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Virgil PowerPoint Presentation

Virgil

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Virgil

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  1. Virgil And the Aeneid

  2. Virgil • well educated; attended schools at Cremona and Milan • studied with Siro ,an Epicurean: • follower of philosopher Epicurius who believed in atomistic materialism • atomistic: natural world consists of two fundamental parts: indivisible atoms and empty void • materialism: matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter

  3. Virgil • studied rhetoric and law (but not successful as lawyer) • studied philosophy and literature • suffered from poor health

  4. The Aeneid • composition of rough draft lasted 11 years • planned 3 year trip to Greece and Asia to finish poem • unfinished at Virgil’s death (19 B.C.) • “TheAeneid of Virgil is a gateway between the pagan and the Christian centuries.” W.F. Jackson Knight

  5. The Aeneid • in competition with Homer • hoped to write national poem of Rome • focuses on primacy of society and state over individuals in order to achieve “the good life” • Romans accepted Aeneid as national poem

  6. The Aeneid • primary influence on Virgil was Homer, already acknowledged as world’s greatest poet by Virgil’s time; borrowed from Homer • invocation of muse • starting in medias res • use of divine intervention • long rhetorical speeches • division into 12 books • heroic hexameter

  7. Heroic Hexameter • 6 metrical feet • First 5 feet may be dactyl (long , 2 short) OR • Spondee (2 long) • Last foot of each line must be spondee • Syllables per line varies from 12 to 17 • Each line composed of combination of only dactyl and spondee

  8. Literary Epic • Aeneid is literary epic, not oral epic • product of highly civilized, settled society • composed in writing (not speech) • intended to be read (not told) • narrated on grand scale • intended to heighten understanding of human nature • ideological content tends to be more important than human story

  9. Literary Epic • subordinates human characters and affairs to philosophical and moral theme • lacks repetition (used in oral epic) • uses literary devices • symbolism • allegory • allusion (to poetic and philosophical literature)

  10. Literary Epic • has serious didactic purpose • intended to communicate serious philosophical, moral, and patriotic message • narrative subordinated to this message • underlying theme is primary element of poem for both poet and reader

  11. Aeneid is not personal epic about Aeneas but national epic glorifying and exalting Rome and the Romans

  12. Aeneas embodies most important Roman qualities and attributes, especially responsibility and sense of duty