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Propoganda and the Aeneid

            Does America Need its Own Version of The Aeneid?.
             Certainly the answer to this question is no. America does not need an Aeneid to strengthen its citizens" pride, especially one like Virgil's, which has ambiguous qualities. On the surface the Aeneid is a form of pro-Rome imperial propaganda yet beneath the surface it subtly criticizes Rome. I am going to proceed by outlining exactly what Virgil is up to in the Aeneid, how the text is ambiguous, and finish by presenting a conclusion based on the evidence that I will put forth.
             What is Virgil up to in the Aeneid?.
             i) Aeneas Aeneas is meant to represent the hero that Rome desires as its founder. He has many qualities that exemplify that depiction− bravery, strength, valor, etc.− yet he also has shortcomings. For example, there are many instances where he is a victim of his emotion. He shows no mercy to his victims in battle because of his excessive anger. Book X has an especially grim tone as it tells of Aeneas's rage and revenge for the death of Pallas. After Aeneas kills Tarquitus, Virgil tells of Aeneas: .
             Speaking above him from his pitiless heart: "Lie there now No gentle Mother will ever hide you in the earth Or weight your body with a family tomb. Either you stay here for the carrion birds Or the sea takes you under, hungry fishes Nibble your wounds (p. 314).
             Aeneas's rage and lack of pity are qualities that do not represent heroism. Also, there are times when Aeneas doesn't appear to be as clever as he should be for someone of his heroic stature. An example is his speech to Queen Dido explaining why he his leaving her. He at first gives poor excuses such as, "I never entered upon the pact of marriage" (p.107), and "Do not think I meant to be deceitful" (p.107). He follows by saying that Troy, not her, is the most important thing to him, and he finishes by making the excuse that fate is causing him to leave her. This poorly put together speech ultimately leads Dido to hate him even more and then kill herself.

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