46 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2008

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Pages 53-100

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Pages 53-62 Summary

When Lavinia returns home the next day, she learns that Turnus has submitted a formal request for her hand on behalf of all her suitors. They all promise to accept Latinus’s decision, hoping to avoid a breakout of violence among them. Lavinia doesn’t know whom to choose; Amata assures her that Turnus will be a good husband and offers to go with Lavinia to Ardea, Turnus’s home, so that she has nothing to fear. Outside, bees swarm in a laurel tree. Latinus interprets the omen: Strangers are coming to the king’s house. Latinus asks Lavinia which suitor she’ll choose; she doesn’t wish to marry any of them. He’s surprised, since Amata told him that Lavinia was in love with Turnus. He warns her that, at 18, she can’t put off marriage much longer. Lavinia would prefer to become a Vestal, a perpetual virgin who tends the sacred fire, but as a king’s daughter, she can’t. She asks for five days to decide.

Lavinia goes to visit Silvia, who hopes that Lavinia will want to marry her older brother, Almo. Lavinia can’t marry him. Her other suitors are all princes, kings, and warriors, while he’s a lowly cowherd; the other suitors would kill him.