Unit 6: Virgil’s Aeneid Book Two


Roman Virtues: Fortitudo (Toughness), Prudentia (Wisdom and planning ahead), Iusticia (Justice), Temperantia (Moderation)

Why would a Roman audience be horrified to find Aeneas falling in love with a Carthaginian or Punic queen?

Why did Rome hate Carthage so much? What was the relationship like between the old Roman Republic and the Empire of Carthage? According to legend, what did Rome do to Carthage after defeating her in the final Punic war?

What’s unusual or noteworthy about Aeneas’s parentage?

Why would Dido find it odd that Aeneas is setting sail in winter to leave her?

Identify the following characters:

Venus, Jove (Jupiter), Juno, Cupid, Aeneas, Creüsa. Ulysses, Iulus Ascanius [note: sometimes this character is called by the name Iulus, sometimes by the name Ascanius, but it is the same character.], Anchises, Dido, Turnus, Laocoön, Sinon, Hector, Panthus, Androgeos, Priam, Hecuba, Helen (i.e., “the Daughter of Tyndareos”), Anna, Sychaeus, Mercury, the Sibyl, Misenus, Charon, Cerberus, Minos, Sychaeus

Reading Questions:

  • Why does Dido want Aeneas to tell him the story of how he came to Troy? (I.e., what is she “not ignorant of” that causes her to feel pity for his plight?
  • While Aeneas tells his story to Dido, what trick does “the Cytherean Goddess” (Venus) use to make sure the Carthaginians will welcome the Trojan forces? What spirit or minor god does Venus have do her dirty work?
  • To whom was Dido formerly married? What vow did she make to her husband? Why or how does that vow cause her an ethical dilemma when she starts to fall in love with Aeneas?
  • Who is Ulysses in The Aeneid? I.e., what is this guy called in Greek, and in what work have we seen him before? (Hint: you might look up his name in a guide to mythology or online to find out.)
  • What ploy does Ulysses come up with to conquer the impregnable city of Troy?
  • When Laocoön states that he fears the Greeks, even when they bring gifts, what does he mean?
  • What does Laocoön suspect about the wooden horse?
  • What does Sinon do when he comes to the gates of Troy?
  • Who appears to Aeneas in a vision warning him to flee the city?
  • What dire news does Panthus have to tell when Aeneas asks him how the battle is going?
  • What mistake does Androgeos make that costs him his life?
  • What trick does Coroebus come up with after he and Aeneas and the other Trojans kill Androgeos? How does this trick allow the Trojan band to move freely about in the chaos?
  • [Excerpts in Xerox Handout from Book 2. 680-1082]
  • Why is Queen Hecuba chastising King Priam? What foolish thing is this old man trying to do?
  • Where does Pyrrhus kill King Priam and Prince Polites? (i.e., why is this blasphemous)?
  • In Book II, lines 763, Aeneas spots “the daughter of Tyndareos” (i.e., Helen of Troy). Where is Helen hiding or what building is she clinging to? [Hint: To understand why this is ironic, look up the god “Vesta” and see what her worshippers were like, and why they are very different from the sexpot Helen.] What does Aeneas plan to do to Helen, judging by his angry words?
  • What being appears to stop Aeneas from confronting Helen?
  • When Aeneas goes to his house, what does his father Anchises initially ask him to do? Where does Anchises want to go and where does he want the rest of the family to go? What is Aeneas’s reaction to this?
  • When Aeneas declares he will stay in the city and fight the Greeks, how does Creüsa react?
  • What omens (plural) do the gods send to encourage Aeneas to flee rather than fight? Why do you suppose it takes more than one miraculous sign to make him leave?
  • Why does Aeneas say he can’t carry the homeland gods with him?
  • How does Aeneas arrange to transport his father out of Troy? How does he transport Iulus? Why or how is the image associated with this action symbolic?
  • What happens to Creüsa as the family flees through the crowded streets?
  • What does Aeneas do when he discovers Creüsa is gone?
  • What being stops him from continuing to look for Creüsa?
  • According to Creüsa, what beings’ decree keep her from accompanying her husband?
  • What happens each time Aeneas tries to touch Creüsa?


Lesson 1

Objectives: Students will compare the different attitudes shown by Trojans when they see the wooden horse through identifying specific diction and  tone.

Aim: When Laocoön states that he fears the Greeks, even when they bring gifts, what does he mean?

Text:  Aeneid Book 2 by Virgil

Do Now: Who was Virgil? How is Aeneid connected to Iliad by Homer? Who was John Dryden ? Do research and jot down notes to share in class.

Mini  Lesson 

Read and and analyze the prologue-

Who is narrating the story? How do you know? What kind of tone is conveyed? How?

All were attentive to the godlike man, 
When from his lofty couch he thus began:
“Great queen, what you command me to relate
Renews the sad remembrance of our fate:
An empire from its old foundations rent,
And ev’ry woe the Trojans underwent;
A peopled city made a desart place;
All that I saw, and part of which I was:
Not ev’n the hardest of our foes could hear,
Nor stern Ulysses tell without a tear.
And now the latter watch of wasting night,
And setting stars, to kindly rest invite;
But, since you take such int’rest in our woe,
And Troy’s disastrous end desire to know,
I will restrain my tears, and briefly tell
What in our last and fatal night befell.

Independent Practice

Each group reads an assigned section and respond to the posted questions. We will share the responses in the class. Each group will post the responses in google doc with the rest of the class.

Group 1: Read 1 and 2: How is the Trojan Horse described? How do the Trojans react to it?

Group 2: Read page 2 and 3: How does Laocoon react to the sight of the wooden horse? What dos he do to the horse?  Why do the Trojans fail to see the blood and hear the groans from within the horse?

Group 3: Read page 3 and 4: Who s the captive? Why is he in Troy? How is he described?

Group 4: Read pages 4 and 5:  What tale does the captive tell? Ho does he describe his relationship with kings from Ithacus?

Group 5: Read page 5 and 6: How does the captive fool Trojans? Why does he claim he ended up in Troy? How is he received by the Trojans?

Share our responses in class.

End of the Lesson Assessment: Why is Trojan Horse part of Troy ‘s tragic fate?

Homework: Read and annotate pages 7, 8 an 9. Write a brief summary of the passage and prepare  two questions based on the text on each page.

Lesson 2

Objectives: Students will identify key issues embedded in the passage from page 7 to 8 and ask questions by identifying specific details , examples or descriptions.

Aim: What is being described in this passage? What is the main idea of the section? How do the Greeks make Trojan believe that must help present  the gift of the horse to Minerva?

Do Now: Share the summery of the passage.

Mini Lesson

Identify examples of repetition-

“A greater omen, and of worse portent,
Did our unwary minds with fear torment,
Concurring to produce the dire event”

“But from the time when impious Diomede,
And false Ulysses, that inventive head,
Her fatal image from the temple drew,
The sleeping guardians of the castle slew,
Her virgin statue with their bloody hands
Polluted, and profan’d her holy bands;
From thence the tide of fortune left their shore,
And ebb’d much faster than it flow’d before:
Their courage languish’d, as their hopes decay’d;
And Pallas, now averse, refus’d her aid. ”

How does repetition help emphasize on developing an idea?

Independent Practice

  • Identify two excerpts from the passage 9 pages 7-9) and identify examples of repetition.
  • What is being described in this passage?
  • What is the main idea of the section?
  • How do the Greeks make Trojan believe that must help present  the gift of the horse to Minerva?

Homework: Select a passage ( no longer than 10 lines from pages 7-9 ) that describes an event. Write a response using PBFF steps.

HW for 4/20: Read and annotate pages  10 &11. Select a passage from the twp pages and write a PBFF.

Lesson 3

Objectives: Students will explore deeper the meanings if the verse on pages 7-9 through PBFF and Notice ad Focus activities.

Aim: How do we construct meaning more precisely?

Text: Aeneid Book 2 pages 7-9

Mini Lesson

We’ll do a Notice & Focus reading and writing activity  based on the following passage

But from the time when impious Diomede,
And false Ulysses, that inventive head,
Her fatal image from the temple drew,
The sleeping guardians of the castle slew,
Her virgin statue with their bloody hands
Polluted, and profan’d her holy bands;
From thence the tide of fortune left their shore,
And ebb’d much faster than it flow’d before:
Their courage languish’d, as their hopes decay’d;
And Pallas, now averse, refus’d her aid.
Nor did the goddess doubtfully declare
Her alter’d mind and alienated care.
When first her fatal image touch’d the ground,
She sternly cast her glaring eyes around,
That sparkled as they roll’d, and seem’d to threat:
Her heav’nly limbs distill’d a briny sweat.
Thrice from the ground she leap’d, was seen to wield
Her brandish’d lance, and shake her horrid shield.
Then Calchas bade our host for flight
And hope no conquest from the tedious war,
Till first they sail’d for Greece; with pray’rs besought
Her injur’d pow’r, and better omens brought.
And now their navy plows the wat’ry main,
Yet soon expect it on your shores again,
With Pallas pleas’d; as Calchas did ordain.

Step 1: What do I notice first in the passage? Make a list of details that stand out for you for any reason- strange association, sharp imagery, interesting diction, different use of familiar phrases, unfamiliar diction,  repetition, figurative language, etc

Step 2: Focus on the details you have listed, what is your initial impression of the passage? What does the passage seem to describe or emphasize? Focus on the verbs and key nouns that describe the event.

Step 3: Ranking: If I have to pick out 5 most important details, what will they be? Rank them. Why ?

Step 4: Method ( look for a pattern, or binary-opposing ideas, repetition, motif, different strands of ideas, making connections) . What claim based on each association ( connection)?

Step 5: So What? What is the deeper meaning of the passage based on the details I have noticed and the analysis I did? What is the central idea of the poem?

Independent Practice

1. Summarize the main idea of the following passage-

But first, to reconcile the blue-ey’d maid
For her stol’n statue and her tow’r betray’d,
Warn’d by the seer, to her offended name
We rais’d and dedicate this wondrous frame,
So lofty, lest thro’ your forbidden gates
It pass, and intercept our better fates:
For, once admitted there, our hopes are lost;
And Troy may then a new Palladium boast;
For so religion and the gods ordain,
That, if you violate with hands profane
Minerva’s gift, your town in flames shall burn,
(Which omen, O ye gods, on Graecia turn!)
But if it climb, with your assisting hands,
The Trojan walls, and in the city stands;
Then Troy shall Argos and Mycenae burn,
And the reverse of fate on us return.’


“With such deceits he gain’d their easy hearts,
Too prone to credit his perfidious arts.
What Diomede, nor Thetis’ greater son,
A thousand ships, nor ten years’ siege, had done-
False tears and fawning words the city won.

3. Retell the Laocoon fighting the serpent story  ( see a sculpture based on the story)

“A greater omen, and of worse portent,
Did our unwary minds with fear torment,
Concurring to produce the dire event.
Laocoon, Neptune’s priest by lot that year,
With solemn pomp then sacrific’d a steer;
When, dreadful to behold, from sea we spied
Two serpents, rank’d abreast, the seas divide,
And smoothly sweep along the swelling tide.
Their flaming crests above the waves they show;
Their bellies seem to burn the seas below;
Their speckled tails advance to steer their course,
And on the sounding shore the flying billows force.
And now the strand, and now the plain they held;
Their ardent eyes with bloody streaks were fill’d;
Their nimble tongues they brandish’d as they came,
And lick’d their hissing jaws, that sputter’d flame.
We fled amaz’d; their destin’d way they take,
And to Laocoon and his children make;
And first around the tender boys they wind,
Then with their sharpen’d fangs their limbs and bodies grind.
The wretched father, running to their aid
With pious haste, but vain, they next invade;
Twice round his waist their winding volumes roll’d;
And twice about his gasping throat they fold.
The priest thus doubly chok’d, their crests divide,
And tow’ring o’er his head in triumph ride.
With both his hands he labors at the knots;
His holy fillets the blue venom blots;
His roaring fills the flitting air around.
Thus, when an ox receives a glancing wound,
He breaks his bands, the fatal altar flies,
And with loud bellowings breaks the yielding skies.
Their tasks perform’d, the serpents quit their prey,
And to the tow’r of Pallas make their way:
Couch’d at her feet, they lie protected there
By her large buckler and protended spear.
Amazement seizes all; the gen’ral cry
Proclaims Laocoon justly doom’d to die,
Whose hand the will of Pallas had withstood,
And dared to violate the sacred wood.
All vote t’ admit the steed, that vows be paid
And incense offer’d to th’ offended maid.

Homework: Make a claim on how the serpents attack Laocoon and his sons. Show evidence.

Homework for 5/11: read and annotate the next three pages. Summarize the gist of each page and prepare for a common core type of multiple choice questions.

Lesson 4

Objectives: student will use themes to determine the importance of details.

Aim: Why do we need to distinguish the importance of details in a text?

Text: Aeneid Book 2 pages 12-14

Do Now: select one line from each page that you believe is the most important. Explain why. Share in class.

page 12:

Mini Lesson

  • Use context to fill in the details you need for analysis instead of citing long quotations.
  • Providing the context needs you to summarize the gist of the passage.
  • A central idea or claim is based on key details.

Let’s with the 1st page (PAGE 12). Select three most important details that are related in a sense . Find the “sense”. Now explain why you derive at the central idea (claim) from the details.

Student Independent Practice

1. Group 1, 2 work on the 2nd page(13).

2. group 3,4,5 work on the 3rd page(14).

End of the Lesson Assessment: what have you noticed the reciprocal relationship between details and claim?

Homework: Each group will read and annotate an assigned page  and generate a claim. Then select three details to support the assertion. Frame the context to serve the claim.

Lesson 5

Objectives: Students will analyze the assigned text by identifying claim, important supporting details, context and creating CC multiple choice questions.

Aim: How do we gain insightful understadning from a passage?

Do Now: Share the summary and key details from page 13 and 14.

Mini Lesson: 

Multiple -choice question stem:

Fiction ( short story and poetry)

    1.   What is the author’s attitude toward the subject of the essay?
 2.        What is this passage about?
 3.        What does the phrase, ______________, mean?
 4.        How would you characterize the style of the passage?
 5.        Which of the following best summarizes the main point in lines _____?
 6.        What is the main point in _____?  (the passage, the second paragraph, etc.)
 7.        How would you restate the meaning of _______________?
 8.        How would you define the phrase ___________?
 9.        What is the speaker’s purpose in _____________?
10.       What thought is reflected in the allusion ____________?
11.       What is the tone of the passage?
12.       How would you define the word ____________?
13.       How would you describe the diction and style of the passage?
14.       In lines _____, what is the speaker asserting?
15.       Why is  ___________ described as __________?
16.       What is significant about the structure of sentence #____ in lines ____?
17.       In sentences _____, what contrasts are developed or implied?
18.       In lines ________, why does the author pair quotations?
19.       In lines ________, what is the effect of pairing quotations?
20.       What is the dominant technique used in lines ______?
21.       In lines ______, what is the effect of using a metaphor?
22.       In lines _____, juxtaposing _________ and ___________ serves the purpose of ________________.
23.       What does the speaker accomplish in using __________?
24.       By using the words _______, the speaker shows the belief that _____.
25.       In lines _____, how is the speaker portrayed?
26.       The shift in point of view from…has the effect of…
27.       What is the theme of the ____________ (e.g., second paragraph, whole piece)?
28.       In lines ____, the passage shifts from _________ to __________.
29.       Why does the author represent _______________ as ______________ in lines ____?
30.       What is the purpose of the syntax in sentence _____?
31.       What does __________________ symbolize in lines ____?
32.       The speaker’s attitude toward ___________ is best described as one of _________________.
33.       In _____, the author is asserting that __________________.
34.       The term _____ conveys the speaker’s belief that ______________.
35.       The speaker assumes that the audience’s attitude toward ____________will be one of ____________.
36.       In the _______ (e.g., first, second, last) paragraph, the speaker seeks to interest us in the subjects of the discussion by stressing the __________.
37.       It can be inferred by ____________ that __________________.
38.       The ________ (e.g., first, second) sentence is unified by metaphorical references pertaining to _________________.
39.       The speaker’s mention of _________is appropriate to the development of the argument as an illustration of ______________.
40.       As the sentence in lines _____ is constructed, _____________ is parallel to ___________________.
41.       It can be inferred from the description of  __________ that the qualities of  ______________  are valued by the speaker.
42.       According to the passage, ___________ is ____________ because ______________________________.
43.       In the context of the passage, __________is best interpreted as ______.
44.       Sentence _________ is best described as _______________.
45.       The antecedent for ________in line ________is ________.
46.       What type of argument does the writer employ in lines ______?
47.       Why does the speaker use the sequence of ideas in lines _____?
48.       We can infer from ______________ that __________________.
49.       What pattern of exposition does the writer use in this passage?
50.       What is the point of view in this passage/poem?
51.       What is the purpose of the statement in lines _____?
52.       What atmosphere or mood is established in lines _______?
53.       The _______ (e.g., first, fourth) sentence is coherent because of its use of _______________.
54.       What qualities are present in the scene described in lines _____?
55.       What words and details suggest a _________ (adjective) attitude on the part of the author?
56.       In line _______, the use of __________instead of ___________accomplishes _____________.
57.       In line__________, the author emphasizes _______because he/she_______.
58.       The use of _________suggests that ____________.
59.       What is the function of the __________ (sentence, detail, clause, phrase, and so on) in lines _______?
60.       The subject of the sentence in lines _________is ________.
61.       What assertions does the author make in the passage, and what is his/her purpose in doing this?
62.       By ________, the author most probably means ______.
63.       What meanings are contained in the word ______ in line _____?
64.       What can we infer from the passage about _________________________?
65.       The author apparently believes that __________________________.
66.       In lines________, the phrase_________ is used to refer to _______.
67.       The author believes that we should_______________________________.
68.       The _________ (e.g., first, last, third) sentence of the passage is chiefly remarkable for its____________________________________.
69.       What does the author want to encourage in a person?
70.       What is the function of ______________ in relation to __________?

71.       What is the author’s attitude toward the subject?

72.       What does the phrase ______mean?
73.       How would you characterize the style of the passage?
74.       What is the main point of the passage?
75.       Restate the phrase, ________.
76.       Define the phrase, _________.
77.       What is the speaker’s purpose in writing this passage?
78.       What is the speaker’s purpose in lines _______.
79.       Why does the writer use the allusion to______________?
80.       What is the tone of the passage?
81.       How would you characterize the diction and style of the passage?
82.       What is the speaker asserting in lines________?
83.       Describe the structure of the sentence in lines_____.
84.       What contrast does the speaker develop in lines _______?
85.       What effect is achieved by the speaker’s using the phrases _______?
86.       What dominant technique is the speaker using in lines ______?
87.       In lines _______, ________________is a metaphorical way of saying _________________________________.
88.       What does the author achieve by juxtaposing ___________________ and _______________________________?
89.       What does the speaker accomplish in this passage?
90.       What does the choice of words show about the speaker’s beliefs?
91.       Where is there a shift of tone in the passage?
92.       The syntax in lines ________serves to ___________________________.
93.       What is the speaker’s attitude toward the subject?
94.       What assumptions does the speaker make about the audience?
95.       How does the author seek to interest us in the first paragraph?
96.       What method does the author use to develop the argument?
97.       Line ________is parallel to what other line in the passage?
98.       What can you infer about the author’s attitudes toward the subject?
99.       What is the antecedent for _______?
100.    What type of argument is the author using in this passage?
101.    What pattern of exposition is the author using in this passage?
102.    What is the atmosphere established in lines _______?
103.    Why is the sentence in lines _______ coherent, despite its length?
104.    In line______, the use of _______ instead of _________ accomplishes what?
105.    What is the function of _______________________in the passage?
106.    What is the subject of the sentence in lines ______?
107.    What does the author apparently believe about the subject?
108.    What does the author believe we should do in response to this passage?
109.    Why is the sentence in lines ________ remarkable?
110.    What is the function of paragraph _________?  of line _______?

Independet Practice: 

Each group shares the important details and claim. Work together to create three multiple choice questions using the stems provided based on each assigned passage.

End of the Lesson Assessment: How do the multiple choice questions steps help you go deeper with understanding a passage?

Homework: Pick a passage from 12-19, write a paragraph in which you discuss how the central idea ( claim) is developed through specific details of a particular strategy.

Lesson 6

Objectives: Students will share their strategies of making a precise claim of a passage by sharing their central idea statement and three examples of a specific literary device.

Aim; What strategies do you use to make sure the central idea is precise and can be further developed ( evolve)?

Do Now: Share your context, claim and details with each other in pairs or threes. Select one example of context and claim to share with the class.( pages 15-19).

Mini Lesson

  • How do we frame the context to enrich the textual analysis?
  • How to make a claim precise ( reflect the ideas of all three details)?
  • How do we observe a pattern among various details?

Independent Practice:

In smal groups, students share:  A claim statement of the assigned passage wit three supporting details that demonstrate one specific literary device

  • Group 1: page 20
  • Group 2: page 21
  • Group 3: page 22
  • Group 4: page 23
  • Group 5: page 24
  • Group 6: page 25

End of the Lesson Assessment: What make a claim precise? How can we obtail teh goal?

Homework : Small group project

Based on the assigned passage ( group 1- page 26, group 2-page 27, group 3-page 28, group 4-page 29, group 5- page 30, group 6-pages 31-32) from Aeneid Book 2  do the following-

Create a presentation through which you will teach the rest of the class what you know about the passage. Here are some suggestions-

  1. Annotations: new vocabulary, interesting imagery and diction
  2. summary
  3. Key details that contribute to a central idea of the passage
  4. Analysis of the details- what pattern, what do they share in common, contrasting ideas,etc.
  5. The most distinctive literary strategy found in the passage. What effects do they have on the central meaning? How?
  6. What kind of theme can be inferred from the passage?
  7. What kind of tone is conveyed ?
  8. Create three common core types of multiple choice questions using the question stems provided.







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