Monday, February 21, 2011

Aeneas from Book 1...

We have seen Aeneas a number of times. Revisiting the Fitzgerald translation, I would like you to compare any TWO of his encounters with other characters. Is he being honest, is he sincere, and what are his motivations??


Caroline David said...

So far Aeneas has proven to be a pious, courageous man who is very dedicated to his country and crew. Throughout the book, Aeneas encounters several characters during his adventures.

As Aeneas explores the mysterious land that he and his remaining crew members have reached, he comes across his goddess mother Venus disguised as a Tyrian girl. Aeneas, suspicious of her true identity, attempts to bribe Venus with offerings if she can inform him on his whereabouts. This clearly demonstrates Aeneas' modest motivation to find out where his is. Aeneas continues on to describe his journey thus far and how long and difficult it has been until Venus stops him, tired of his bitterness. Although he was being honest about his travels, his tone must have been too "oh help me, I'm lost and alone and really really need some divine help" for Venus to want to hear the remainder of his story.

Later on Aeneas finally reaches Carthage, where is is greeted by the rest of his crew and, most importantly, Dido. He delivers a self introduction that highlights his daring ventures and fame that may initially strike readers as an arrogant speech with no other purpose than to boast. Yet an analysis of his motivations during this interaction with a new key character can be interpreted incorrectly depending on which time period the interpreter is accustomed to inhabiting. As mentioned during class, what may be a proper, necessary introduction during the time of Aeneas may be a bit too prideful and stuck up in our culture today. Regardless, Aeneas was most likely attempting to impress cutsie Dido.

Chrysanthe said...

Aeneas is a very different person in public among strangers or subjects as compared to in private when alone or with close companions. As king and captain, he conceals fear and carefully crafts his words to best suit his audience. When in the court of Dido, he thanks her for her hospitality through flattery, exalting her birth and saying that he will never forget his debt and gratitude towards her (1. 809-831.) Dido is remarkably hospitable, especially towards a people whom some may scorn for losing so famous a battle as the Trojan War. Aeneas makes sure that, with his speech, he mixes in just the right amount of gratitude and respect towards his royal host with the awe factor of having seemingly appeared out of thin air soon after Dido wishes he were present. Aeneas can almost be certain of a favorable response towards him and his crew, not to mention respect for obviously being aided by the gods.
When Aeneas lets down his confident fa├žade and is faced with more troubling situations, however, he reveals the truth: a bewildered man tossed by a fate he is not even sure he can achieve. One must remember that Aeneas is in the disconcerting position of being not only a man commanded by fate and duty, but one who is also part divine and thus never truly comfortable in his own mortality. Out of no fault of his own, he polarizes two powerful goddesses: Juno hates him bitterly, while Venus is desperately trying to help him. Aeneas cannot, though, truly ally himself with Venus because of the mortality gap. In lines 558 to 561, Aeneas berates his elusive mother for constantly evading him, revealing a man who resents and regrets the utter lack of openness and affection in his relationship with Venus. He hopes for some show of recognition from his mother, who still completely ignores him after he recognizes her, not even deigning to call him “son”. Aeneas is marked out by his pietas, his attention to duty, but he is also a man torn by his own existence.

Brian said...

What she said

Caroline said...

Aeneas reminds me of a crafty politician, not that there is necessarily anything wrong with acting that way. He molds his tone and word choice to whatever will be most rewarding in the long run. In general he is simply trying to do what is best for his men and country. This often involves putting on a fake smile and telling his men that everything will be okay. While truly Aeneas wallows in his own guilt and his cruel fate .

The flattering (he's a bit of a suck-up), pious side of Aeneas is seen in the lines 809-861 (Fitzgerald, book 1) in his dialouge with Dido. Aeneas informs her of his harsh life, a quick version which makes him seem in dire need of help and safety. His compliments Dido and includes that the gods will have to reward her for taking in a group of men so battered by fate. Dido proceeds to respond with kind words and compares how she too has had a life of suffering. She responds well to his flattery, demonstrating Aeneas' powerful public speaking abilities.

We see Aeneas' show his strength with words early in book one (Fitzgerald 270-283). He knows that morale is lacking among his crew, and even though he too is suffering greatly, he gives a rousing speech. He tries to comfort his people and internalize his severe depression . Aeneas is aware that his men simply want to die in their sleep rather than continue on this disastrous journey, and is desperate to give them some reason to live. This again demonstrates how Aeneas' has a knack for choosing the right words for the situation. His malleable expression and tone serve as his most powerful weapons.

Chris said...

Aeneas has behaved very unusually in front of his crew. Towards the beginning of book one, Juno makes a deal with Aeolus to have him unleash a ferocious storm upon Aeneas and his men. Being the hero, one might expect Aeneas to be mighty and fearless. However, Aeneas is not afraid to show his fear in clear view of his crew. He shivers with fear and outstretches his hands to the skies to call out to the dead Trojans who were "lucky" to die at Troy rather than face this terrible storm. Then he continues to wish that he had been killed in Troy by the hands of a Greek (1. 131-139). Nowadays he would probably be seen as a coward. However, given the conditions of the storm, which "portended a quick death for mariners" (1. 130) and the burial issues for sailors, one should not think so lowly of Aeneas.

In contrast to this, later in book one, after the storm has gone, Aeneas makes a speech to his crew to calm their spirits and help them find hope for the future. What is different in this part is that Aeneas feels "burdened and sick at heart" (1. 284), but he covers up his emotion to help his crew get through a rough time. He tells them how things will get better and how they will still make their settlement (1. 270-283). He tries to make his crew feel better, despite the fact that he himself feels terrible. In a way, it is like how a parent will stay strong to keep hope within their children.
In this section, Aeneas is shown as a very strong person. More than that, he is shown as being able to do a lot for the sake of his crew. In this case, he hides his sadness to keep hope alive for his crew.

Sofia Lochner said...

Aeneas is a courageous and brave warrior. In his quest to return home the gods greatly interfere with his fate. Each god has a unique role in his travels. As he is tossed around seas by the gods he encounters some interesting characters.
The first encounter with a character that was insightful to his character is when he speaks to his crew after the land. He tries to give his crew hope and inspiration by saying look towards a brighter future. “My men, who have endured still greater dangers, God will grant us an end to these as well.” Pg. ten, book one, line 272-273. Aeneas is honestly trying to get boost the morale of his tempest trodden men. He shows his strong ability to be successful leader by trying his best to lead by example.
The second encounter is when he meets Venus in the woods. He quickly understands that this “girl” is his mother. This shows that he is intelligent and can quickly understand and adapt to the challenges before him. He indignantly accuses his mother by saying, “Why tease your son so often with disguises?” However, this might not be the most rational action because it is not a good idea to denounce a god!

Victoria Alexander said...

Aeneas has a great love for his crew. He wants what is best for his crew as their leader, and he wants to keep his crew alive and well.

An example of him serving his crew is in lines 270-283 in Fitzgerald when he tries to lift up his mens' spirits after the storm. The speech he gives seems pretty uplifting, but after he gives the speech, he grimaces and his crew can plainly see his anguish. This shows how he truly cares for his men, but kinda sucks.

Another example of how he cares for his crew is what he does when he reveals himself to Dido and his lost men. He embraces his friends and sends his son to get gifts for Dido. He is so grateful for her willingness to help his crew that he wants to gives gifts to her and takes a liking to her. Aeneas's affection toward someone who is willing to help his men shows how much he values his crew, but it is arguable that Aeneus just thought that Dido was a babe.

Nick Raphaelian said...

Throughout the Aeneid, Aeneas has displayed loyalty and unquestionable dedication when dealing with his crew. He cares about every single one of his men deeply, and his actions greatly support it.

Following the severe storm that battered his fleet, Aeneas searches for his crew with persistence. He climbs to a tall rock and gazes across the sea, hoping to find his lost men. Unfortunately, Aeneas fails to see any of crew members.

Soon after, Aeneas meets with his remaining members and attempts to rally their spirits. He proclaims that the worst has passed and reminds them of their previous triumphs. He tells them to "call back their courage" and ends his speech with "save yourselves for more auspicious days."

Aeneas' valor and determination is certainly admirable. He is sincere and keeps his crew's best interest close to heart when making crucial decisions.

Kelsey said...

Aeneas definitely has two, and maybe more, sides to him. There is the courageous caring leader that many above me has talked about, and there is the more sensitive, troubled side of him, that comes out mostly when he is alone.

The obvious example is (Fitzgerald page 10) when Aeneas is giving this 'false' hope to his crew, "He feigned hope in his look, and inwardly contained his anguish". He is obviously not being sincere, but you could argue that his intentions are good because he cares for his crew and doesn't want to worry them.

When Aeneas meets his mother Venus in the woods with Achates (page 14-15), He exerts a confident, charming persona that you wouldn't expect of the same man that was so forlorn just a small bit prior.

Matt said...

Aeneas is definitely a caring and intelligent leader. There are many different encounters in the Aeneid that prove these characteristics of the protagonist.

The first encounter is with the god Venus, who just happens to be his mother. She believes that she will outsmart Aeneas by taking on the identity of a young girl in the woods. However, she fails to fool her son Aeneas and he quickly understands that she is his mother. This encounter shows the intelligent side of Aeneas' character.

An event that shows Aeneas' caring for his crew is after the big storm and the shipwrecking of many of his comrades' ships. Aeneas and some of his crew land on an island and soon after Aeneas climbs a rock and begins looking for his shipwrecked companions. When he cannot find them he holds a ceremony of sorts to honor his dead or lost crew members. Aeneas really cares for each and every member of his crew.

Tara said...

The comments before me are all very true and cover the question very well. I do not have much more to add, but I think Aeneas is a very intelligent and courageous man who also has another side to him. One moment he is brave and confident and the next he is wallowing in his own griefs. He shows these aspects of his personality through personal encounters with other characters.
First when Aeneas's mother Venus approaches him in the forest dressed as a young girl, Aeneas immediately knows that she is a god. This shows how smart he really is, and how he is not afraid to say what he knows. He is brave and sure of his knowledge.
Earlier Aeneas had barely escaped certain death when he was sailing through the storm. He cries out in sadness because he wishes he could have died with his fellow soldiers at Troy. This shows Aeneas's weak side and vulnerability. But as soon as everyone is safe and on land Aeneas transforms into a leader and starts motivating his crew members.

Colin said...

Throughout our reading's so far, we have seen Aeneas character show compassion, caring, and intelligence to other characters in the book.

The first time I recall this occurring is right after the storm that destroyed many of his ships and killed many of his men. Aeneas honors the dead, gives an inspirational speech, and even hunts multiple deer for everyone who was left. this demonstrates his compassion for all his men and his interest in trying to raise his spirits.

My Second example shows a little less confident side of Aeneas that doesn't exactly show through very often. This occurs in the part where Aeneas recognizes the girl in the forest as Venus. Aeneas soon tries to have her admit that she is Venus, but she will not even show any affection towards him in any way, and I get the idea that Aeneas has had this problem throughout his life, and possibly resents her for it.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Well Aeneas is very bi-polar, in the start of the story he is introduced as an un-hero, due to the fact that he is crying and asking the gods for help. Later on in the novel he is revealed to be some hero who leads a Greek fleet.

When Aeneas talks to his companions after the storm he talks to them with hope and admiration for hope. Then he has some sort of inner thought that counter acts what he just told his peers.

Eric said...

I disagree with everyone who claims that Aeneas is a good leader in Book I. The Aeneas we have seen so far needs to toughen up and show some leadership ability. Aside from Aeneas' desire to have died back at Troy, we keep finding him doubting his future and crying about his life.

After the storm, Aeneas attempts to raise his crews' spirits with an insparational speech. However, the speech resembles a highschool coach's attempt to comfort a team's loss. His mean are not moved by the speech and Aeneas even doubts his own words.

Although Aeneas is failing as a leader, he does prove to not have the naive mind of a small child. When Venus appears to him in the image of a huntress, he points out the blatant fact that she must be divine. Convienently running into a huntress who has all the characteristics would most certainly suggest the possibility that she is divine.
Hopefully Aeneas steps up his game in the near future because currently I have my doubts on his abilities.

Paige Marshall said...

Aeneas shows himself as a fearless leader that looks out for the over all good of his men. Although he does have weaknesses, like many leaders do, he provides the brave front for his men.
After a terrible storm was put upon his fleet by Juno, Aeneas gives a speak to his crew to motivate them. Although he comes off strong he "inwardly contained his aguish"(Fitgerald, 285) showing that he is a great leader when he has to be.
Aeneas is also seen as smart in the woods with Achates. They come across a "mortal girl" that Aneas quickly figured out was his mother the goddess Venus. Aeneas is brave enough to call out a god on her failure to disguise herself.