Death and the Optimistic Prophecy in Vergil's Aeneid by James J. O'Hara
By James J. O'Hara
The following James O'Hara indicates how the misleading nature of prophecy within the Aeneid complicates review of the poem's perspective towards its hero's success and towards the way forward for Rome less than Augustus Caesar. This shut research of the language and rhetorical context of the prophecies finds that they often suppress discouraging fabric: the gods ship promising messages to Aeneas and others to spur them on of their struggles, yet those struggles frequently bring about premature deaths or different mess ups purely darkly hinted at by means of the prophecies. O'Hara unearths in those prophecies a continual subtext that either stresses the human fee of Aeneas' challenge and casts doubt on Jupiter's promise to Venus of an "endless empire" for the Romans. O'Hara considers the key prophecies that glance expectantly towards Augustus' Rome from the perspective of Vergil's readers, who, just like the characters in the poem, needs to fight with the prospect that the optimism of the prophecies of Rome is undercut by means of darker fabric in part suppressed. The research indicates that Vergil hyperlinks the deception of his characters to the deceptiveness of Roman oratory, politics, and faith, and to the artifice of poetry itself. according to contemporary debates approximately no matter if the Aeneid is confident or pessimistic, O'Hara argues that Vergil expresses either the Romans' wish for the peace of a Golden Age lower than Augustus and their worry that this desire may be illusory.
Originally released in 1990.
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433), but we must note Vergil's habit of using this motif with prophecies he depicts as flawed or useless. " 29 CHAPTER ONE sacrifices are responsible for keeping Juno's anger within certain boundaries, and that without the sacrifices, she would have been even more formidable and troublesome. Prophecies in the Aeneid-and in the real world of antiquity-often lend themselves to this kind of interpretation, which makes them true but deceptive; it is important to remember that this is not the impression that Aeneas is given.
Cf. Serv. ad Aen. 246, where Vergil uses the word mare to refer to the Timavus River: amat poeta rem historiae carmini suo coniungere; Varro enim dicit hunc fluvium ab incolis mare nominari. Cf. Ross (1987) 28: "Virgil ... used no proper name or adjective gratuitously. Every geographical designation ... has ... " 20 PROPHECY AND DEATH ical signpost. "), make these lines resemble the significant and thematically suggestive etymologizing found elsewhere in Vergil and in other poets, particularly the Alexandrians.
The murals) one can find a kind of "salvation" or "redemption" (see Parry 12223). 225, "Cymodocea, the best at speaking"), speaks to him. She identifies the nymphs, tells Aeneas of Ascanius' dire situation in the Trojan camp and ofTurnus' plans, and urges him to prepare for battle, predicting great success. " 6 4 But this short prophecy ofCymodocea plays an important part inVergil's story of Pallas and Aeneas, as the last in a series of encouraging prophecies that bring Pallas and Aeneas to the battlefield where Pallas will die.