Effects Of Love In The Aeneid

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Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? Affection, devotion, friendship, maybe even lust? Well, love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Today, love is seen as a beautiful thing, that everybody dreams of falling into. Awh, so sweet right? Not quite, love can cause some problems, and sometimes these problems are quite traumatic. In Book IV of The Aeneid, Virgil uses Dido’s strong affection for Aeneas to show that love can lead to complications, even death. Virgil sets up a scenario in which Queen Dido allows herself to fall in love with Aeneas. Dido has been scared to love another man after her husband, Sychaeus, was murdered by her brother. Dido explains, “ That man who took me to himself…show more content…
After making love in the cave, they return to Carthage as openly lovers. Dido even considered themselves to be married to each other, but this was a big mistake. Book IV states, “That day was the first cause of death, and first of sorrow.” (221-222) This piece of text basically says that Dido is setting herself up for no good thinking that they are a married couple before they actually went through with the authentic marriage ceremony. In no time at all, rumors spread that Dido and Aeneas have given up themselves for love and stopped doing their duties as rulers. The text says, “In those days Rumor took an evil joy at filling countrysides with whispers, whispers, gossip of what was done, and never done: how this Aeneas landed, Trojan born, how Dido in her beauty graced his company, then how they revealed all the winter long unmindful of the realm, prisoners of lust.” (246-252) These rumors later then spread to the gods and had some…show more content…
Though this message was a shock to Aeneas he still must listen to the gods. Aeneas said, “Get the fleet ready for sea, but quietly, and collect the men on shore. Lay in ship stores in gear.” (374-376) This was Aeneas preparing his crew to leave for Italy secretly, so he did not have to tell Dido knowing how drastically heart broken she would be. Dido then finds out about this plot to escape without her knowing and she is furious. Dido tells Anna to burn most things that he has left behind, but really this was a plan of Dido’s to kill herself. Dido states, “To whom do you abandon me, a dying woman, guess that you are-the only name now left from that of a husband? Why do I live on?” What Dido is implying here is that she has no reason to live because she is losing the man who she is married to. Aeneas does not think he has to stay because the real marriage ceremony did not occur. This is why when Dido thought they were married was her first death. Since Aeneas leaves, Dido kills herself in despair for her lost husband. Virgil’s view that love can lead to wrongdoings including death has been seen in a famous play, Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is about two families that do not get along, the Montagues and the Capulets. Two young lovers, Romeo and Juliet,
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