Female Ability In The Aeneid

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Female Instability in The Aeneid

Jasmine Ye

In traditional Roman values, women were often submissive to the power of men and were not allowed to participate in activities that allowed them control, rather this ability constituted in men alone. In this, women were not allowed to engage in political issues as gender roles permitted them to do so. Throughout Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid, females show to be a hinder to politics as their main representative, Dido, a widow who becomes the sovereign queen of a flourishing city fails with her capability to rule. As the protagonist, Aeneas encounters Carthage on this journey to Rome, he becomes entranced by the efficient system in which Dido has built for her people. When becoming influenced
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Women such as Dido encounter opportunities to overpower their male counterparts, yet ultimately fail as emotions hinder their judgement and overall fate. The Aeneid differs from other literal works because of its ability to question the actions of females based on their overall narrative and voice. This narrative is relevant to their passion and the aspects to which they hold important throughout the epic. The passages relating to Dido and her transformation to a fallen ruler shows a great juxtaposition between the role and influence women pertain as political leader. Dido, a once powerful Carthaginian, failed in having the power to bend a political man’s will to abandon his obligations, yet held the capability to do so. Based on this inference from The Aeneid, Virgil demonstrates how women cannot be entrusted with the political leadership in the society; therefore, they are seen to be negatively impacting politics. Women in Virgil’s The Aeneid are unable to control their emotions and eventually fail to deliver the responsibilities they are entrusted with leadership positions and overall with

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