The Aeneid Analysis

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#MeToo: Women as Portrayed by Virgil and Ovid To many students in the 21st Century, classic literature can be seen as dry, required readings that have no impact on their lives whatsoever. Current events seem to be much more interesting and immediate, but the issues being brought up today aren’t as new as one might think. The feminist movement has gained an enormous following in the last few years, fighting for equality and respect for all genders. Social media has united that movement and allows people to share their stories, especially with the recently trending hashtag #MeToo. #Metoo was used for women to share their sexual harassment stories with the public so that others would realize that they were not the only ones who were treated disrespectfully.…show more content…
In the Aeneid, Virgil introduces Queen Dido as being “taller by a head than any” and shows her walking amidst her people as a beloved ruler (Aeneid Book I 108). The name Dido also suggest something of her character because its simplified translation is “wandering” (Jacobson 581). While she claims to be loyal to her late first husband, Dido is greatly attracted to Aeneus and describes her inner conflict in great detail to her sister Anna (Aeneid Book IV 11-38). Virgil also does not waste any time overly describing Anna to the reader because she is not supposed to be part of the greater story of Aeneus and it is not necessary to write her as…show more content…
The content can easily be compared to current events, especially when comparing female sexual harassment and abuse. While there aren’t any well-known documents written by or for women in the era, what can be inferred from the writings of Virgil and Ovid is astounding. Both authors introduce their characters to be beautiful and desirable by all the male characters, but not all of the female characters want anything to do with the men. Additionally, while the men lust after the women, they are quick to dismiss their thoughts and wishes for their own, assuming that all the women are looking for is a husband to get them pregnant. Virgil and Ovid are also adamant that a “happy ending” for a woman does not exist without pain and suffering beforehand; and even then, it may not be so “happy”, if they even get one at all. The correlations between the writings of these two authors is unsurprising for the time, but causes the reader to wonder how accurately the women are portrayed, whether it be through their looks, how they are treated by their male counter parts, or where their story ultimately
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