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The Other Virgil`Pessimistic' Readings of the Aeneid in Early Modern Culture$
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Craig Kallendorf

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212361.001.0001

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(p.213) Conclusion
The Other Virgil

Craig Kallendorf (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter presents some final thoughts on the reading and translation of the Aeneid. It argues that we need to become more sophisticated in the way we analyse the relationship between two works of literature. It suggests that considerably more work needs to be done on the relationship between what is done in the schools and what is produced as ‘high culture’ by the graduates of those schools. The model provided by the Aeneid and its early modern progeny suggests that adopting a work of literature as a school text can become a proverbial two-edged sword. On the one hand, the fact that every educated person knew the Aeneid for hundreds of years provided opportunities that were fully exploited by writers like Le Plat, who parodied Virgil with the confidence that their work would be understood and appreciated in ways that are simply not possible today. On the other hand, the Aeneid was such a ubiquitous part of early modern culture that, as late as the 1970s, readers of Shakespeare's The Tempest simply failed to see it as the central subtext that it is now widely recognized to be.

Keywords:   Aeneid, reading, school text, translation, The Tempest

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