Virgil's Aeneid

4-5 pages

Bring your paper to the Honors Program office (Wyatt 139)

  1. In the first lines of the Aeneid Virgil tells us that Aeneas "came to Italy by destiny." The word Fitzgerald translates as "destiny" is the Latin fatum, "fate."  What is the nature, scope and role of "fate" in the Aeneid? How does Virgil coordinate "fate" with the actions, aims and feelings of the divine and mortal characters of the Aeneid? To what extent do you regard "fate" in the Aeneid as a consistent and fully considered theological concept?  To what extent does it strike you as a literary device?  And how does it compare with the role of "fate" in Homer's Odyssey?

  2. If our notions of the epic hero are largely shaped by reading Homer’s Odyssey, we may be surprised that Virgil, who drew heavily from Homer, created such a different kind of hero in Aeneas.  What ends does Virgil attain by recasting his epic hero in Roman form

  3. Concentrating on the notion “appropriation,” select one example from your reading of Virgil’s Aeneid and suggest the way the Roman poet utilizes his Homeric source.  Note: this assignment requires you to restrict your focus!  Select only one example and develop it full, showing the way Roman values and poetic are built upon Greek models.

Note: Within each topic above, the sub-questions are designed to stimulate your thinking, not to provide a "recipe" or outline for your paper.  You needn't deal with all of these questions or treat at equal length those you do address, nor are you restricted to these issues only.