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Rationality In Aeneid

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Rationality affects the way we behave, but emotions changes our behaviors and drives us to behave the way we do. People are driven by emotions yet we can’t allow it to be the only thing that controls our actions and behaviors. Rationality helps control our emotions and prevents it from getting too out of hand. For example, in a situation where a waiter accidentally bumps into you and causes you to drop the delicious piece of dessert you were just about to eat, there are two ways you can react, emotionally and rationally. Emotionally, you could burst out in anger at the waiter. Scream and yell, completely acting in an irrational way all because of a piece of dessert. On the other hand, rationally, you could stay calm or and remain kind to the…show more content…
Juno, the queen of the gods, is fueled by her rage and fear to harm and change the wheels of fate however she can so that her beloved Argos would not be taken by the Trojans, “This was Juno’s fear...They festered deep within her, galled her still...the Trojan stock she loathed...Her fury inflamed by all this” (Virgil, 48, 28-36). While Juno’s emotional actions affect the other characters, Dido’s emotional actions resulted in her death. After being abandoned by her beloved, Aeneas, Dido was furious and wounded, “So, driven by madness, beaten down by anguish, Dido was fixed on dying, working out in her mind the means, the moment” (Virgil, 144, 594-596). Rational, only in appearance, Dido tells her sister, Anna, to go build her a “pyre in secret, deep inside our courtyard under the open sky” to “obliterate every trace of the man” (Virgil 144). Anna does as her sister tells her to and is deceived by what the pyre was really meant for. Attempting to rid of her emotions by burning every trace of Aeneas, her emotions eventually take over. With her heart torn apart, Dido commits suicide. Dido’s sister on the other hand is hurt but still emotionally stable. Anna is stunned, grieving, and hurt by the actions of her sister, “how very cruel… You have destroyed your life, my sister, mine too” (Virgil 145). Despite playing a part in her sister’s death, Anna remains levelheaded and requests for help to “bathe [Dido’s]…show more content…
Clytemnestra, the Queen of Argos, is lacking the power to prevent her daughter being used as a sacrificial lamb to the gods. The misery she felt when her husband, Agamemnon, sacrificed their daughter was immense. So immense that it led her to murder, for she thought that Agamemnon “thought no more of it than killing a beast” in order to conquer a city and “sacrificed his own child, our daughter, the agony I laboured into love” (Aeschylus, 162, 1440-1443). The intense emotions of agony and hatred that Clytemnestra feels for her deceased daughter, in a way, gives her the motive to cause her to do the things she did. However, in Cassandra’s case, she accepts the situation that she is given. Cassandra knows she’s going to soon die, but doesn’t fight against it because she knows that her “time has come” and that there’s “little to gain from flight” (Aeschylus 156). Rather than acting out in anger or unwisely, Cassandra merely says a few words more, a mournful funeral rite for her. Aegisthus, the usurper of Agamemnon's throne, is fueled by his rage towards Agamemnon and his father, Atreus, to obtain revenge for his family. The fury he feels towards Atrus for driving his father, Thyestes, out of the house and luring him back only to give him a “feast of his children’s flesh” and make him eat it unknowingly, “serves it to Thyestes throned on high. He picks at the flesh he cannot recognize,
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