Female Roles In The Aeneid

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The Aeneid is essentially about Aeneas and his pietaś to find Rome. Within this poem there are many female characters that play important roles towards Rome’s future; the female characters in the Aeneid are primarily figures of chaos, hostility and opposition in the Roman future. Juno, the queen of the gods plays a major role in the chaos Aeneas faces when finding Rome. Juno does not like the Trojans and attempts to stall Aeneas from his pietaś at every step. Dido is the Queen of Carthage, she falls in love with Aeneas and wants him to live with her in Carthage which prolongs his journey to find Rome. Amata, is the Queen of Laurentum, she struggles to stop Aeneas from marrying her daughter Lavina which would complete his pietaś to find Rome.…show more content…
Allecto is a fury who with the order of Juno tries to stall Aeneas from his pietaś. Camilla is the strongest female warrior that helps Turnus in his battle with Aeneas and the Romans. All these female characters have one thing in common and that is to stop Aeneas and ultimately halt the future of Rome. Juno, the Queen of the Gods is the leading female character in this poem that tries to steer Aeneas away from his pietaś. Juno does not like the Trojans because of Paris’s judgment in a beauty contest between her, Venus and Minerva. “That suffering, still rankled: deep within her, Hidden away, the judgment Paris had gave, Snubbing her loveliness; the race she hated;” (Aeneid. 1. 39-41) She uses this grudge against Aeneas as he is a Trojan just like Paris, in many instances. For example, Juno goes to Aeolus, the god of the winds to ask him to make the sea harder to sail on. “Put new fury Into your winds, and make the long ships founder! Drive them off course! Throw bodies in the sea!” (Aeneid.1. 97-99) Aeolus agrees to help Juno and Aeneas and his crewmen face horrible sea weather which results in some ships being harmed and some crewmen being lost. This…show more content…
Dido falls in love with Aeneas with the help of Amor, the god of love. “Mindful of his mother, He had begun to make Sychaeus fade From Dido’s memory bit by bit, and tried To waken with new love, a living love, Her long settled mind and dormant heart. (Aenied.1.981-985) Amor sits on Dido’s lap disguised as Ascanius, Aeneas’ son and uses his power to make Dido forget about her first husband Sychaeus and fall in love with Aeneas. Dido and Aeneas seek shelter together during a storm and end up married. “Dido had no further qualms As to impressions given and set abroad; She thought no longer of a secret love But called it marriage.” (Aeneid. 4. 234-237) Dido now thinks of Aeneas as her husband and Aeneas consumed by his love for Dido begins to forget about his pietaś. The Gods realize Aeneas has forgotten his pietaś and send Mercury to remind him of his duty. “If future history’s glories Do not affect you, if you will not strive For your own honor, think of Ascanius, Think of the expectations of your heir, Iulus, to whom the Italian realm, the land of Rome, are due.” (Aeneid. 4. 370-375) Mercury reminds Aeneas he should not be playing husband in Carthage but rather continue to find Rome for the future of the Trojans depends on it. Aeneas listens to Mercury and decides it is time to leave Carthage but he keeps his plans a secret from Dido. Dido finds out about Aeneas planning to leave and is
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