The tragic - The tragic, somber, final line of the Aeneid...

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Unformatted text preview: The tragic, somber, final line of the Aeneid and the epic poem's ringing, declamatory opening line signify the two emotional poles of the epic. Their positioning has a symbolic as well as a narrative importance, for between the moods to which they give voice, the poem constantly moves back and forth as it unfolds. The establishment of Rome is achieved only through the human suffering of Aeneas and his people, and of his opponents — Dido in the first half of the epic, and now, at the end, Turnus. Virgil's vision of reality was too honest to allow him to see life other than as a mixture of good and evil elements. Had Virgil been merely a propagandist for Augustus, he might easily have finished the epic on a triumphant note. For example, he could have concluded it with the conversation between Jupiter and Juno in this final book, with the king of the gods assuring his consort of a glorious future...
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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