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Barron's Booknotes-The Aeneid by Virgil-Free Book Summary
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Aeneas is frantic that he cannot stop Turnus, but his wound keeps him from walking. At first his doctor cannot remove the arrow, but then Venus gives the doctor a magic potion that releases the arrow and eases the pain.

NOTE:

Why is Venus allowed to interfere like this? She's not really tipping the balance in Aeneas' favor. She's just evening the score after what Juturna did.

Now Aeneas puts on his mighty armor and thunders across the field, determined to hunt Turnus down. Knowing this, Juturna disguises herself as the driver of Turnus' chariot and drives erratically around the field. Aeneas on foot, and with a wounded leg, can't possibly catch up.

NOTE:

If you think of Juno and Juturna as symbols for impulses that already exist in Turnus, you might begin to think that Turnus is avoiding Aeneas. Is he afraid? After all his bragging, is he really a coward?

Aeneas then thinks of a way to force Turnus to fight. He turns his Trojan army against the city and begins setting fire to the walls. When Amata realizes that the city is under attack, she mistakenly concludes that Turnus must be dead and she kills herself. Latinus is left in despair at the death of his wife and the failure of all his efforts at peace.

NOTE:

Latinus certainly hasn't been a very effective leader. Virgil may be hinting that the Latins desperately need new leadership. This helps justify the Trojan "invasion."

Turnus hears the wailing and crying from the city and finally stops his insane flight over the battlefield. Recognizing his sister's tricks, he tells her to stop. He realizes that he must go to the defense of his city and that his people are suffering because of his refusal to fight Aeneas. Although some sense of responsibility seems to dawn on Turnus at this point, it appears very late.


Aeneas turns to meet Turnus at last. Turnus strikes a mighty blow with his sword. But, in his frenzy to get to the battle that morning, he took the wrong sword and it breaks on Aeneas' shield.

Turnus has no choice but to race away with Aeneas in hot pursuit, But Aeneas is slower because of his wound. He tries to catch Turnus with his spear, but he misses and the spear lands in a tree. Aeneas cannot pull it out. Juturna gives Turnus his good sword and, once again, Venus restores the balance by freeing Aeneas' spear.

At last Jupiter has had enough, and he orders Juno to stop making trouble in any way. Miraculously, Juno accepts this order quietly. All she asks is that the Trojan name die and both the Italians and Trojans be known as Latins. Juno's anger has finally worked itself out, and now Troy is extinct. The Trojans have a new identity. They are free to start again without an angry goddess pursuing them.

NOTE:

Isn't this a rather realistic description of how anger stops? Have you ever been really furious? You rant and rave. You may even do some destructive (or self-destructive) things. Finally, you just stop being angry. It's a relief that Juno finally feels better, but she's left Aeneas and Turnus with the consequences. They still have to resolve the anger in themselves.

The end comes at last. Aeneas aims his spear and Turnus falls to the ground, wounded in the thigh. Aeneas rushes up, his sword poised, ready to strike. Turnus speaks his last words:

I have deserved it, surely, And I do not beg off. Use the advantage. But if a parent's grief has any power To touch the spirit, I pray you, pity Daunus, (I would Anchises), send him back my body. You have won; I am beaten, and these hands go out In supplication: everyone has seen it.

No more. I have lost Lavinia. Let hatred Proceed no further.


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