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Emotion and Reason in The Aeneid

As with the Iliad and Gilgamesh, emotion drives certain characters to behave irrationally in the Aeneid. Which characters in the story are motivated by emotion, and which are not? What are some of the key passages related to emotion? What appears to be the general attitude toward emotionally driven behavior in the poem? What might this suggest about the prevailing Roman attitude toward emotional behavior?

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Probably the best choice of character for this kind of question would be Aeneas himself. This is because, through a survey of his behavior, we can see not just the struggle between emotion and reason in the Roman ideal, but because in fact both exist within it. In fact, even this emotional drive is not completely good or evil. The Aeneid, therefore, is a classic that involves not a bifurcation of human character, but rather the formation of that character through "black," "white," and "grey" areas particular to the role played by any foreseeable citizen called upon during a time of need.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the communicated values of reason and emotion in the Ancient Latin culture are described using The Aeneid.