in American Senator

Chapter 49 – Miss Trefoil’s Decision

Arabella’s armor is removed

Here we see Arabella’s appearance described as she truly is in her grief.  This is a sharp contrast to the images Trollope gave earlier, likening her feminine adornments to the armor of warriors as well as calling her efforts to win Rufford “heroic.”  This scene is Classically resonant because of these previous descriptions, which echo Homer’s description of Hera putting on adornments in order to seduce Zeus.  The removal of armor humanizes Arabella and makes her seem almost pathetic.  [CMC 2012]

Source:  Homer, Iliad 14.166-186.


Lord Augustus is carried away bodily

Lord Augustus is “carried away bodily” to do his daughter and wife’s will of writing to Lord Rufford and demanding a meeting to discuss the matter of the supposed engagement.  This undignified image is especially comical due to the fact that Augustus (“venerable one”) was an honorific of the emperors of Rome first bestowed on Octavian by the Roman Senate.  The humor is strengthened in Lord Augustus signing his letter “your humble servant,” as no emperor would have been any mortal man’s humble servant.  [CMC 2012]