Essay Examples on Mount Allison University

Things Death and Moving on in Seamus Heaney's Aeneid Book

In the Middle of Things Death and Moving on in Seamus Heaney's Aeneid Book VI The problem with growing up reading Latin is that the only way to refresh one s use of the language is to read the classics again Latin is a dead language meaning we cannot speak it with friends we can only engage the dead authors who wrote millennia ago To engage Virgil one explores the myths that shaped the Roman empire in the time of Augustus but also when reading the translation of Aeneid Book VI one enters into conversation with the translator poet extraordinaire Seamus Heaney In his version of Virgil Heaney s English words and syntax are lush appeal on all levels prosaic and poetic I pulled out my Frederic M Wheelock a grammar book my Latin dictionary and the original Aeneid Book VI to compare the translation to the original First the story The Aeneid is an epic work comprised of twelve separate books There are the Odyssean books the first six which trace the hero Aeneas s escape from the ruins of Troy his love of Dido in Carthage and his eventual triumphant entrance to the shores of Italy the second Iliadic half of the epic narrates Aeneas s political and military machinations that result in Rome's founding The Aeneid s sixth book then stands at the middle of the sequence but also serves as an intermediate closure In Book VI Aeneas concludes his Mediterranean seafaring and will soon tackle his establishment of the Roman state

2 pages | 509 words