Examples Of Love In The Aeneid

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Love and tragedy are two concepts, completely contradictory, that often end up intertwined in stories. The Aeneid has a stunning example of love mixed with tragedy, even though the tale was not specifically written for romance. The love between Dido and Aeneas is questionable in quality, but it is present, and it is certainly followed by tragedy. Who is responsible for the tragedy, though? Usually, the blame goes to the lovers themselves, but this case is much more complicated. The culpability for this horrid tragedy belongs not only to Queen Dido, but also Venus, Juno, Aeneas. Dido, the respectable and dignified Queen of Carthage, was left founding and building the city by herself. Despite the death of her husband, Sychaeus, at the hands of her own brother, she stood tall and did not succumb to grief. Unfortunately for her, this is not the end of the misery she must endure. The…show more content…
It ends with her suicide. No god or man compelled her to die, she performed the act herself, but how culpable is she really? The night she truly decided her death she hears her former husband’s voice, doleful cries from owls, and has fevered nightmares of Aeneas hunting her down. Even her dreams provide no escape from the torment of reality. “So broken in mind by suffering, Dido caught / Her fate madness and resolved to die” (4.656-57). Madness, here, does not seem to be synonymous with insanity. Her calm plotting and planning prove that she has rational thought left, yet her judgement is quite clouded. Despair works in waves; ebbing away, it allows her to act calm, but it is still present, lurking under the surface. Then, despair strikes, and drowns her ability to see that ending her life is unnecessary. At the time, she believes it the only real way to end her suffering. So, it is by her own hand that she dies, but her sorrow and shame, madness and despair, overwhelmed her, clouding her
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