Classics: The Aeneid Book 12

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  • Created on: 22-02-12 19:20

Book 12

Turnus demands to meet Aeneas in battle, and Aeneas and the Latins strike a treaty agreeing the winner with receive Lavinia in marriage, and if Aeneas is defeated, the Trojans will withdraw peacefully and settle with Evander in Pallanteum. But Juno suborns Turnus’ divine sister Juturna to engineer a violation of the treaty. In the melee that follows, Aeneas is wounded by an arrow shot by an unknown assailant. He is healed by the intervention of Venus and returns to battle. Once again Turnus is rescued by the wrath of Aeneas – this time by Juturna – when Aeneas attacks the city of Latinus (an idea planted by Venus) Turnus realises his responsibilities and returns to the field. Jupiter and Juno are reconciled and Juno gives up her opposition to the destiny of Rome. Aeneas wounds Turnus and kills him as he begs for mercy because Aeneas sees him wearing Pallas’ belt.


As Turnus sees the lines of the Latins broken, he ‘burns with implacable rage and courage rose within him’. This shows his love of the city and the raw emotion he has for it.


  •        lion – thick mane shows masculinity and dominance over his warriors. The mane is wild and untamed, like him. Fearless and confident in himself beating Aeneas.
  •        bull -  masculine, powerful, but uncontrolled

·         a crashing boulder loosened by flood water as he crashed through the shattered ranks of his enemies to the city. Flood water takes a long time, anger and emotion building and finally released, pressure released. Unavoidable, unstoppable.

Ego boosting: Calling Aeneas a coward, ‘I beg you, for my sake, forget it and allow me to barter my life for glory’

Emotion from Turnus:

When he sees Lavinia crying he was ‘distraught with love’ showing a more sensitive side of Turnus. He says that he is ‘not free to hold back the day of his death’ widely accepted by all Greeks, everyone has a day of death and it cannot be changed

‘No one is left whom I live like I loves Murranus’ unlikely emotion, unexpected for Turnus during a war. He seems more human and less like a killing machine

The Rutulians trust and rely on Turnus so when he approaches the alter ‘with downcast eyes’, ‘their fears were increased’. ‘His cheeks were flushed like a young boys’ – he is innocent and youthful, doesn’t seem ready for war.

Juturna protects her brother and saves him from being sacrificed by using rhetorical questions to make the Rutulians consider other options and see more sense. This shows her love for Turnus

Likened to Mars charging along a river – royal, respected and feared. However he is unrespectful to the dead: he ‘trampled the pitiable bodies, hooves scattered a dew of blood and churned the gore into the sand.’ Doesn’t care about the dead warriors, thinks he’s above them and too powerful. Very gory imagery. He kills everyone he…




this is very good and thorough. An excellent revision resource


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