The Aeneid Book 2 Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
When Troy falls to the marauding Greeks, Aeneas rescues his father and son but loses his wife, Creusa, in the burning city. She dies. After escaping to nearby. While displaying the contradictions of Aeneas' character, the loss of Creusa . the relationship between the Aeneid and two of its models: the episode of .. Luna, fefellit (G. –2, “'Twas with gift of such snowy wool, if we may trust the. In sum, Aeneas views Creusa as Orpheus views Eurydice, as several self- references to the Georgics 4 passage suggest Aeneas' relationship with Creusa.
Hektor vs. Aeneas: Husbands and Fathers in the Iliad and the Aeneid - Carmenta Online Latin Blog
Aeneas, in a panicked rage about the battle, neglects Hector's advice and joins the fight. This is the first time that Aeneas learns that he will have to leave, wander the seas and found a new home. Bringing the household gods means that he can preserve Troy's legacy. Throughout the poem, home is closely tied to ideas of Troy.
Aeneas will always carry the past with him. They kill many Greeks, but then the Trojans, not recognizing them, fire on them, and many die, including Panthus.
The Greeks begin to attack the royal palace, and Aeneas rallies the Trojan troops against them.
Aeneas then describes Pyrrhus, the Greek warrior and son of Achilles, and says he was like a snake that hid and grew huge in the winter and now reveals itself.
Pyrrhus and his comrades break into the palace, like an overflowing river. By disguising himself, Aeneas resembles trickster Greeks such as Sinon and Ulysses. He's willing to play dirty to fight for his home and his friends—another sign of his piety, but one that shows how his moral judgment might change based on his situation. The comparison of Pyrrhus to a snake suggests that his evil is beyond human. Active Themes In the palace sits Priam, the aged king, who had put on his rusty armor and bravely attempted to fight even though Hecuba, his wife, begged him to stay with her in safety.
Pyrrhus kills Polites, one of Priam's sons. Despite being in mortal danger, Priam rebukes Pyrrhus for killing his son, and, despite his weakness, throws his spear at Pyrrhus.
Pyrrhus mercilessly kills Priam, telling him to complain to Achilles in the underworld about his bad behavior. Aeneas, horrified, fears for the safety of his own father, wife, and son. This scene shows the extreme importance of family in Aeneas's world. The most important bonds are those of father and son, husband and wife. Piety doesn't have to be just devotion to the gods—it's also about family. In this culture, Pyrrhus's killing the son before the father is excessively savage.
Active Themes Returning to his house, Aeneas sees Helen, the woman whose beauty started the war. He envies her fortune and longs to vengefully kill her, when Venus appears, reminding Aeneas to focus on his love for his family.
She gives him a glimpse of the fight from the gods' perspective, showing how Juno and even Jove are on the Greek side, and encourages him to depart.
Venus's intervention clearly defines right and wrong. Right is love and family, wrong is pointless vengeance. Keep this in mind at the end of the Aeneid, when Aeneas delivers some pointless vengeance!
Active Themes When Aeneas tells his father Anchises of his plans for them to leave Troy, Anchises firmly responds that he wants to stay in Troy to die, and younger people can flee. Aeneas begs him desperately to reconsider, then arms himself again, refusing to leave his father helpless. Creusa tells Aeneas that she would die with him, but he should protect Ascanius. Anchises's words bring back the personal tragedy of the fall of Troy.
Anchises feels towards Troy the same devotion Aeneas feels towards his family—he doesn't want to live without it.
It is his home, and a home is what gives his life meaning. Active Themes A harmless, flamelike light illuminates Ascanius's hair. Anchises interprets this as a sign from Jove, which is then further confirmed by a shooting star.
Creusa of Troy
Anchises changes his mind, and the family hastens to depart. Aeneas carries Anchises on his back, with Ascanius by his side and Creusa behind. Signs from the gods can override even the strongest human desires. As soon as he's sure it's Jove, Anchises is ready to leave Troy. Active Themes In the confusion of fleeing, Aeneas loses Creusa.
Leaving Anchises and Ascanius safely hidden, Aeneas seeks Creusa in the ravaged city, but finds only her ghost. The ghost comforts him, saying that the gods have ordained it all, and that, after years of exile, he will marry a royal in Italy.
She tells him not to mourn, and he tries vainly to embrace her. His touch in essence becomes his connection to his wife and son in a way that he cannot express through words; he cannot, because of either pride or because his mind is still on the battle outside the city walls, say to his family that he loves them or will protect them, but instead he uses his touch to give them some measure of intimacy and emotion.
For Hektor, it seems that his words form a barrier keeping his family on the outside, while his hands do the talking for him by relating what he is actually feeling as a husband, but more importantly, as a father. A Trojan warrior must be impregnable to any emotion or weakness, yet Hektor defies this convention by his subtle use of physical contact with his dear wife and son, creating an outward picture of the perfect soldier and the inner picture of a man who simply wants to show that he loves his family.
While Hektor speaks both eloquently and in great detail to his family in Book VI of the Iliad, Aeneas in Book II of the Aeneid is peculiarly silent with respect to his family, speaking only to his father when he pleads with him to leave their home and escape the city. He never even addresses Creusa or Iulus, providing a stark contrast with Hektor in this regard, and it is difficult, even though he is relating these events to Dido in the first person, to grasp exactly what he considers his role as a father and husband to be.
Concern for his family never even enters his mind until his mother, Venus, appears to him in a ray of shining light, and it is she who first points out that his loyalty should not be to the fallen city or his comrades, but to his wife and son who depend on him: While the fact that Aeneas has just seen his king slaughtered and his city burning around him is certainly shocking to him, his first reaction should have been to rush homeward at least to see if his family was still alive, then, and only then, if they were not alive, joining the futile battle may have made sense.
But what is even more disturbing on top of this is that once home, Aeneas is willing to let the remainder of his family die rather than leave his father alone in Troy: This is of course noble and a fantastic example of pietas toward Anchises, but where is the pietas toward Creusa and Iulus? Aeneas is ready to see them slaughtered by Greeks and to abandon them in order to enter into the fighting; this demonstrates an important insight into the mind of Aeneas.
While the patriarch of the family would have been given as much reverence as possible, Aeneas goes overboard by giving respect to his father while taking all hope away from those he is obligated to protect. He obviously takes his role as son as more essential than his role as either husband or father. Then, when Anchises finally agrees to follow him out of the destroyed city, Aeneas still regards Creusa with as little esteem as humanly possible, ignoring his duty to her as a husband and instead ordering her to follow behind him, a clear disregard for her safety or for his role as her protector: Aeneas never takes his responsibility as a husband seriously, but he does seem to hold more regard for his role as a father, and like Hektor, uses touch as a very poignant way of showing his feelings with respect to that role: This hand-holding is the only sign of affection that the audience witnesses from Aeneas toward his son and it acts as a display of powerful emotion that is not often seen from him.
Apparently, in his mind, pietas extends only to the male members of the family and the female members are left to fend for themselves, cut off from the physical contact and protection Aeneas so generously offered to his father and his son.
Both Hektor and Aeneas have grave imperfections when dealing with their respective families in dire, grievous situations. Unlike Hektor, who speaks directly to his family, Aeneas remains conspicuously quiet with his wife and son, addressing only his own father, and we therefore are unable to get a firm idea of his thoughts. Both men demonstrate an alarming lack of loyalty to their families, but Hektor at least shows more concern and compassion for them than Aeneas does, who must be reminded of his duty toward Creusa and Iulus by Venus.