Choices - The Aeneid essay

1803 Words Oct 13th, 2013 8 Pages
Chosen Fates

Making choices result in actions that ultimately determine fate. Being passive means to not make your own choices; no effort is made to change what is presumed to happen. Often times in ancient epic poems multiple Gods have agendas that affect humans. In the Aeneid by Virgil, Dido is portrayed as a victim of destiny, but is not passive: she makes deliberate, thought out choices in her relationship with Aeneas such as when pursuing him as a husband and when plotting her death that clearly mark her as an active participant in her own fate. The first display of Dido's free will can be seen when she decides to pursue Aeneas as her husband. Aeneas is destined to be the founder of Rome. But the Goddesses Juno's anger
…show more content…
She is initially lost and overwrought at the prospect of her lover Aeneas departing Carthage, but becomes at peace with herself “When she had gripped this madness in her mind / and beaten by her grief, resolved to die, / she plotted with herself the means, the moment” (The Aeneid, IV, 654-656). Dido was powerless in stopping Aeneas from leaving; her complete lack of control in that situation compounds her betrayed feelings as a lover. Thus when Dido decides to commit suicide, a decision completely made on her own, she stops being collateral of Aeneas' fate and his mission to found Rome, and instead makes choices that put control of her fate back into her own hands. Furthermore, Dido's suicide is not merely an act of desperation, but thought out deliberate actions that empower her. Even after plotting to commit suicide, Dido asks “...within her heart: / What can I do?” (The Aeneid, IV, 736-737). Dido continually reassess her situation, and reaffirms her decision to herself. Her suicide is not taken lightly, but is an act that Dido repeatedly confirms she wants to do. Indeed, right before Dido kills herself, “...she checked her thought / and tears a little, lay upon the couch / and spoke her final words...” (The Aeneid, IV, 896-899). Right before her final moment, right before there is any turning back, Dido reassures herself one last time. Overall, Dido is seen to be in control of

Related Documents