As always, cross-posted from http://apvergil.blogspot.com
First of all, some interesting aspects of the language:
Aeneas' speech contains three different instances of anaphora (O...O, 198-9; vos...vos, 200-1; per...per, 204); clearly there is an effect that Vergil is looking to create through all of this repetition of key initial words - what might it be? Is Aeneas using these rhetorical devices to hammer his point home to his men - emphasizing these words to get their attention and pull them out of their rut? Is there another, perhaps more specific explanation?
I suspect that Vergil chooses to use both anastrophe and polysyndeton in l. 218 very deliberately as well (spemque metumque inter dubii) in order to emphasize this point of uncertainty - the two words are particularly linked because of the double use of -que, and the delay of dubii (and to a lesser extent inter) somewhat mimics that uncertainty.
We discussed as well the variatio in lines 220-222; by switching the direct object from casum to crudelia fata to fortemque Gyan fortemque Cloanthum, Vergil heightens the depth of this lament, making it increasingly personal.
It is interesting, within Aeneas' speech, to see the emphasis on the Trojans' previous struggles. Obviously, this is the angle of Aeneas' speech - think of all we've been through, this isn't so bad, and the ending will be worth it; still, he hits this theme six different times in ten lines, which seems to be more than really necessary.* Vergil is surely giving us a hint about the next two books, particularly Book 3, when Aeneas will recount these troubles; he has grabbed our attention by beginning in medias res, and now he is drawing us in with hints of what we will soon read about.
Considering, then, that part of Vergil's purpose within this speech is to draw the reader into the story, we might ask how effective Aeneas actually is within the speech. Is it a good rhetorical strategy to talk so much about their past struggles? The major cause of worry, and what must be lowering morale the most, is the uncertainty about the other thirteen Trojan ships, yet Aeneas never directly addresses this - what do we make of this?
*The six examples:
1) neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum (198)
2) O passi graviora (199)
3) Vos et Scyllaeam rabiem penitusque sonantis/ accestis scopulos (200-201)
4) vos et Cyclopia saxa/ experti (201-202)
5) Per varios casus (204)
6) per tot discrimina rerum (204)
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