Aeneid, continued


I. Book IV: Dido’s Passion

  1. Greetings and Prophecies
  2. The Message in the Temple
  3. Divine Intervention
  4. Love and Duty 
  5. The Funeral Pyre


II. Some Advice on Literary Essays

  1. Questions
  2. Form
  3. Content
  4. Claims
  5. Proof


III. The Introduction

  1. Subject and Scope
  2. What author? What book? What theme, idea, chapter, episode, section, aspect?
  3. Method and Structure
  4. Your approach
  5. The sequence of ideas


III. Thesis

  1. Arguable
  2. Interesting
  3. Insightful
  4. Non-obvious


IV. Constructing a Thesis Statement

The Subject-Verb-Object Core

  1. What does it do?
  2. From Vague to Specific
  3. Change “uses” to something better.
  4. Do all works of this kind do the same thing?
  5. From Dull to Interesting
  6. What difference does this make?
  7. Why should I care?
  8. From Trivial to Significant
  9. The big “So what?”
  10. Assuming an educated audience


V. To Praise Augustus: Imperium Sine Fine

  1. The Aeneid’s Dual Purpose: to imitate Homer and to praise Augustus.
  2. Romulus and Remus
  3. Sequence of events:
  4. Aeneas founds Lavinium
  5. Iulus founds Alba Longa
  6. Romulus founds Rome.
  7. Romulus kills his brother: furor


VI. Furor vs. Pietas

  1. Juno's furor
  2. Neptune's pietas
  3. Augustus' pietas
  4. Aeneas' pietas
  5. Dido's furor: parallel to Antony and Cleopatra, 31 BCE.


VII. Book VI: The Trip to the Underworld

  1. Anchises' Predictions
  2. Lost Trojans: The Fate of Deiphobos
  3. Visions of Hell
  4. The Gates of Horn and the Gates of Ivory
  5. Inconsistency or Subtle Pessimism?

Book VIII: The Shield of Aeneas and the Death of Turnus

  1. The Age to Come
  2. Single Combat Averted
  3. To Kill or Not to Kill?
  4. The Resentful Shade
  5. Mercy and Wisdom