Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 4 | Words: 1019
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

With several themes, symbols, and motifs, the poem Aeneid had penetrated deeply into popular culture and thus it was found on the walls of excavated Pompeii where some of its verses can still be seen etched on the surfaces and thus it shows every sign of having been genuinely famous (Bonz, 2000). Bonz argues that “at Augustus’s behest the poet had created a powerful and appealing foundational myth for the new Principate, Rome’s first greatest and only lasting salvation history” (2000, p. 62). In the poem Aeneid,  Virgil incorporated earlier myths of Venus, the fall of Troy, and the wanderings of Aeneas into a profoundly new epic of national origins and eschatological promise in which not only the future rule of the Julian house. In this poem, Virgil portrays Augustus as one of the heroic struggles whereby he culminates in predestined triumph and universal salvation.

The poem clearly indicates that it is against the social and cultural background that one should consider the probability of the promulgation of the myth and message of Virgil’s Aeneid Bonz (2000). Aeneid’s poem further reveals Rome’s divinely ordained dominion, the prophecies of the impending ruin. The poem reaches a point where reference is made to the future heroes of the Roman state. Gonzales (1999) says that as a result Virgil’s reading has been put to death at the behest of the jealous wife of Augustus, Empress Livia. The poem gives a clear illustration on the death of Dido although it does not answer the critical question of why his death.

Virgil in the poem gives an indication that Augustus being an emperor and patron saw the Aeneid as a work of propaganda and the poem’s message about the potentialities and pitfalls of historical action (Quinn, 2000). The Aeneid contains several prophesies of Rome’s fated and glorious history. Quinn (2000) says that in the middle third of the poem it gives inspiring predications of Rome’s future. It further gives us an anticipation of Romans destiny depicted on the shield which to the readers it creates an impression of historical hope and possibility. In this context, Virgil in his poem often foretells the ultimate rule of Augustus, possibly to calm critics who claimed that Augustus ruled because of treachery. To use fate as enlightenment for changes in leadership this was considered as an easy way to justify the rule of Augustus.

Cummings (2009) says that Virgil opens the poem by requesting muse to inspire his writing. This means that he wants to have creative writing throughout the poem. The poem is written in the third person point of view. The poem Aeneid gives us a picture of history and the future so that we can understand that the art was as great as Augustus ambition in history with equally profound and disconcerting risks (Quinn, 2000). A major element in the poem is that it shows Augustus propaganda as a cultivation of the prestige of the Julio-Claudia family. Bonz (2000) further says that the poem towards the end shows how Augustus had promoted the divinization of his adoptive father Julius Caesar and the glorifications of his ancestors.

  The Aeneid depicts a guiding continuity and glory of Roman history from its inauspicious origins out of the ashes of Troy all the way to its culmination in the reign of Augustus. Bonz (2000) thus says the poem articulates the Augustus reign as the end and goal of Fate’s plan that is the beginning of the restoration of the primeval Golden Age. For example, the illustrious portrayal of Aeneas’s expedition to underworld, which fill ups all of Book 6, is the sequence of events by which Virgil shows the first of the poem’s two enormous farsighted visions.

In addition, the poem clearly illustrates “Dido’s suicide as at least partly an act of revenge on Aeneas, and she curses him as one of her last acts” (SparkNotes Editors, 2002). It also shows how Dido remembers her previous marriage in “the thought of the torch and the bridal bed” (IV.25).  In the context of this poem “torches”  limit the power of flames by controlling them, but the new love ignited in Dido’s heart is never regulated by the institution of marriage, “the bridal bed” (SparkNotes Editors, 2002). The flames she feels do not keep her warm but rather consume her mind. In the poem Virgil describes the way she dies in the synonymous terms “enflamed and driven mad” (IV.965) (SparkNotes Editors, 2002).

The poem reveals how Anchises meets his father, who conveys the great revelation of a magnificent Roman future. This revelation as depicted in the poem assumes the shape of a remarkable parade of heroes that is the famed leaders of Roman history (Augustus) whose future survival depended on the victorious result of Aeneas’s mission. Besides that Augustus is expressed as son of a god, the subsequent founder of Rome, and the leader who reestablished the Golden Age and extended his territory past the frontiers of the civilized world. The poem thus gives us a picture of Augustus as the past realization of the divine foresight divulged by Jupiter. We can say that Virgil’s poem explorers the problems and challenges faced by the Augustan society.

The poem Aeneid has been seen as a grand boast and a justification of the Roman Mission. According to Ross (2007) the poem depicts that there are the gods, recognizable, supreme, either directing fate or Rome’s destiny. Ross (2007) noted that “ throughout the poem we can see and even identify various strands of philosophical import, giving us again a confidence that we are getting Virgil’s massage, reducible to stoic or other doctrine” (p. 3).

In conclusion, it is clearly shown that we cannot read the poem Aeneid for answers because we can definitely miss the point, instead the poem shows action for example that of Aeneas leaving Carthage at divine urging. The poem further indicates how Augustus sometimes used nasty methods, which Virgil could not disregard, and undeniably cunningly criticized here and there in his poem Aeneid. Virgil in the poem is a representation of peace more specifically in his time because of the public image of Augustus being so autocratic.

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