June 2011 Classical Civilisation Ocr Virgil Planning

‘Virgil always depicts mortal women in a sympathetic light.’ How far do you agree with this statement?

Arguments: FAMILY creates utmost sympathy: a key roman virtue. BLOCKING fate or disrupting roman destiny detracts from sympathy. But on most part SYMPATHY because humans are shown to be at the will of the gods. Lack of domestic setting so arguably more likely to be harsher?

Dido- initially shown to be a powerful queen in b1: walls already rising, having led her peoples to found carthage. B4 she shows weakness, and breaks her marriage oath: less sympathy? She becomes a bacchant: more sympathy: lost mind. BUT curses future romans: LESS SYMPATHY. Turns up again in underworld b6: silence like Ajax…shows the absolute suffering caused so more sympathy again.

Anna- sympathy created by her bemoaning of how she was tricked by her sister. B4 although less sympathy because she advised her sister to marry Aeneas in first cause; could be seen as root cause for infatuation and thus death

Camilla- warrior maiden of b11. Says to have all the hunger that a woman has for spoils of war. Sympathetic because of the way she dies a hero, like any other man. Respected by roman audience.

Amata- compared to spinning top, evokes sympathy because of her powerlessness. B7 committs suicide in b12, sympathetic because of horrible nature of death.

Lavinia- seems to be compared to a trophy: less sympathetic. However more familial connection shown in B12

Creusa- b2 her begging of aeneas evokes sympathy because it is that of a mothers begging for the childs safety. Her death is tragic and thus evokes sympathy because of how sudden it is…and because of Aeneas reaction to go to look for her. Especially with 3* hug the shade.


‘In comparison to Achilleus, Aeneas is only a shadow of a hero.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?


Define a shadow: to mean that Achilles has stronger heroic qualities than Aeneas

Argument: Aeneas is a prototype roman, meaning that he is midway between a heroic hero and a more true to life, roman citzen and thus will be a shadow of the heroism of Achilles because of Virgil’s purpose to create an admirable hero who represents a prototype citzen.

Sense of piety or morality- Achilles drags hector’s body around walls B22. But in b24 does give back body when asked. Does give Eetion’s wishes for cremation B6 Does respect Priam’s wishes for burial ceremony etc. Aeneas more pious: listens to fathers advice B7: i.e fate eating tables, and gives libation. Funeral games for father B5. DOES not give burial to tarquitus b12, b10 magus not spared either

Kleos: Achilles is reminded by Thetis in B18 that he is doomed to die, so might as well win some glory. Aeneas less motivated by glory: although does use some Homeric taunts b10: why shirking, 1v1, burn down city etc

Role of gods: support successful hero: Aeneas has Jupiter holder of scrolls declaring the wonderful future of rome b1. Help of Venus to get armour B8/Vulcan. C.F Achilles/Thetis/Hephaestus: Achilles shield. Aeneas part of greater fate that must be ensured: see help of Mercury B2. Help of Neptune b1, then again in b7: prevent frm sailing to circe

Family: Achilles eventually does let priam have his son back. Aeneas and Ascanius b12. B1 anxiety. b

Fighting prowess- Achilles slays Hector in battle. Aeneas kills the supplication Turnus. Aeneas compared to Aegaegon B10.

Cunning: B2 dresses up as Greek. Androgeos similie. Achilles lacks cunning because he doesn’t come to the battle sooner?

Weakness: Achilles shown to be weak for Patroclus: sack cloth and ashes B18 his cry compared to that of a city surrounded by invaders. However, afterwards he mans up. Aeneas appears weak throughout: B1 chill goes through his limbs, he was sick of all cares. B6- gloomy bough. B10: when Pallas is slain: Aeneas is mentally weak and rushes needlessly around

Furor: Achilles’ shout alone kills 12 by the horses falling- B18. B22: only he can fight Hector. Aeneas: slaying of turnus when he sees the baldric B12 although up to that point he was selectively seeing out turnus. But b10 furor yes.



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