The Aeneid-the Role of Fate Essay

2130 Words Dec 3rd, 2010 9 Pages
Fate is the essential idea of The Aeneid, but more importantly, the underlying force throughout the text. Fate cannot be changed; it is the set of events with the inevitable result. Virgil uses the idea of fate to narrate and advance through his epic poem, but perhaps also to illustrate that the gods had originally intended for Rome to become a great and powerful empire. The king of gods, Jupiter, has chosen Aeneas and his preordained path to destiny, by leading the Trojans and creating the foundations for the Roman Empire. However, a variety of gods interfere with Aeneas’s direction of fate in order to satisfy their own desires, only to discover that Aeneas’s fate can be manipulated, but never overturned.
Aeneas is born from the gods
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Nevertheless, neither Venus nor Juno realizes that Aeneas is compelled to his fate and will eventually leave Dido. Jupiter is observant of Aeneas and Dido’s love affair and decides to send down Mercury to remind Aeneas that his fate does not reside in Carthage and he must leave immediately.
Are you now laying the foundation of high Carthage, as servant to a woman, building her a splendid city here? Are you forgetful of what is your own kingdom, your own fate? The very gods, whose power sways both earth and heaven, sends me down to you from bright Olympus. He himself has asked me to carry these commands through the swift air: what are you pondering or hoping for while squandering your ease in Libyan land? For if the brightness of such deeds is not enough to kindle you – if you cannot attempt the task for your own fame – remember Ascanius growing up, the hopes you hold for Iulus, your own heir, to whom are owed the realm of Italy and the land of Rome (Virgil 88). Aeneas is fully aware that his time in Carthage has now come to an end and he must leave Dido, despite of how they feel for each other. Unfortunately for Dido, when she realizes that Aeneas and his fleet are about to sail away, she becomes enraged and can’t bear to live out her life without him. Watching Aeneas and his fleet sail away, Dido feels completely hopeless and is in utter despair. Feeling unable to recover from her second loss in love, she decides her only option is to end her suffering by throwing

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