Manipulation In The Aeneid

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Since their conception, emotions have been one of the most defining characteristics humans have assigned to themselves. While dolphins, other primates, and, more recently, computers have been found to have levels of intelligence rivalling humanity’s, how they’ve felt about it has remained more or less unique. Though they are often considered one of man’s greatest strengths, emotions are also a method of entry for manipulation attempts from other people. An excellent source for examples of this is The Aeneid. Written over two millennia by the Roman poet Virgil, The Aeneid is filled with a wide range of human emotions and situations in which they influence people’s decisions. In addition, throughout Books II and IV of The Aeneid, Virgil shows…show more content…
The beginning of Book II depicts the Trojan Horse being taken into Troy after much persuasion from Sinon, who appeals to the Trojan’s emotions to assist him in this task. Throughout much of this section, Sinon frequently mentions what a terrible situation the Greeks have supposedly left him in, such as when he tells the Trojan army “‘And now I’ve no hope of seeing my old country again, / Or my sweet children or the father I long for: / Perhaps they’ll seek to punish them for my flight, / And avenge my crime through the death of these unfortunates.’” (Virgil, The Aeneid: Book II 138-141) Looking back on this line, it is easy to see that he is trying to elicit sympathy from the Trojans to convince them that he is no longer cooperating with the Greeks. After this succeeds, he immediately moves on to appealing to the Trojans’ sense of pride through statements such as “‘And Calchas ordered them / To raise the huge mass of woven timbers, raised to the sky, / So the gates would not take it, nor could it be dragged / Inside the walls, or watch over the people in their ancient rites.’” (Virgil, The Aeneid: Book II 185-188) In this quote, Sinon is quite clearly making a direct appeal to the Trojan’s sense of pride by presenting them with a supposedly unachievable goal, a basic reverse-psychology

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