The Aeneid Themes



  • Juno - tries to delay turnus' death - book 12
    Jupiter - prophecy about about Aeneas' destiny, founding a new race
    Shield of aeneas

  • Makes aeneas leave carthage bc of fate

  • Creosa accepted fate and wished aeneas well

  • Venus - constant intervention, trying to fulfil fate e.g. releasing aeneas' spear in the duel, potion to heal his leg, cupid and dido

  • Sybil takes Aeneas down to hades bc of the prophecies (6)

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Moral Value

  • pietas
  • Duty to his family - aeneas goes for creosa when he realises she is missing - carries anchises from the city

  • Duty to the state - aeneas takes on his destiny to found troy

  • Duty to the gods - aeneas and anchises literally  carry their house goods, the penates from the burning city

  • Aeneas is also shown to falter - loss of his wife (2) becoming separated from half of his fleet his infatuation of dido (4) and finally the killing of turnus when he begged for mercy

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The role of aeneas in rome's destiny

  • The aeneid is a piece of propaganda for augustus and rome

  • Aeneas' shield refers to important events in roman history (8)

  • Makes a family link - the julius family (augustas) are descendants of iulus, and therefore gods

  • Aenaes learns of rome and his fate while he is with anchises in the underworld
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  • Dido = doesnt typify the usual women of classical antiquety. She survived beyond the death of her husband (sychaus) and lead her people away from a tyrant to found a new city

  • Women of troy = their plight is dire, they are ***** or taken hostage by greeks, hecuba must watch her son and husband die. Creosa dies while trying to flee the city with aeneas.

  • Andromache = has suffered the most out of everyone - had to witness her whole family was killed before having to marry pyrrhus, at rest but not at peace

  • Trojan women who travel w/ aenaes =  not allowed to compete or watch the games in scicilly, must mourn anchises, inspired to set aeneas’ ship on fire bc they bear the most suffering for their journey and are left behind

  • Lavinia = another war rages over a woman, her father (latinus)  knows she is fated to marry a foreign man but can’t prevent his wife or turnus trying to curb fate - she never speaks

  • Camilla = a great warrior and vigin, raised in the wilderness and refuses to marry.

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  • The father-son relationship is very important

  • Father and son pairs: anchises - aeneas, aeneas - ascanius, mezentius - lausus, evander - pallas. It could even be said that aeneas - pallas functions in the same sense

  • Theme of the family is largely connected with the aeneid’s focus on the political world of a very conservative, male-dominated society

  • Venus and aenaes

  • Dido, sychaeus and pigmallion

  • Aenaes and creusa

  • Turnus and juturna

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  • Book 1 = aeneas leads his people away from troy, makes inspirational speech when they land in carthage

  • Book 2 = goes through the trauma of having to re-tell his story to dido, carries his father out of troy on his back

  • Aenaes is a hero “against his own will” - to dido’s shade in the underworld

  • Book 4= leaves dido despue emotions

  • Book 6 = visits underworld, sees anchises

  • Book 7 = comes to aid of ascanius - went hunting - killed latinus’ stag

  • Book 8 = travels to arcadia to make alliance with evander

  • Book 10 = fights ferociously to avenge pallas

  • Book 12 = leads trojans to vitory and kills turnus

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Divine intervention

  • The gods actively intervene in the lives of the mortals - use characters to carry out their own power struggle

  • Juno hates the trojans and does her best to prevent aeneas fulfilling his destiny

    • Creates  war that fills up the second part of the epic

    • Sends a storm - book 1

    • Book 7 - juno sends alecto to stir the latins into frenzy - amata and turnus

  • Both venus and juno want aeneas to stay with dido for their own reasons (4)

  • Venus tries to protect her son - sleeps with hephaestus to get aeneas’ armour (8)

  • Difficult to tell where divine intervention ends and where human free willl begins

  • Maybe turnus would never have wanted a war at all without the interference of juno

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  • Gives a trojan account of the war against greece and the development of rome as a nation - propaganda tool

  • Aeneas wages his own war against destiny due to his mourning due to the loss of his own country and creosa at Troy, and his father in sicilly, as well as his period with dido

  • In the final 6 books, aeneas believes he has arrived at the promised homeland and begins to secure a new nation for his people

  • But before Aeneas and his people can live in peace, they must defeat Turnus and the italian forces . turnus is an unknowing pawn of juno, who seeks to stop aeneas fulfilling his destiny due to her hatred of the trojans

  • Turnus wages war against aeneas and the trojans, during the battle kills palla, a good friend of Aeneas

  • Turnus is killed savegely by aeneas at end of the epic to avenge pallas
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The aeneid

  • Book 2 - serpents ate laocoon because he struck the trojan horse

  • Rumour - book 4

  • Harpies in book 3

  • Book 7 - juno sends alecto to stir the latins into frenzy - amata and tunrus

  • strife
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