The Madness of Epic: Reading Insanity from Homer to Statius

By Debra Hershkowitz | Go to book overview

2
Vergil's Aeneid: The Romans and the
Irrational

I

As the battle between Italians and Trojans reaches a climax in Aeneid 12, a messenger informs Turnus of the desperation of the situation: Latinus is wavering ineffectually about the treaty and the war, Amata has rather more decisively committed suicide, and now all look to Turnus as the city's last hope (suprema salus, 653). The report has a shattering effect on Turnus:

obstipuit uaria confusus imagine rerum 665
Turnus et obtutu tacito stetit; aestuat ingens
uno in corde pudor mixtoque insania luctu1
et furiis agitatus amor et conscia uirtus.
ut primum discussae umbrae et lux reddita menti,
ardentis oculorum orbis ad moenia torsit 670
turbidus eque rotis magnarn respexit ad urbem.

Turnus was stunned, confused. by the shifting images of things; he stood there silent, staring. In his one heart swelled mighty shame, and insanity mixed with sorrow, and love driven by fury, and virtue aware of itself. As soon as the shadows were scattered and light returned to his mind, he twisted the burning globes of his eyes to the walls, disturbed, and looked back at the great city from his chariot. (12. 665-71)

Turnus' reaction is marked by antithesis. His body's initial motionless demeanour2 contrasts sharply with the violent emo

____________________
1
Cf. the description of Mezentius at 10. 870-1. The description at 12. 665-71 presents a much more detailed portrait of Turnus' mental experience than is given of Mezentius; in such a context, 12. 667 can be considered more than a simple formulaic repetition. On the text and possible interpolation of 10. 872 see S. J. Harrison ( 1991) ad loc.
2
Turnus is stupefied, a state marked by silence, stillness, and staring (for Turnus' stare see below); cf. Aeneas at. 1. 495, and Caelius Aurelianus, On Acute Diseases 2. 74. Stupefaction is a characteristic response of those experiencing epiphanies: cf. e.g. Il. 16. 791-817; Hymn to Dem. 190, 281-3 with Richardson;

-68-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Madness of Epic: Reading Insanity from Homer to Statius
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford Classical Monographs i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations and Texts xii
  • 1 - Introduction: Fragments D'Un Discours Furieux 1
  • 2 - Vergil's Aeneid: the Romans and the Irrational 68
  • 3 - Homeric Epic: the Greeks and the Rational? 125
  • 4 - Ovid's Metamorphoses: Shifting Boundaries of the Divided Self 161
  • 5 - Lucan's Bellum Ciuile: Epic in Extremis 197
  • 6 - Statius' Thebaid: Furor Without Limits 247
  • Epilogue 302
  • References 305
  • Index of Passages 333
  • General Index 343
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 346

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.