Saturday Jan 28, 2023
A Night to Dismember: The Tragedy of Nisus and Euryalus in Aeneid IX, Part 1 (Ad Navseam, Episode 110)
"Who drives us to outrageous action? Is it some god, or does each man make of his own desire a god, which then drives him furiously to a violent end"? This is the question we consider this week as we turn to the final quarter of the epic (books 9-12). And we are treated to two surprising events: first, how the ships of the Trojans are transformed into mermaids, shocking Turnus and his gathered Rutulians. Juno is up to her old tricks, and sends along Iris the messenger to tell him not to worry, the Trojans will be trapped in Italy where they can be easy prey for the indigenous hero and his assorted forces. Aeneas is off-scene, still wandering through the regions of Arcadia, securing alliances with Evander and company. The second episode is the midnight raid of Nisus and Euryalus. In a nod to – or perhaps improvement upon – Homer's Iliad 10 and the gruesome death of Dolon at the hands of Odysseus and Diomedes, Vergil here tells his own tragic story of two friends overtaken by greed and a desire for bloodlust. It's not all grim, however. Along the way you can spot silos of Pringles™, the grit of Fig Newtons™, a brief excursion to the admittedly grim Battle of the Little Big Horn, and some Uncrustables™. One might say that mixing the serious with the silly has become Jeff and Dave's ™. So tune in!
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