Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Spring term essay

Essay 2, ‘The Epic Tradition’.

Choose one title and write an essay of 2,500-3000 words by your seminar in week 10.

1.‘Virgil adopts a consistently ambivalent or multivocal attitude to political realities.’ (Tarrant, 1997) To what extent does this assessment apply to the Aeneid?

2. What qualities are included in pietas as Aeneas embodies that concept In the Aeneid?

3. Is the first half of the Aeneid divided from the second, or can you see features which unite the whole epic?

4. Discuss the treatment of pride in Paradise Lost.

5. ‘Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme’. Does Paradise Lost represent anything really new in the epic tradition?

6. Discuss the conflicting claims of Adam, Satan and Christ to be the hero of Paradise Lost.

7. What differentiates the view of Virgil from Milton about humanity’s relationship to the Underworld?

8. Is it a feature of the epic tradition to blame women? Discuss with relationship to Paradise Lost and the Aeneid.