Dido, The Princess Of Tyre In Aeneid

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Dido, also referenced as Elissa, was the Princess of Tyre in Phoenicia. She escaped to Libya while running from tyranny in her home country, where she founded Carthage. Dido and Aeneas cross paths in the Aeneid after the sack of Troy as he leads the Trojan refugees in sought of refuge to repair ships and rest. As the Queen of Carthage, she received the Trojans exile with hospitality; through a series of unfortunate events she falls madly in love with Aeneas and becomes devastated when his destiny leads him to setting sail in search of Italy. Leaving Dido suicidal nor suspecting Dido was planning her own death, Anna, her sister made the arrangements of creating a shrine and getting rid of Aeneas’s things. On the same day that the Trojans…show more content…
In this paper analysis, I will lay out how Henry Fuseli, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Peter Paul Rubens depict Dido, as a woman, having lost self-control through suffering with love, and clarify how each artist paints a dissimilar image from how Virgil embodies her death in the…show more content…
He was famously known for being an artist in a branch of the Flemish Baroque tradition. His creation emphasized Dido’s ferocious passion through the curvaceous twist of her body, and the decision to have her fully nude for the portrait created a particular appeal. He stages her she looking towards the sky, correlating to in the Aeneid it comments, “With wandering eyes she sought the light in heaven’s dome and moaned when she found it” (pg. 100, 806-807). Rubens accentuated the scene’s gloom through use of somber colors. The artist also renders his portrait to include a faint dead older gentleman with a phrygian cap atop his head. It is assumed that this would-be Dido’s first husband, Sycheaus, based off of the age of the man, excluding that the cap would typically be one belonging to a Trojan from the Asian Minor in representation of freedom and the pursuit of liberty. Therefore, it is a speculation as to whether this is supposed to be a symbolic older version of Aeneas, or resemble Dido thinking of her first love in her last dying moments. The other odd component of this piece is that representation of the actual death scene of Dido is only evident through the sword she is pushing into her chest, the torch, and quiver that in the far-left hand corner. A burning torch is typically a source of enlightenment, hope, but also the anointing of marriage or death.
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