Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil's Aeneid

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Lexington Books, Jan 1, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 427 pages
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Madness Unchained is a comprehensive introduction to and study of Virgil's Aeneid. The book moves through Virgil's epic scene by scene and offers a detailed explication of not only all the major (and many minor) difficulties of interpretation, but also provides a cohesive argument that explores Virgil's point in writing this epic of Roman mythology and Augustan propaganda: the role of fury or madness in Rome's national identity. There have been other books that have attempted to present a complete guide to the Aeneid, but this is the first to address every episode in the poem, omitting nothing, and aiming itself at an audience that ranges from the Advanced Placement Virgil student in secondary school to the professional Virgilian and everyone in-between, both Latinists and the Latin-less. Individual chapters correspond to the books of the poem; unlike some volumes that prejudice the reader's interpretation of the work by rearranging the order of episodes in order to influence their impact on the audience, this book moves in the order Virgil intended, and also gives rather fuller exposition to the second half of the poem, Virgil's self-proclaimed "greater work" (maius opus). The notes to each chapter, as well as the "Selected Bibliography," are meant to provide a guide to the dense forest that is Virgilian scholarship. The notes aim at familiarizing the interested reader with the better and lesser known byways of Virgilian criticism, both English/American and continental, and at introducing the reader to some of the perennial problems of Virgilian literary criticism. It is hoped that Madness Unchained will become the standard introductory guide to the poem, useful in college and university courses in mythology, Roman literature, epic poetry, and Virgil (in Latin or translation), as well as offering a reappraisal of the poem to the many readers and scholars in other disciplines who know they should "like" the Aeneid, but who have always been perplexed by the seemingly stra

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Contents

Arms and the Man
1
All Fell Silent
37
After It Seemed Best
75
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Lee Fratantuono is William Francis Whitlock Professor of Latin at Ohio Wesleyan University.

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