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Who is Trimalchio

Who is Trimalchio

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Published by Mrs. P
Notes for ch. 7 from The Great Gatsby
Notes for ch. 7 from The Great Gatsby

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Published by: Mrs. P on Apr 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/18/2013

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Who is Trimalchio??
 Trimalchio is a character in the Roman novel The Satyricon byPetronius. Trimalchio is a freedman who, through hard work andperseverance, has attained power and wealth. His full name is GaiusPompeius Trimalchio Maecenatianus; the references to Pompey andMaecenas in his name serve to enhance his ostentatious character. Hiswife's name is Fortunata, a former slave and chorus girl. Trimalchio isknown for throwing lavish dinner parties, where his numerous servantsbring course after course of exotic delicacies, such as live birds sewnup inside a pig and a dish to represent every sign of the zodiac. TheSatyricon has a lengthy description of Trimalchio's proposed tomb,which is incredibly ostentatious and lavish. This tomb was to bedesigned by a well-known tomb-builder called Habinnas, who wasamong the revellers present at Trimalchio's feast. He sought toimpress his guests - the Roman nouveau riche, mostly freedmen - withthe ubiquitous excesses seen throughout his dwelling. By the end of the banquet, Trimalchio's drunken showiness leads to the entirehousehold acting out his funeral, all for his own amusement andegotism. The original title of The Great Gatsby was “Trimalchio in West Egg.”One of Fitzgerald's complete earlier drafts of the book was publishedunder the name Trimalchio: An Early Version of The Great Gatsby.

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