Dido-Aeneas Relationship Analysis Essay

Dido-Aeneas Relationship Analysis Essay

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“The Dido-Aeneas Relationship: A Re-Examination” is a written by T. R. Bryce. Bryce’s argument is that Dido would not have loved Aeneas at all had she not been shot by Cupid’s arrow. Her actions toward Aeneas before being influenced by Cupid, he says, were characteristic of any powerful ruler. The queen saw a potential ally in Aeneas, and treated him as such. Dido would not have been completely mad about how much she loved Aeneas, and would not have been throwing herself at him as many times as she had before. After her husband was murdered, she vowed that she would never marry or lay with another man, and she stood firm in that promise up until her fateful encounter with our epic hero. When Venus became aware of how Juno was sabotaging Aeneas, she planned to prevent any future plots and instructed her son Cupid, the Roman God of desire, to shoot Dido with an arrow to ignite a flame of love in her heart for Aeneas. This act directly contradicts her vow as a wife, making this to be a flame of destruction, not warmth. She then completely changed her demeanor and fell madly in love with Aeneas, something she told him repeatedly during their time together. Before Aeneas “stumbled” into Dido’s path, she was devoted to the promise she made to her husband and never wavered from it, rejecting the many suitors that had come to take her hand in marriage. Bryce describes Dido as a strong, level-headed woman. From this and her rejection of other suitors, Bryce deduces that Dido would not have fallen victim to the accomplished and physically attractive Aeneas without the strong potency of Cupid’s intervention (p. 258). Dido was a resourceful widowed queen that never showed signs of faltering in her dedication to Carthage, especially not due to...


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... Aeneas’ path. Dido was a lover and one of Aeneas’ most painful memories. The pain of leaving her was almost too much for Aeneas to bare, so much so that he resisted the gods and wanted to stay. His personal feelings told him to stay and love Dido for the rest of his life, but his pietas and duty helped him forget his humanistic wants and desires and trade them for the glory of Rome. Dido’s sufferings documented in the Aeneid include her loss of her first husband, her promise to never marry or lie with another man, her refusal of multiple men who asked for her hand, and the godly intervention in which she is forced by Cupid’s power to break her vow and fall madly in love with a man who would ultimately walk out on her, leading her to kill herself. Sullivan’s view shows Dido and Aeneas’ story as a true tragedy in the line of sad stories leading to the founding of Rome.

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