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Virgil's Hopes for Rome

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Virgil’s “hopes” for Rome
In Virgil’s most famous piece, The Aeneid, a story about the founding of Rome, Vigil ends the book with a very significant ending. At the end of the book, Vigil describes the one on one battle between Aeneas, a great Trojan leader, and Turnus, a hotheaded Rutulian warrior, “Relentless, he sinks his sword into the chest of Turnus” (12.1268-1269), this describes the final scene of the story on why Aeneas kills Turnus, because he remembers that Turnus is the one that killed Aeneas’ friend Pallas. With the killing of Turnus, this begins to raise some questions about Vigil’s hope for Rome. In the following essay, I am going to argue why Vigil would end his great piece, The Aeneid, in this way.
One significant reason Virgil would end the story with Turnus being defeated in a final battle by Aeneas is because he wants Rome to be an everlasting empire, and the founder of Rome is Aeneas himself. In Jupiters words to his daughter Venus, Jupiter is describing to his daughter the future of the Roman Empire, “I set no limits to their fortunes and no time; I give them empire without end” (1.389-390). Here Virgil tells the words of Jupiter to his daughter Venus, Virgil is emphasizing that in all the years there will be no end to Rome, meaning that Vigil’s hope for Rome is that Rome is a never ending empire that may not be defeated or destroyed. Therefore, the killing of Turnus may raise questions about Vigil’s “hopes” for Rome because Turnus is an Italian himself; however, Virgil believes more in the founder of Rome, Aeneas, to keep the Roman Empire everlasting, because Aeneas is a great leader, unlike Turnus, and this is why Virgil end the book, The Aeneid, with Turnus being killed by Aeneas.
Another significant reason why Vigil may end the poem the way he did with Turnus dying is because Virgil is very sympathetic to the defeated. In the ending of The Aeneid Aeneas clearly shows that he goes against his father, Anchises, command to spare the conquered even if the persons that is held captive has battled down the proud,
“I have indeed deserved this; I do no not apeeal against it; use your chance. But if there is a though of a dear parents grief that now can touch you, then I beg you, pity old Daunus—in Anchises you had such a father—send me back, or, if you wish, send back my lifeless body to my kin. For you have won, and the Ausonians have seen me, beaten, stretch my hands; Lavina is yours; then do not press your hatred further” (12.1242-1251),

here Turnus cries out to Aeneas to not kill him, so Turnus can go back and see his father. Aeneas is very close to agreeing to Turnus’ grief; however, just as Aeneas is going to let Turnus free he notices the belt of Pallas and this puts Aeneas into rage,
“How can you who wear the spoils of my dear comrade now escape me? It is Pallas who strikes, who sacrifices you, who takes this payment from your shameless blood. Relentless, he sinks his sword into the chest of Turnus” (12.1265-1269).

With this said, this is where Aeneas goes against his father’s command and kills the conquered even though Turnus has battled down the proud. All in all, this provides evidence that Virgil is indeed understanding of the defeated, Aeneas, since he goes against his fathers words, this could also show that Virgil is also all for the Roman Empire itself, and that is why he ends the poem the way he did. In The Aeneid, may people question why Virgil ended the poem the way he did, with Aeneas killing Turnus, people tend to question what Virgil’s hopes for Rome really were. Some say the ending of The Aeneid is said to be unfinished, meaning some think Virgil meant to continue the story but didn’t have time to; however, I believe Virgil’s intentions of ending the poem the way he did was because he wanted to show that he wanted Rome to be an everlasting empire, and that Virgil may have had a sympathy to the defeated. This leaves the question, is it true that Virgil could not finish the poem, and if he did finish his work would the ending of the poem be different.…...

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