he is wounded
  • SAVAGE - Described as being like a hunting dog attacking a stag. 'Aeneas on the other threatened death and instant destruction if anyone should approach terrified his trembling enemy' 'Aeneas mortem contra praesens que minatur exitium, si quisquam adeat...' Aeneas thretens death to anyone who should approach Turnus. The threat to destroy the city adds to this.
  • HONOURABLE - Aeneas tells Turnus to turn and fight
  • BATTLE PROWESS - he is a good fighter. Eg, he 'chooses a lucky spot' and 'pierces the edge of his breastplate' so he can hit  a target
  • FURORE (FURY) - He kills Turnus in a state of furore. Aeneas 'restrained his right hand' 'dextramque repressit' He doesn't kill Turnus when Turnus supplicated him.
  • VENGEFUL - Aeneas kills Turnus to avenge Pallas' death when he sees Turnus wearing his baldric.
  • He is the protagonist
  • He is fated to found Rome - despite all the challenges he faces the reader always knows that eventually he will find Rome

Development (Growth & change)

Other information              

  • Aeneas' character changes from that of a Trojan at the beginning of the book to a Roman at the end. It is important he shows Roman traits as the Aeneid was writted in Rome's heyday. The Romans did not want their founder to be seen as a weak loser (Trojan)
  • A key Trojan trait is to act in anger without thinking. Occasionly Aeneas still does this - eg he kills Turnus after seeing Pallas' belt - which shows that he is still changing from a Trojan to a Roman, after all Rome wasn't built in a day. As this last Trojan act comes right at the end of the Aeneid it is like a final farewell to Aeneas' Trojan roots
  • Turnus supplicates Aeneas, and for a moment Aeneas does not kill him. You were not supposed to kill supplicants because Jupiter protects them
  • Aeneas kills Turnus when he sees Pallas' belt - it is acceptable for Aeneas to kill Turnus now because he is doing it for Pallas


terry krigas


Very useful resource