Aeneas, The Man, And The Public Image Of Aeneas Essay

1158 Words Oct 13th, 2015 5 Pages
In the two passages, Vergil draws a striking contrast between the private image of Aeneas, the man, and the public image of Aeneas, the leader, where the leader is able to motivate his people so that they can all move forward while the private image of Aeneas wants to give up. Before these first two speeches, the reader knows little about who Aeneas is. His characteristics as a person and a leader are unclear, so it is natural that the reader would pay attention to the first thing this character says.
In the first passage, Virgil shows the private image of Aeneas. This is just a glimpse of who the man Aeneas is when he doesn’t have to impress anyone. As made clear in passage two, Aeneas arrived with “septem...collectis navibus omni ex numero” (seven ships having been collected from the whole number) (passage B, lines 1-2). This shows just how many people they have lost. So, while out on sea Aeneas wants to give up and immediately turns to the gods instead of figuring out another solution. Although the phrase “talia voce refert” (he reports such things with his voice) (passage A, line 3) is redundant, it emphasises that Aeneas said the following things outloud. The questions he is asking aren’t just random thoughts, but these are questions that he wants answered. He asks for an explanation about why they are so unlucky to be thrown about on the sea. He calls those who encountered death “terque quaterque beati”( both three and four times-blessed) (line 3). This Aeneas is…

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