46 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2008

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Essay Topics


Lavinia is written in close conversation with Virgil’s Aeneid. Read this original work, paying particular attention to the characterization of Lavinia, Aeneas, and Ascanius. Write an essay comparing and contrasting the two texts.


Le Guin’s novel attempts to reconstruct pre-Roman life in what is now Italy. Research what is known about this place and time and then examine whether Lavinia is a plausible depiction. Why or why not? How well does the novel balance historical accuracy and storytelling?


The poet briefly refers to Dante’s The Divine Comedy in Lavinia. Consider the poet’s position and what it means to be a person or a fictional character. Write an essay exploring this concept, referring to the novel’s themes and its depiction of the poet and the other characters.