In the Aeneid, Virgil paints Dido as a woman of many things such as strong willed, heroic, independent, and determined. She was also considered to be Aeneas’s equal. So, why is it that a woman with many qualities; is quick to react out of anger? Dido characteristics show that she is a leader and she will get things done by any means, but she also possesses a lack of understanding when it comes to what love means. The story of Dido is an interesting one and I am sure many can relate too.
“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,
In Book I, we learn that Aeneas will be facing many obstacles on his journey because Juno (Hera) “in her sleepless rage” does not favor him (1.7). An issue Odysseus also had to deal with. The difference here is, unlike Odysseus who has angered Poseidon by blinding his son, Cyclops, Aeneas has not done anything to provoke this rage. Juno holds a grudge against Paris for not choosing her in a beauty competition against Minerva (Athena) and Venus, “that suffering, still rankled: deep within her, / Hidden away, the judgment Paris gave” (1.39-40). She also knows what is to come of Carthage, “That generations born of Trojan blood [Aeneas] / Would one day overthrow her Tyrian walls,” a city “[Juno] cared more for…/ Than any walled city of the earth” (1.31-32, 24-25). We know that Aeneas is set to build Rome so she will try her hardest to make him fail on his journey. In the case of Odysseus, Athena interc...
50),” manifests her rage though the physical fire set to the Trojans ships by the women. Juno’s divine wrath against Aeneas stems from two events; the first being Paris choosing Venus as the fairest women compared to Juno and Minerva. The second being the Trojan descendants are fated to destroy Juno’s favorite city, Carthage. Juno understands she cannot stop Aeneas from reaching fated Italy, but she still does everything in her power to make the journey difficult. Juno’s burning rage is most clearly seen when she sends down her messenger, Iris, to convince the Trojan women to burn Aeneas’ fleet. Aeneas and his crew had just landed in Eryx and held festivities to honor Anchises. As the men are distracted by the games, Iris impersonates Beroe and persuades the women to light “burning torches” (V.635) and ignite the ships. The women act on their emotions and are easily persuaded because they want to stop traveling and stay in Eryx. Iris is “the first to seize destroying flame” (V.641) and throw it onto the ships. The women “watched in horror” (V.643-4) but soon join the attack. The “raging fire didn’t slaken” (V.680) until Jupiter intervenes and releases a “rage of pouring rain and thunder” (V.694). Juno’s internal rage is demonstrated though the external fire set by Iris and the women. The destructive fires and the manipulation of the women’s emotions emphasize the rage Juno feels that is only be smothered by Jupiter’s
The god’s are manipulating Dido and Aeneas into doing what they want them to do. It’s challenging for Dido and Aeneas to have any control over their actions. Dido had no choose but to fall in love with Aeneas. Cupid’s arrow shot incited a love within Dido that would in time make her go mad out of love for Aeneas. Juno plays a crucial role as she was the one that separated Dido from her court and lured Dido and Aeneas to a cave were she prepared a wedding ceremony. Now Dido believes they are married because of what they have done in the cave. Afterwards, Jup...
In spite of the interplay and predefined notions of the divine, both women react forcibly to the departure and prolonged absence of their truest love, each establishing themselves as willful and passionate characters. For Penelope of Homer’s The Odyssey, strength and deliberate intention translates through her unflinching faithfulness to Ulysses and staunch belief in his imminent return. Expressing longing and the sorrow felt in her husband’s prolonged absence through rational emotions, Penelope’s character becomes one worthy of high admiration; bearing an ideal balance of inner strength and a relatable nature. Quite antithetically, Dido’s umbrageous nature disabled her from seeing beyond the perceived betrayal of Aeneas, and rather than robing herself in hope, strength, and unwavering faithfulness, she took matters into her own hands and cut short any prospect of perseverance and earthly reunification. While Penelope admirably accepts the Ulysses’s calling and faithfully awaits his return from the journey he is meant to conquer, Dido refuses to accept that Aeneas’s departure is of the same divine origin, and instead of standing by her lover’s predestined fate, she proclaims betrayal and brazenly
Aeneas’ protection is the result of his kinship with the god of beauty, Venus. She is his mother, which is why she often sends her fellow gods on missions to help Aeneas. In one section Virgil writes, “O King of Gods and Men! whose awful hand Disperses thunder on the seas and land, Disposing all with absolute command; How could my pious son thy pow 'r incense? Or what, alas! is vanish 'd Troy 's offense? Our hope of Italy not only lost” (Aeneid). In this section, Juno (Aeneas’ enemy) has spoken to Aeolus and convinced him to conjure a storm that will eradicate Aeneas and his crew. His mother, Venus, goes to Neptune to see if he will calm the seas and save Aeneas. He speaks to her and assures her that he will soon conquer Italy, at which point he frees Aeneas and his crew from the storm that plagues
As a child, I was fascinated by Greek mythology and history, and I made it my business in elementary school to read as much as possible about the subject, including the outstanding stories and the pantheon of gods presented. I thought of them as fantastic, supernatural tales with fitful gods and brave heroes, and I never stopped to consider that the mythologies could be representative of the cultural views and habits of the Greeks, specifically regarding gender roles. One such representaton is Virgil's epic Aeneid, which contains depictions of women in positions of power, and also characterizes these women as irrational, emotional to the point of hysteria, and consequently, unfit rulers.
While women are labeled to be quite unstable, Virgil gives us such an indepth look at the private lives of these characters that you can't help but wonder if he was merely trying to capture what is "real" in society. "It is extraordinary that Vergil takes any account, much less the extensive account he does, of the struggles, pains, hopes, and diappointments of relationships in the private realm." (Wiltshire) I have to agree with this statement because it is quite abnormal to see this type of intamacy between characters in an epic.
Aeneas as a Roman Hero in The Aeneid
In Virgil’s poem, The Aeneid, the ideal Roman hero is depicted in the form of Aeneas. Not only does Aeneas represent the Roman hero, but he also represents what every Roman citizen is called to be. Each Roman citizen must posses two major virtues, he must remain pious, and he must remain loyal to the Roman race. In the poem, Aeneas encompasses both of these virtues, and must deal with both the rewards and costs of them.
In the poem, Virgil says that all Romans ought to have two certain virtues: he must remain a pious Roman citizen, and he must remain loyal to the Roman race.