General Discussion Questions
- What kinds of human attributes do gods exhibit throughout the poem?
- Which flaws does Aeneas exhibit, and does he grow and learn from these problems by the end of the poem?
- Pick Jupiter, Apollo, or Venus, and give a few examples of their emotions that parallel human behavior, and area these emotions driven by love or other complexities?
- Book II begins with reflection by Aeneas. Does this method work well, given the narrative of the first book and the calamity and fortunate outcome of his ships’ passage through the Mediterranean?
- Given the knowledge of the Iliad and the Odyssey, as many ancient readers/listeners would possess; how does Vergil’s poem pick up and carry the story of Troy forward? Is Vergil successful?
- Does Vergil paint the character Turnus in a positive light, and does he fairly get what he deserves?
- Does the Aeneid convince (the reader) that the Romans are directly descended from this ancestral line older and more noble than the Greeks? Would this classify the poem as political propaganda or Inspirational Fiction?
- Given the time that Vergil lived, was he friend/mentor to his contemporaries, such as Horace and Maecenas? How do you think he may have inspired them?
- “Do such resentments hold heavenly minds?” From this passage, we see Vergil asking whether the gods are “petty” over earthly matters, something we as humans would often keep. Explain why you think gods would show such emotions and such driving forces, what makes them (as gods) go to such extreme lengths to be a force in our lives?