The Importance Of Love In Virgil's Aeneid

1214 Words 5 Pages
In Symposium by Plato there is discussion on what love is and for the assembled guests it has different meanings. Many types of love can be seen in Virgil’s Aeneid as well; there is love between people or of the devotion to gods and family (pietas). These types of loves can be described through Diotima’s speech. Diotima defines love as the desire to give birth to beautiful ideas that last forever; she argues that love is not fully knowledgeable or ignorant, and that the soul is more beautiful than the body. These ideals can be seen through the love Juno has for Carthage, the love Aeneas has for pietas, and the love Anchises has for Aeneas.
(does this need more of an intro sentence?) Juno has a love for Carthage unlike a common love. Her love
…show more content…
He has a love towards pietas. Aeneas is devoted to his family and has a devote respect for the gods. Both of these are seen when he is fleeing Troy. To Anchises he said “Come dear father, onto my shoulders now. You will not weigh me down” showing how he cares for his father is old and will not make it by himself (Aen. 2.833). Aeneas’ son, Iülus “held [his] hand and kept up” by holding his hand Aeneas was able to ensure his safety as well (Aen. 2.850). Even in the chaos of fleeing Aeneus respected the gods and did not forget the household gods. He instructed Anchises to carry them because is hands were bloody from battle and “it would be sacrilege if I touched them” (Aen. 2.845-846). Due to his respect to the gods, Aeneas is fully committed to his fatum. His “quest is for Italy to be our fatherland and to found a race descended from Jove most high” and he puts this quest about all else, even his love for Dido (Aen. 1.464-466). Aeneas’ love is trickier than the others. He loves pietas which, in turn, is respecting the gods. Therefore, he knows he has to abide by his fatum but, he does not know exactly what it is. This illustrates one of Diotima’s ideas that love “must be a lover of wisdom and, as such, is in between being wise and being ignorant” (Sym. 204e). Aeneas’ love for pietas and is neither fully knowledgeable nor ignorant. He knows he is suppose sail west, settle, and form a new motherland but, he has no …show more content…
210b). Anchises’ love for Aeneas embodies this ideal. When talking to Aeneas in the underworld he says, “Earthly bodies are doomed to die,” (Aen. 6.867). He explains the importance of having a beautiful soul by telling Aeneas that the souls go through different stages to “remove the last trace of stain, leaving only the pure flame of ethereal spirit” (Aen. 6.883-884). By explaining this to Aeneas he is expressing the concern he has for his soul. Anchises gives this insight so that Aeneas strives to have a more beautiful soul. Later Anchises describes to Aeneas what it means to be Roman and he tries to explicate the virtues of a Roman. He says in order to be a good roman Aeneas must “establish peace, spare the humbled, and conquer the proud” (Aen. 6.1017-1018). All these arts are very noble and virtuous. By telling Aeneas of them Anchises is pushing him to be virtuous through these and thus he will have a beautiful soul. Which is much more important than a body because beautiful souls possess “wisdom and the rest of virtue” (Sym. 109a). Anchises love for Aeneas and his soul possesses this ideal in Diotima’s speech. Both Aeneas and Diotima believe that the soul is more important the

Related Documents