Aeneas And Dido Essay Topics

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Aeneas is the king of the Trojans, who is also the son of Anchises and Venus. His fate is that he would build the land of Rome. This fate is tested by the interference of the gods, Juno in particular. Juno is the queen of the gods and held in high respects in the city of Carthage. As Juno holds a desire to “establish Carthage as the reigning city, [she] pits herself against fate itself, which ordained that the descendants of the Trojans will conquer Carthage and rule the world” (Syed, 108). The one to lead the descendants from Troy that would build Rome was Aeneas. This created Juno’s distaste in him and does anything in her power to prevent Aeneas from fulfilling his fate of building Rome. However, this is only one of the several reasons…show more content…

This relationship is an example from Virgil of how love among two individuals causes pain, tragedy, and can, ultimately, destroy one’s life and happiness.
In Book 1 of “The Aeneid”, Aeneas endures a storm that was created by Juno, causing him and his comrades to become stranded, as he was traveling from Troy to Italy. As of now, the object of love for Aeneas is his country and for its growth and success. Aeneas lands on the shores of Carthage and this is where his focus of love is shaken and tested. While searching in the woods, Aeneas meets a young girl, who is disguised and actually his mother Venus. She tells Aeneas the background story of the ruler of Carthage and how everything came to be. She also reassures Aeneas that his missing ships, along with his other comrades, are safe and to continue the path into the city. Once Aeneas enters the city and observes the progress of the developing city, he is ecstatic. This encounter shows how his love for country is very focused. Instead of focusing on the individuals that may have been roaming around the city as an object of love, he views the whole city, which was still in progress, as an object of love. Aeneas goes and explores the queen’s temple to come across scenes etched of his comrades during the Trojan War. Aeneas speaks to Achates, who was one of his companions that survived the storm, about these scenes along the walls and while

  • 1

    The many gods and goddesses in the Aeneid are invested with highly distinctive, often capricious personalities. Choose several deities with distinct characteristics, and compare how their efforts influence the lives of mortals. Which deity is the most powerful? Which has the most influence over Aeneas and his companions?

  • 2

    Respect for one's ancestors is important to many characters in the Aeneid. How does Aeneas reveal his deep reverence for his forebears?

  • 3

    Aeneas has been criticized by some for being "too perfect" of a hero. Are there any episodes where his limitations are revealed? Where does he seem to demonstrate flaws? Would a modern audience see flaws that Virgil's earliest readers might have overlooked in their founding hero?

  • 4

    Many argue that Turnus is, in essence, a counterpart to Aeneas - one of the few characters with comparable strength and leadership abilities. Although it is easy to characterize Turnus as purely evil, do you think that Virgil intends him to be interpreted as wholly malevolent? What makes this character complex?

  • 5

    There are numerous sacrifices and omens throughout the Aeneid. Select some of these and discuss their specifics: why are the particular elements of the sacrifice chosen? How effective is the sacrifice? What makes the omen especially resonant in that moment? Is the omen interpreted correctly by those who witness it?

  • 6

    Dido is one of the most fascinating characters in the Aeneid. She knows that Aeneas is destined to build his kingdom elsewhere, but she refuses to accept the dictates of fate. To what extent is Dido a victim or responsible for her own tragedy, and in what ways does she share the characteristics of a hero?

  • 7

    Aeneas is destined to sail to Italy and build a great new empire that will one day become Rome. There are numerous references throughout the Aeneid to the inevitability of fate. When are the episodes where fate might have been thwarted? Could Aeneas have abandoned or failed to fulfill his destiny? What are the limits of free will when the endpoint is already set?

  • 8

    Many of the minor characters in the Aeneid, especially the mortal women (but not Dido or Camilla), are presented vaguely and as relatively uninteresting. But where would the story be without them? Discuss the potential and actual roles of some of the secondary characters.

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