St. Augustine 's Confessions Essay

1198 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
In Saint Augustine’s Confessions, Augustine ponders his worldly experiences and how they prompted him to lead a more spiritual life. Throughout his divine expedition towards God, Augustine is faced with four deaths at varying ages and religious mentalities. The extent of Augustine’s religiousness at the time of each death greatly shaped the way he perceived every loss he faced. From when he reads about Dido’s death in Virgil’s Aeneid to witnessing the death of his mother, Monica, Augustine’s reaction to death matures. Additionally, as Augustine reflects on his response the deaths, there is a clear contrast between his perception of each loss as the protagonist versus as the author that is influenced by the relationship he develops with God throughout his life. This essay will explore how Augustine observes and understands each death through his cultivation of pietas.
As a schoolboy, Augustine read Virgil’s Aeneid and was moved by Dido’s death as he “wept over Dido who ‘died in pursuing her ultimate end with a sword’” (Conf. 1.21). However, despite his Catholic upbringing, Augustine was not as religious or inspired to build a relationship with God as he wishes he had been. This frustration Augustine has with his younger self is apparent within his commentary upon revisiting reading the death of Dido. As Augustine recounts his feelings of great sadness for Dido’s death, his tone exudes an apparent sense of disgust at his young self. In his present state Augustine is…

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