Virgil - Virgil's motive for inventing Aeneas and Dido's...

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Unformatted text preview: Virgil's motive for inventing Aeneas and Dido's doomed love affair is to provide a poetic and romantic explanation for the hatred that existed between Rome and Carthage. The Punic Wars, which occurred between Rome and Carthage in the third and second centuries B.C., would seem to be the fulfillment of the curse Dido places on Aeneas and his posterity when he abandons her and sails to Italy to fulfill his destiny. In addition, Virgil has another important reason for telling this poignant love story: He wants to present Aeneas not only as the embodiment of Roman virtues, but also as a living, breathing human being. We have already seen how Virgil is willing, when the occasion warrants for example, in his description of the fall of Troy to show Aeneas as haunted by the same doubts and fears as are other people. Aeneas is not born a hero; he becomes one, and the noble result appears all the more other people....
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