The Iliad: The Roles Of Women In The Aeneid

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The Iliad and Aeneid are stories about men. Men are the protagonist of the story and everything else is a prop to help the protagonist. Though women are written in, their character is no match for the men of the story. The women in these stories are of two types: those who are nothing but names and those who have some depth to their character other than their names. Regardless of some having more depth than others, all the women are portrayed in a way that only serves to advance both the plot and the character of the males.
In the Iliad the story begins with a fight between Achilles and Agamemnon for a slave girl. Agamemnon is forced to give up his slave girl and demands “another prize ready for me right away” (Iliad 1.126.). The slave girls
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Virgil displays her courage and bravery by describing “plans [of] her escape, collects her followers...rising the new city of Carthage” (The Aeneid 1.438-444.). He also specifies her abilities of “leading them all” (1.442.). All of this reiterates that Dido is a strong female character. However, that starts to change when Aeneas comes to Carthage. It is then that Dido starts to become a tragedy. Even Cupid foreshadows Dido’s tragic end saying, “how can she know, poor Dido, what a mighty god is sinking into her, to her grief? (2.859-560.). Due to Cupid, Dido falls madly in love with Aeneas. Their love causes both her and Aeneas to ignore their duties and responsibilities. In the end it comes to Aeneas’s understanding that the love he has is what is holding him back from his destiny. Though it serves as a lesson to be learned for Aeneas, it is nothing but a grievous decision for Dido. In the end Dido is abandoned and commits suicide. Though strong at first Dido is used as an example as to what a reckless love can do. She is played around with to advance the plot for Aeneas. It is through her that Aeneas sways and then gets back onto the path of his destiny. However, Dido is left to a tragic ending, that can be sympathized with after having completed her purpose for the

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