PIUS AENEAS OR AENEAS THE WIMP?

Alan H.F. Griffin

Abstract


I wonder if you agree with me that Aeneas, at least in the first half of the Aeneid, appears
to be something of a Wimp? We're programmed, of course, to think of heroes as butch,
fighting types. Many books about the Aeneid have a section on Aeneas' character,
describing him in fairly Macho terms and forgetting, conveniently, that Aeneas' reaction to
the problems he faces in the early part of the Aeneid is often to weep. We don't like heroes
who weep -General Colin Powell or General Oliver North don't seem to be blubberers.
The Sibyl's brisk reminder to Aeneas has a point, "Night is coming, Aeneas: yet we waste
hours in weeping" (A. 6.539): Aeneas weeps a good deal.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/38-2-545

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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