Time to leave behind the valley of souls, make our way out of Dis place and head back to the land of the living. As the guys wrap up this portion of the epic poem, it's hard to avoid a little bit of interpretive questioning: Why did Vergil couple Rome's glorious future with the tear-jerking, pathos-filled death of Marcellus? How did the man of Mantua really feel about Augustus? Is that lavish, spondaic poety sincere or is there some kowtowing to the guy who cuts his check? And perhaps most of all, why does Aeneas exit the Mall of Persephone through that gate of false dreams? Was it only to prevent the emergency-exit alarm from going off as he heads toward his Iliadic destiny? To get some answers, cast your anchor from the prow, face your sterns toward the shore, grab a bag of huggable portions, and tune in!
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