Dido's Duty In The Aeneid

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Humans often struggle in balancing the demands of an important job or responsibility with their relationships and emotions. This decision is still present in today’s world as well as in the past, which “Book IV” of The Aeneid clearly illustrates. Dido finally lets herself fall in love again after the murder of her husband, Sychaeus, and is immediately invested in a messy relationship with Aeneas the Trojan hero. Later, Aeneas confronts a choice: accept his fate and fulfill his duty to the gods or stay with his love, Dido. Virgil uses Aeneas’s choice of duty over Dido to show that in relationships, work comes first despite the emotions present. Early in the book, it is established how important Aeneas’s duty is to him. Aeneas is meant to be fulfilling his fate by founding a city in Italy. It is obvious that before he met Dido he was very focused on his responsibilities. Virgil makes a point of this by writing: “duty-bound … took the course heaven gave him and went back to the fleet”. (521-526) Aeneas was under an immense amount of pressure because he knew his fate was to lay the foundation for the Roman Empire after the siege of Troy. Aeneas is meant to establish a kingdom for his son,…show more content…
Many articles have been written about how to cope when a spouse puts more work into their job than into their relationship. In the article “When Work Interferes with Love,” the author describes a one-sided relationship in which a woman’s husband was becoming consumed with his work. This relates to “Book IV” of The Aeneid because Dido and Aeneas were placed in a similar situation. When Aeneas tells Dido he is leaving she grows furious; the same thing happens in this article, “My husband works too hard. I feel neglected and start to complain.” Both fictional, and real couples in modern times face the dreaded demanding job that prevents one partner from putting work into the

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