Friday, March 2, 2007

Vergil Journal 6: AP Question

This week's Vergil Journal is an actual AP question, and just in case you don't have the paper here it is:

(Suggested time - 10 Mins)

(A) Laocoon ardens summa decurrit ab arce,
et procul "O miseri, quae tanta insania, cives?
Creditis avectos hostes? Aut ulla putatis
dona carere dolis Danaum? Sic notus Ulixes?"

(B) Tunc etaim fatis aperit Cassandra futuris,
ora dei iussu non umquam credita Teurcis.

The characters described in the passages above both have the gift of prophecy but they both suffer because of it.

1. (a) How do they suffer?
(b) How are their prophetic gifts related to their deaths?

2. (a) Discuss how Laocoon in passage A characterizes the Greeks through his specific mention of Ulysses (Ulixes, line 4). Refer specifically to the Latin to support your answer.
(b) To what event in Book 2 does dona (line 4, passage A) refer?

Feel free to attach your answers/journals as comments to this post :)


bryn said...

a) When Loacoon warns the Trojans, appropriately I might add, that no enemy like the Greeks would leave a huge Trojan horse for them without a fight. He reminds them of Ulysses and the trickery of the past. Then he spears the wooden horse. Unfortunately for Loacoon, a god in favor of the Greeks sends serpents which strangle his sons and kill him as well.
When Cassandra advises the Trojans not to trust the Greeks even with gifts, no one believes her. This is because the gods gave her the gift of prophecy but took away her believability. Her true words were useless.

b) Loacoon’s death proved that his prophecy was true, that the Greeks and other gods were still “out for” the Trojans, but none of the bystanders were able to understand this. They viewed Loacoon’s death as a sign from the gods that the horse should be taken in the walls of Troy. Cassandra dies during the raid of the Greeks. She knew all along that Troy would fall if the horse was praised. She dies and her lover becomes crazy.
a) Laoccon describes the Greeks as people of “dolis”, or trickery. He doubts, according to Greeks like Ulysses that they would ever grant the Trojans, or anyone a gift without some sort of ruse. Loacoon is astonished that the Trojans would think so highly of the Greeks. He obviously does not trust them.

b) I am not sure…possibly the gift of absence of the Greeks. Maybe Loacoon is referring to the impossible idea that the Greeks actually DID leave without a fight. I do not know what gift he is referring to in book 2.

Tyler said...

thank you Bryn I love you now I don't have to think as much whenever I write mine later!

Tyler said...

Here's my answer which surprisingly isn't just copying and pasting Bryn's much superior answer =D

1: Loacoon suffers because no one wanted to believe him, they were all tired of ten years of war and just wanted to celebrate, so they refused to think the Trojan horse was evil. Loacoon knew the Greeks had no reason to just say "Nice fight, here's a gift, we're out of here", after ten years of war they would have at least had the leaders talk and try to work something out, they wouldn't just go away and have no idea what was going on in Troy, of course this was all false. So since Troy was fated by the gods to fall a couple sea snakes came and killed Loacoon and his sons, everyone optimistically thought that the gods were punishing him for foolishness, but if the gods punished for foolishness not many in the ancient world would have survived. The survivors could not figure out that, that the only thing the gods would do that for was to shut him up so things can carry out how they were fated, so Loacoon dies but at least soon after his death he knew he was right.

Cassandra prematurely received the gift of prophecy from Apollo, but since girls in the ancient world were expected to have morals and Cassandra was obviously depicted as being very attractive (if a god wanted her), she was meant to be a role model of how women should be. Therefore she refused to sell herself to Apollo, who represents the moralless woman abusing fun having "manly" man, who could not allow her to go on with his gifts if she wouldn't give him adult favors, so he made sure no one believed her. This was all easily accepted to the ancient Roman, depicting an ideal woman and a normal man who no guy blamed, and so Cassandra gets a role in this part. She tells everyone to beware of Greeks baring gifts, but of course no one believes her, although the worst part of her punishment was foreseeing her own death. Knowing you are about to die, how it will happen, and not being able to do anything about it and having no way out of it must be the ultimate form of punishment, otherwise you have no soul and should quit school.

2. (So what if I'm quoting Bryn she's latin smarter than me) "Laocoon describes the Greeks as people of 'dolis', or trickery" (thank you Bryn now I don't have to hunt down a translation). Apparently he knows something about Odysseus and knows that he is not trustworthy, and he finds no reason to trust the Greeks, especially with their lives on the line. He has a hard time believing that his fellow Trojans would have any trust for the Greeks after ten bitter years of war over almost nothing, thousands of men fighting over one girl.


Anyways obviously the dona (gift) is the Trojan horse, this is an extremely basic content level question. The passages don't mention the horse at all, you just need to know that. HE'S REFERRING TO ALL OF BOOK II!

Michelle said...

Virgil Journal
AP Test Question

Laocoon ardens summa decurrit ab arce, et procul: “O miseri, quae tanta insania, cives? Creditis avectos hostes? Aut ulla putatis dona career dolis Danaum? Sic notus Ulixes?

“From a distance, Laocoon was eagerly running down from the citadel, “Oh miserable citizens, what madness has come? Do you believe that the enemies left? Do you think that any of the Greek gifts are free from pain? Isn’t Ulysses famous for this?”

Tunc etiam fatis aperit Cassandra futuris ora dei iussu non umquam credita Teucris

“Then Cassandra opened her mouth to the future fates and the order of the gods she is not to be trusted by the Trojans.”

1.Both of the characters in the excerpts above (Laocoon and Cassandra) suffer from their gift of prophesy. Laocoon suffers because after he warns the Trojans of the horse, the gods send two huge snakes out of the water and they attack his sons. Cassandra suffers from her gift of prophecy because the gods made it so that no one believes what she says.

Because Laocoon warned the Trojans the gods sent two snakes out of the ocean. The snakes attack Laocoon’s two sons and as he is hurrying to help them, he gets attacked and killed by the snakes. I don’t remember exactly how Cassandra dies, but I’m pretty sure it was while Troy was being attacked and I think that she predicted her death.

2.Laocoon characterizes the Greeks as untrustworthy based on previous gifts Ulysses has given. “Sic notus Ulixes?”

The “dona” refers to the Trojan Horse.

Mpasini said...

First off...can I say that this took me WAY longer than 10 minutes to do! I know, I KNOW, that I take too much time with everything, but I honestly can't imagine completing something like this in the suggested time of 10 minutes! Yet, the 10 minute requirement has made me realize that general answers in this case are in, if you are taking the AP and you know your stuff, then you just need to prove it. Despite this, if anyone has any other suggestions, PLEASE lemme know!

Second, thanks to Bryn and Tyler for thought- provoking journal answers AND for using the site...(yes Tyler, I liked yours too...nothing to be mocked...I liked particularly how you put things in their very simplest how the gods just wanted to shut Laocoon up and how Cassandra should quit school...nicely put, if I may say so myself).

On to some "answers"...

Oh one more thing...after reading these questions and going over this stuff in class numerous times, I think any one of us (meaning AP/5-6 students) could generalize these answers relatively easily...Doesn't it make you feel good about yourself, and perhaps motivate you to stay in school? Props to Dr. O as always for acting this stuff out in class (haha...his snake interpretation)...I personally believe that we are all more prepared for the AP than we think (definitely the free-response section)!

One more thing...I kinda cheated on this...not only by reading Bryn's and Tyler's journals before doing my own, but also by looking up stuff on the internt about Laocoon/Cassandra/Ulysses, etc. So ya...don't give me more credit than I deserve...:D

1 . a) (I don't like this question because it's vague...I'm sure AP questions are supposed to have more than one answer and all that jazz, but in this case, I would like to know if they mean physcial or whatever other kind of suffering...know what I mean?...because both Laocoon and Cassandra suffer when no one believes them...but like Laocoon physcially suffers when he strangles by the yeah)
Laocoon : This priest of Poseidon warned (yes, rightly) the Trojans against the horse presented to the city by the Greeks. Bryn, I'm pretty sure Vergil gives the the famous line "timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" to Laocoon... Nonetheless, we know that the Trojans completely disregard his advice, he gets angry, and then he throws the spear at the horse. I guess he suffers most when he is strangled by the snakes later (when he is trying to save his sons...)...

Cassandra : There's actually a ot of intersting stuff about Cassandra around the this excerpt from Wikipedia that not only provides a mini-Cassandra-history, but also answers the question! "Struck by her beauty, Apollo provided her with the gift of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo's romantic advances, he placed a curse ensuring that none would believe her warnings. Cassandra was left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions. Cassandra warns specifically that the Greek gift of a giant wooden horse was soon to carry tragedy within the walls of Troy." As we witness, she is unable to influence the Trojans' decisions, and undoubtedly suffers because of this curse (and cuz no one will listen to her).

Did YOU know: "Cassandra Syndrome" is used to describe someone who believes that he or she can see the future but cannot do anything about it.
^_^ (we LOVE the internet :D)

b) Whelp...supposedly Poseidon, who was supporting the Greeks, was the one who sent the snakes down to "shut Laocoon up" as Tyler put it (as it was a danger to have Laoc. messing with the plans of the gods...they needed to literally dispose of him). And for Cassandra...she was unable to influence anyone with her prophecies...and this ultimately led, as Tyler also mentioned, to her prediction of her own death and her inablity to do anything about it.

a) In passage A, Laocoon specifically references the "dolus" aka the trickery of the Greeks...He is surely suspicious of the Greeks now, due to the actions of Ulysses in the past...all I can say is come on Trojans...what kind of enemy would give you a gift seiging you for 10 years?...That would be like Iraq giving Bush a present whilst the war continues to wage...(the present to would be a nice batch of WMDs, undoubtedly...payback time, just like the Greeks)...and NO I would NEVER say this on the AP exam! (Just in case ya'll were wondering)

b) Yeah, the dona refers to the Trojan horse...nothing much more to say here.

Happy Posting!

Khauser said...

Wow.. lol all you guys crack me up, I love your sense of humor ^_^.

Tyler said...

btw the quit school comment was quoting mr. o'donnel, I should have mentioned *if you don't agree then you have no soul...*

Reid said...

I realized I didn't post it....

Bloody Latin Journal
Reid Pickford
(a) How do they suffer?
Cassandra suffers because the Trojans do not believe a word she says, and Laocoon suffers because he warns the people of the Trojan horse, and is thus punished by the gods.
(b) How are their prophetic gifts related to their deaths?
Laocoon is owned by the demon sakes sent from the gods, and Cassandra got owned during the raid on the city that she foresaw.
2. (a) Discuss how Laocoon in passage A characterizes the Greeks through his specific mention of Ulysses (Ulixes, line 4). Refer specifically to the Latin to support your answer.
With the passage “Aut ulla putatis dona career dolis Danaum? Sic notus Ulixes?” he implies that all gifts from the Greeks has some hidden meaning, intended to inflict harm upon the receiver. This is based off their history with the Trojan horse, which is also the answer below.
(b) To what event in Book 2 does dona (line 4, passage A) refer?
It simply refers to the Trojan Horse, which was thought of as a gift when received initially

dolatin said...


dolatin said...


Srednicki said...

I never turned in my Vergil journal from last week, so I will just post it.

Laocoon and Cassandra are very similar people, because they both have the gift of prophecy. However, this precious gift eventually leads to both of their deaths. Laocoon suffers because he has the foresight to realize, before many other comrades, that the Trojan horse is no gift. He states the famous and fateful line, “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes,” before forcefully throwing his spear into the horse’s wooden flank. The Greek ruse succeeds in tricking the Trojans because Laocoon is subsequently attacked by Minerva as he sacrifices a bull at the altar of Neptune. She sends two snakes after this innocent priest, as well as his two sons. Because the three of them are killed in this brutal way, the rest of the Trojans assume that Laocoon was being punished by the gods for the sacrilegious act of insulting a peaceful gift from the Greeks. Therefore, the Trojan horse is fatefully brought within the walls.
Cassandra, also, has been given the gift of prophecy from Apollo. However, when she would not return his love, he transformed the gift into a curse: Cassandra would have the gift of foresight, but no one would ever believe her. She, like Laocoon, predicted the treachery of the horse, but, as always, none took her seriously. Eventually, after being raped by Ajax and living with Agamemnon as a concubine, her life ended, also like Laocoon, as a result of her gift. Agamemnon’s wife, Clytemnestra, sought out to trick her husband. She asked him to walk along a purple carpet, a task which Cassandra warned him not to do. However, unbelieving as usual, Agamemnon walks along the carpet (representing the divine power of the gods), and therefore, in doing so, he commits sacrilege. He and Cassandra are then both killed by Clytemnestra and her lover. As a side note, in Harry Potter, Sibyll Trelawney’s great great grandmother, Cassandra Trelawney, is named after Cassandra of Troy. She was a very gifted Seer, although Sibyll possesses very little of her relative’s gift. However, her ancestry was the reason that Dumbledore first interviewed her for the job of the Divination professor, and when she made the actual prophecy about Harry and Voldemort, Dumbledore did indeed hire her. =)
When Laocoon states, “Sic notus Ulixes?” he is referring to the characteristics and demeanor that Ulysses is well known for. He reminds his fellow Trojans that Ulysses and all Greeks are not to be trusted. They know this from experience. Ulysses, especially, is famous for clever trickery and victory with this, as well. The “dona” Laocoon refers to is the Trojan horse; the alleged “gift” of the Greeks, which he and Cassandra both warned their people against, only to have their foresight go unheeded.