The Aeneid Essay

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In the following excerpt, Anderson discusses the significance of the opening line of the Aeneid: "/ sing of arms and of the man."

It is not enough.. .to describe Virgil's opening ["I sing of arms and of the man"] as a skillful allusion to inevitable rivalry with Homer. To be sure, he used two nouns of different orders, one referring to a person, one to a thing, and the nouns suggest main elements of the two Homeric narratives. Two nouns together, however, interact; they cannot be absorbed separately as mere equivalents to separate Greek epics. When George Bernard Shaw entitled his comedy Arms and the Man, he knew exactly what he was doing and exactly what Virgil meant with his pair of nouns: they affect each other. Shaw humorously explores some of the paradoxical ways in which warfare affects the personality of the warrior. One appreciates the comedy all...

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This section contains 1,297 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Aeneid Study Guide
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The Aeneid from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.