The Tragedy Of Dido Essay examples

1602 Words Sep 29th, 2016 7 Pages
The Tragedy of Dido Virgil’s Aeneid is an epic poem containing adventure, war, fate, and love. These last two elements, fate and love, are both focused on in distinct ways. Primarily, Virgil illustrates how humans are subject to the whims of fate, as well as subject to the suffering of unnatural love. Furthermore, Virgil continues to demonstrate how powerful fate and love are through the characters of Juno, Venus, and Cupid, all gods. To express to the reader the earthly effects of both fate and love, the tale of unhappy Dido is described. Dido endures the cruel sting of Cupid’s arrow early on in the Aeneid and is doomed from then on. Eventually, Dido falls into unrelenting despair and takes her own life, confident that death must surely be superior to her own tragic life. Yet, one could argue that Dido had died much before she committed her act of suicide, and that all that was left of the once high queen was a hollow shell of a body, devoid of a true soul. Virgil left much evidence throughout Books IV and VI that reinforce this notion that Dido is not responsible for her own death, and that it was the unfortunate result of the gods meddling in true fate. Evidence that Dido’s very soul was wounded as soon as Cupid’s arrow pierced her is clear in the opening lines of Book IV. As Virgil writes, “The queen [Dido] is caught between love’s pain and press. She feeds the wound within her veins; she is eaten by a secret flame. Aeneas’ high name, all he has done, again, again…

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