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Unformatted text preview: November 16, 2007 Vergils Aeneid The Aeneid as Augustan Propaganda The Gates of Ivory Aeneas leaves the underworld by the gate of false dreams: why? Ancient scholar: Vergil wants us to think that everything hes said is false But:- Aeneas himself is not a drea m at all- What h e se es in the und erworld was true in Rom an history Accident: Vergil just m a d e a mistake- Given the a m ount of tim e Vergil spent writing a nd polishing his poe m, it isnt likely th h e would h ave m a d e such a big mistake There was a n a ncient tradition that true dre a m s app e ared only after midnight; theref Vergil is telling us that Aene as left the und erworld before midnight Wendell Clausen (1964) Vergil e nds Book 6 with the triumphalism of the parad e of h eroes, but with a n odd puzzle, a n agging s ens e of uncert ainty Dido and Turnus The foundation of the Rom an p eople is d estined, but to achieve that d estiny is not sim ( Aeneid 1.48-49) Two kinds of challenges face Aeneas:- Difficulties in reaching the future site of Rom e (comp are Odysseus in the Odyssey )- Difficulties in fighting the inhabitants once h e gets there (comp are Achilles in the Iliad ) Two main human obstacles:- Dido: a t e m pt ation (love)- Turnus: an opponent (war) Dido as the h eros te m pt ation in love: co mp are Circe a nd Calypso in the Odyssey...
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