Classics 202: Roman Civilization
Paper #2

Due: Tuesday, April 16 in lecture

Formal Requirements:

Topics (Choose One)

1). Analyze ONE of the following scenes, or another scene of comparable length (NOTE: If you choose a scene other than those on the list below, you must clear your choice with your section instructor).

Some questions to think about (not all questions are relevant to all scenes): Why did Vergil include this episode in his poem? Why does he construct it as he does? How does it relate to the poem's larger themes (e.g. Aeneas's destiny, how "hard and huge/ A task it was to found the Roman people," the relationship between gods and mortals, the struggle between furor and civilization)? Is the scene's placement in the poem or within a particular book significant? Could this scene have been omitted or written differently? Why isn't it?

2). Analyze the function of ONE of the following characters, or another character of your choice (NOTE: If you choose a character other than those on the list below you must clear your choice with your section instructor). Note that rather than just describing the character or summrizing his/her actions, your paper should explain the larger function of the character—what s/he contributes to the poem and its total meaning.


Some questions (not all relevant to all characters): How do the character's actions advance the poem's larger themes? (Are there other characters who serve the same or a similar thematic function?) Is s/he meant to serve as a foil to bring out the personality of other characters (e.g. Aeneas)? Is s/he a two-dimensional character, or more morally complex? Does s/he embody (or contradict) any Roman values that are particularly important to the poem? Is s/he meant to recall or prefigure any other historical figures? (Don't go overboard on this!). Does s/he change or grow over the course of the epic? If so, how?

*****

General hints and suggestions from the first paper still apply. So do instructions on citation format. As with the first paper, we discourage the use of secondary sources (especially online ones, which are often inaccurate and unreliable), although we don't absolutely forbid it. Any use of secondary sources should be acknowledged appropriately.

Finally, we cannot stress enough the importance of grounding your paper securely in evidence from the text. If you choose option one, make sure to think long and hard about the scene; read through it repeatedly before you even begin making notes. If you choose option two, make sure that you know exactly what your character does and says in the poem; you should probably begin by making a complete list of his/her appearances, making sure you haven't missed important evidence.

As with the first paper, we encourage you to make use of the Writing Center. Since the tutors are often booked in advance, you may want to make an appointment sooner rather than later.

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