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Barron's Booknotes-The Aeneid by Virgil-Free Book Summary
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(II. 195-98)

Aeneas points out here that lies and tricks can do what the greatest Greek warriors and ten years of war could not. Deceit and treachery are important themes in Book II.

Another thing that convinces the Trojans to bring the horse into the city is that Laocoon, who warned them not to do this, is strangled horribly by two giant snakes that come rushing over the sea from Tenedos (just as the Greeks will attack later on). The snakes' eyes are burning with blood and fire as they choke Laocoon. The Trojans correctly decide that Laocoon is being punished, but they don't realize that he's being punished for telling the truth about the horse. The gods side with the Greeks, and they don't want anyone to save Troy.

NOTE:

Snakes are an important image in this Book. They symbolize evil and deception and whenever they appear, destruction is not far behind. Fire is also a symbol of destruction. As you read Book II you will see many images of snakes and fire.


The Trojans put the horse on wheels and slowly drag it inside the city. As they do, they can hear clanking inside it. What's the matter with the Trojans? Are they stupid? Perhaps. Or did the gods blind them to the obvious danger? But the gods could have destroyed Troy if they had wanted to. Why do they make the Trojans cooperate in their own downfall? Perhaps Virgil is saying that the division between human beings and the gods and fate is not so simple. Perhaps what happens to you depends, in part, on the kind of person you are. The Trojans were tired of war and wanted to believe it was over. Perhaps their wishful thinking brought their downfall. Have you ever taken a big risk that you knew wasn't a good idea, but you just kept your fingers crossed and hoped that it would work out anyway?

The Trojans celebrate their false victory with a wild festival that night, and then they all collapse into their beds in a drunken sleep. in the dark and quiet of night, the Greeks sail back. Sinon undoes the bolts on the belly of the horse and the Greeks pour out. They start to murder everyone in their path.

While Aeneas sleeps, Hector appears to him in a dream. (Hector was a great Trojan warrior who was killed by the Greek Achilles.)

Alas, O goddess-born! Take flight, Escape these flames! The enemy has the walls, Troy topples from her lofty height; enough Has been paid out to Priam and to country.


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Barron's Booknotes-The Aeneid by Virgil-Free Book Summary
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