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Unwitting Propaganda in the Shield of Aeneas - Research Paper Example

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Without Virgil’s intending it, the shield is a symbol of the Roman victory over the Greeks and therefore a deception on Augustus’ part. Augustus, previously known as Octavian, was the only remaining leader once Anthony was defeated and killed. …
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Unwitting Propaganda in the Shield of Aeneas

Download file to see previous pages... Virgil’s main purpose of writing the Aeneid was to prove to Homer that the Roman tradition surpasses the Greek tradition. This desire is seen in Augustan Rome which is the Golden Age that Virgil wrote, as the Roman Empire made all efforts to outshine accomplishments made by ancient Greece (Toll 34). C. How (very briefly) does it fit into the agenda of Book 8? Virgil’s purpose of writing Aeneas fits into the agenda of Book 8 in that he has provided a number of contrasts between Romulus’s humble beginnings and Caesar’s far reaching glory (Hardie 78).
Additionally, his description of the mural on the Shield of Aeneas emphasizes on the Roman legend, stressing Augustus’s position as the climax of that particular legend. D. Briefly survey how various scholars have interpreted the shield. Around 30BC, Virgil, a Roman poet began composing the Aeneid, which is an epic revolving around Aeneas the legendary hero, founding and destiny of Rome (Galinsky 100). The epic also offers tales of adventure where gods and goddesses, doomed lovers, warriors and even ghosts are featured. Even though Virgil died before completing the work, it established his reputation as the foremost poet of the Romans (Faber 49). In the course of history, numerous scholars have attempted to interpret the Shield of Aeneas in addition to contributing to the account of how Aeneas went to Italy so that his offspring could put up Rome (Casali 185). Virgil wrote the Aeneid based on the Iliad and the Odyssey, which were Homer’s 2 most admired epics of ancient Greece. Literary scholars are to this day still debating Homer’s existence in spite of existence of the two epics (Miller 48). However, majority of writers and scholars use the Aeneid together with the ancient Greek epics of Homer as their models. The Aeneid also influenced a number of English writers for instance poets Edmund Spenser and John Milton who wrote epics reflecting the work’s influence (Toll 35). John Dryden was also a poet who translated the Aeneid and whose version is considered one of the best English translations. Majority of earlier modern interpretations of the Shield of Aeneid concentrated on its political ramifications, for instance G.E. Lessing (1776) cited that the shield is an interpolation meant to flatter the pride of the Romans (Hardie 79). Lessing also stated that the shield was copied from the one made by Homer and therefore must exist for the reason of promoting Augustus. The shield’s symbolism is as a token of criminality that is relevant to its bearer. The shield exhibits an emblem of divinely maddened Io, where the shield device is a reflection of the characteristics of its owner (Galinsky 103). Majority of scholars believe that the rich description given of the shield tends to parallel Homer’s description of the shield that Vulcan made for Achilles in The Iliad (Faber 50). Thesis Sentence: Virgil meant for the shield to represent divine protection of Rome, hence serving Augustus’ propaganda purposes, but it can also be interpreted as symbolic of deception. II. PROOFS A. Description of shield – any description here. The shield of Aeneas feature elaborate details as described by Virgil. As aforementioned, the shield was given as a gift from Venus for use in battle. The details included on the shield are as intricate as it is beautiful. The description of the shield provides Virgil with a great place to commemorate the most significant conquest Augustus won during the Battle of Actium (Galinsky 107). The shield portrays the momentous events that will ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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