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Virgils Use of Palinurus In writing The Aeneid Virgil subtly describes his perspective of the Roman civilization through various means primarily through the characters in his epic Rather than using the characters to build the idea that a great Rome is to be created he instead compares characters such as Palinurus and Aeneas to depict a society that will be more inferior According to Virgil Rome cannot be successful because its inhabitants do not possess the characteristics needed for a successful empire an empire that is disci-plined preserves and unifies its conquered and is humble Although these virtues are present in charac-ters such as Palinurus they are absent in the major leader of the Trojans the main character Aeneas Thus in Virgils Aeneid the death of Palinurus is significant because it symbolizes the death of a great civilization underlining Virgils view that Rome cannot succeed Rome cannot flourish to greatness be-cause the character that represents the embodiment of all the essential Roman virtues is not there The focus of The Aeneid is the story of Aeneass journey to found a new civilization Rome Vir-gil describes the character Aeneas as someone who strives to be more civilized However the protagonist can never undergo a complete transformation into a civilized man because he cannot overcome the bestial side in him Weighted down by uncertainty and confusion Aeneas is often puzzled as to which direction he should go When Troy is under attack Aeneas immediately grabs his weapons thinking he can fight his way through Insane I seize my weapons Theres no sense in weapons yet my sprit burns to gather a band for battle to rush out against the citadel with my companions Rage and anger drive my mind Book II lines 428-432 Unlike a true leader Aeneas does not think through the situation but gives in immediately to his inner desires to fight and kill This passage exemplifies the
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