Virgil’s Depiction of Refugees’ Culture in Foreign Lands
In Eclogue 1, according to the conversation between two shepherds, Tityrus and Meliboeus, everything is going well for Tityrus, while Melibous’ future is less certain (Virgil 1). Tityrus explains to Meliboeus that he could buy his freedom as an old man, yet he could not do it while he was young because of Galatea’s, his former companion’s extravagance. He blames the ungrateful people in the township because they offer him little for his cheese. This shows that Tityrus misses the culture of his native country, in which people were generous. The refugee could not adapt to the life of extravagance, and missed the culture he was struggling to maintain. He believed that the gods intervened for his freedom. It is quite evident that gods hold a great place in their society. Their role cannot be undermined since they are important in determining the people’s destiny.
Love is also a common scenario that refugees experience in foreign lands. Surprisingly, they believe that one must be faithful to their partner. For instance in (Virgil 10) we see Damon blaming lucifer when he shamefully cheated on his lover Nysa. He says that even doing things that are unhelpful to his life, he is still calling to the gods at his hour of need. He believes that the gods have a soft spot for shepherds. In the new country, people are observing their culture of rearing animals, most of the character are shepherds.
Songs are also a common form of communication, through out the eclogue, the characters are either singing to the gods or to theor lovers. Although settling in new lands is quite difficult, the close family ties and friendships that refugees maintain are keeping them strong giving them hope for a better future. Their conversations that their bonds are strong, thei believe in common gods and they have regard for love.
Virgil. Eclogues, The Georgics. BoD–Books on Demand, 2019.
Virgil. The Aeneid. Focus Pub., 2004.
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