279–295: The Great Escape

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 184.     Draw the facial expression of Aeneas in the wake of Mercury’s theophany as visualized by Virgil at 279–80: At uero Aeneas aspectu obmutuit amens,/ arrectaeque horrore comae et uox faucibus haesit.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 185.     What do we learn about Aeneas’ character and values from lines 281–82 (ardet abire fuga dulcisque relinquere terras,/ attonitus tanto monitu imperioque deorum).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 186.     Here is what Austin takes away from Aeneas’ reaction to the appearance of Mercury: ‘In contrast to the impulsive, headstrong, passionate Dido, who has gone to all lengths to quell the still small voice of conscience, Aeneas at once recognizes its dictates, and he does not question obedience’.[1] Discuss.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 187.     Explain the subjunctives agat (283), audeat (284), and sumat (284).

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 188.     What, precisely, does ambire (283) mean in this context, and what are its connotations? Does Virgil’s use of this verb reflect well or badly on Aeneas?

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 189.     How does the word order in 285–86 (atque animum nunc huc celerem nunc diuidit illuc/ in partisque rapit uarias perque omnia uersat) reflect the theme, i.e. frantic activity in Aeneas’ brain?

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 190.     Explain the syntax of alternanti (287).

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 191.     With reference to Aeneas’ humming and hawing of what to do in 285–87, O’Hara poses the question: ‘Is Aeneas’ hesitation a result of concern for breaking the news gently to Dido, or cowardice that worsens the situation by leading her to think he would leave without saying anything?’[2] What do you think?

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 192.     Explain the subjunctives aptent (289), cogant (289), parent (290), and dissimulent (291).

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 193.     Analyse the orders Aeneas gives to his men at 289–91 (classem aptent taciti sociosque ad litora cogant,/ arma parent et quae rebus sit causa nouandis/ dissimulent): what does he asks his men to do and why?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 194.     Austin has the following comment on optima Dido (291): ‘Optima is heart-breaking in its context; … It means what it says, that Dido was all the world to him; it is one of the tiny revelations of Aeneas’ true feelings, like dulcis terras, 281.’[3] Discuss.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 195.     What insights do lines 294–95 (ocius omnes/ imperio laeti parent et iussa facessunt) afford into how Aeneas’ men view their prolonged stay in Carthage?

Source: https://aeneid4.theclassicslibrary.com/2012/11/29/279-295%E2%80%82the-great-escape/