Aeneas’ Haunting in Virgil's Aeneid Aeneas

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In epic stories the hero is traditionally confronted by supernatural entities that either strive to encourage or hinder him. In Virgil’s Aeneid Aeneas deals with the such supernatural interferences all of which focus on the goal of Aeneas creating Rome and its people. Throughout the books Aeneas is a truly ‘haunted’ individual faced with ghost, gods and even fate itself all of which attempt to prompt and govern his choices. Aeneas is subjected to the power of these forces as they lead him throughout a journey to create his fated city, propelling him to victory. Immediately readers are introduced to Aeneas’ supernatural plight by Virgil, who states that Juno hates Aeneas. Virgil tells of the story of Paris of Troy who was chosen to decided the most beautiful goddess, Minerva, Venus or Juno. Each goddess had promised him great prizes if he chose them but Venus’ promise of any woman to have as his own spurred the prince to choose her. Juno viewing this as an insult henceforth hated all things Trojan, including Aeneas and swore to make his life miserable. In addition it was prophesied that Aeneas would father “generations of Trojan blood [that] would one day overthrow” (I.31-32) her beloved city Carthage. Virgil immediately states all this hate pushes Juno to interfere with Aeneas’ journey in hopes to stop him. Juno attempts to do just that throughout the entire novel, finding different ways to derail Aeneas. First Juno goes to Aeolus and asks him to “put new fury into [his] winds and make the long ships flounder” (I.97-98) , but Poseidon puts an end to that storm. Then she has Aeneas fall in love with the Carthaginian queen Dido, hoping his attachment to the city will cause him to stay and not establish Rome, but Mercury is sent d... ... middle of paper ... ...e tells predicts the future. Both are in agreement to the future of Aeneas’ life and the challenges he will face, for the Sybil bases her prophecies upon the destiny created by the Fates. Aeneas no longer has a choice in life because everything he does is predetermined by the Fates and no supernatural being will allow him to defy them. Being an epic story it is of no surprise the amount of supernatural interference throughout the books. Aeneas is man plagued by these powers at every turn as they propel him through the journey the Fates have deemed necessary. He is a tool of fate, following its every command towards the end result of glory and honor for himself and his descendants. He is subjected to the supernatural powers in a superstitious time with no chance of escape. Aeneas was created to be haunted by the supernatural to complete his Fate and establish Rome.

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