Aeneas2 - Aeneas's responsibilities as a father to Ascanius...

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Unformatted text preview: Aeneas's responsibilities as a father to Ascanius are called into question in this book, as they were in the previous one. Knowing that the familial relationship between father and son is of great importance to Aeneas — as it is to Virgil — Jupiter questions Aeneas's honor as a progenitor who has seemingly forgotten his son's rightful ancestry. When Mercury, instructed to inform the Trojan warrior in person of Jupiter's concerns, finds Aeneas clothed in Carthaginian finery, the messenger god berates him for failing as a father: "If future history's glories / Do not affect you, if you will not strive / For your own honor, think of Ascanius, / Think of the expectations of your heir, / Iulus, to whom the Italian realm, the land / Of Rome, are due." We know that Mercury's rebuke spurs Aeneas's resolve anew, for later in the book the Trojan prince, speaking to Dido, admits his...
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