Characters fromthe Aeneid (main, divine and minor) The hero: Aeneas The secondary heroes: Dido and Turnus Minor human characters The main divine characters Minor divine characters
Learning Intention • Today we will be learning about the characters within the Aeneid and their roles within the text. This will further develop our understanding of the characters and the text as a whole.
Recapping Questions • Give two reasons as to how the structure of the Aeneid contributes to our understanding of the poem? • Why is the poem divided into two parts?
Activity • Create a series of pictorials (or you can bullet point or brainstorm) using the information below about the following characters.
The hero: Aeneas • National hero of Rome’s national epic. • He embodies all the effort that went into creating the Roman race. Putting national interests before oneself. • Brings from Troy symbols of the gods (Penates and Lares). This demonstrates the continuity between Troy and Rome. • He is sometimes interpreted as being a puppet, controlled by surrounding forces BUT Aeneas is only commanded by those above, he is able to consciously make his own decisions. Unlike other characters he has his own free will. • He is pious ( good, faithful) and shows pity (grieves for his fallen comrades).
The secondary heroes: Dido and Turnus • Dido: escaped from Tyre (a Phoenician kingdom) after her husband was murdered. Queen of Carthage. • Venus convinces Dido to fall in love with Aeneas. • Juno ensures that they become lovers. • Dido thinks that their liaison is stronger than Aeneas’ call to found Italy. • Dido finds out that he received a message from above and intends to leave her before Aeneas has a chance to tell her in person. She plots to commit suicide. • Her life is pestered with the consistent meddling of the gods and is driven to commit suicide. She is a passionate character and is not strong enough to resist life’s blows. Thus she inevitably becomes one of Fate’s unfortunate victims. • She is a secondary hero though because originally she is a caring, strong leader of her people.
Secondary heroes: Dido and Turnus cont. • Turnus: King of the Rutulians, betrothed to Lavinia (the Latin king’s daughter). • Juno makes Turnus jealous of Aeneas and the Trojans in Italy. • Strong fighter, has fought in many wars. • A type of Latin ‘Achilles’.
Minor human characters • Acestes: Trojan king of Sicily. • Achates: Aeneas' close companion and friend. • Anchises: Aged father of Aeneas. • Anna: Dido's sister and confidant. • Ascanius: Son of Aeneas and Creusa. • Evander: King of the Arcadians; enemy of the Latins; ally of Aeneas. • Latinus: King of Latium. • Lavinia: Daughter of Latinus • Palinurus: Helmsman on Aeneas' ship. • Pallas: Son of Evander, who entrusts him to Aeneas to learn warfare; slain by Turnus.
Quirky Question • Who wrote The Divine Comedy (1200)? Clue: Virgil is depicted in the underworld. • Dante
Main divine characters • Juno: Queen of the gods; implacable opponent of the Trojans. • Jupiter: (Zeus): Father of the gods. • Venus: Goddess of love and fertility; mother of Aeneas. • Neptune: God of the sea. • Mercury: Messenger of the gods; master thief; guardian of commerce; guide of the dead.
Minor Divine Characters • Aeolus: God of the winds. • Allecto: A Fury who, at Juno's bidding, rouses both Amata and Turnus against Aeneas and the Trojans, and provokes war. • Amor: Son of Venus; Cupid. • Iris: Juno's messenger. • Vulcan (Hephaestus): God of fire and the forge; forges new armour for Aeneas.
Activity • Divide yourselves into home groups, these are the groups you will report back to. • Decide who will go to each key group (1. Supernatural characters, gods and other 2. Household gods, minor gods 3. Minor characters) • Answer the following questions in the groups then go back to your home groups and report back to them about your topic.
Activity Write down the names and any information of the characters you have not got. • Give direct examples from the text for at least three of the characters mentioned on the cards.