The Women of the Aeneid Essay

1727 Words Nov 21st, 2012 7 Pages
The Roman epic of Virgil's Aeneid describes the hardship and misadventures of Aeneas and the Trojans quest from Troy to Italy. Like Homer’s famous epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s narrative style and structure portrays similar attributes in the finding of Rome. Aeneas encounters several women on his journey who play a significant role throughout this epic in assisting or destroying his journey to Rome. His representation of female characters provides the readers with a better understanding of gender politics and reasons why some female leaders failed. Each of Virgil's female characters demonstrates a combination of traits throughout the epic; however, such behaviors of these women tend to develop unwanted conflict due to emotions. …show more content…
Only to find out that she will regret it in the end. When Mercury, the messenger god, reminds Aeneas that his destiny is not in Carthage and that he must leave for Italy immediately, Aeneas is not too excited to leave Dido, but he knows he has to obey. Dido at first was furious and cursed Aeneas, “Midway at sea you’ll drink your punishment and call and call on Dido’s name!... and when cold death has parted.. you will pay for this!”. As soon as Dido realizes that he is gone forever, her emotions transform from furious to depressed and lost. She decided to make an impulsive decision and goes to the extreme of commits suicide. The title for Book IV tells it all "The Passion of the Queen,". Queen Dido was supposedly known for being this powerful, supreme, strong minded leader, but her passion for Aeneas turned her soft. She put her responsibilities before love and did not see that Aeneas did the complete opposite. He loved her but he knew what he had to do. I feel as though her importance in the epic was just a distraction for Aeneas to reach his goal.
Book XI, Virgil presents another female character that holds power like Queen Dido. Camilla, the warrior queen of the Volscians, who just joined the Latins to provided assistance in the war with the Trojans. Camilla shows a lot of strong, composed, and leadership like qualities just like Dido in Book I. Vergil’s epic portrays Camilla’s true powers and strength, "Amid the carnage, like an Amazon,

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