Virgil1 - Virgil's portrayal of Dido in Book IV is one of...

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Unformatted text preview: Virgil's portrayal of Dido in Book IV is one of the great literary character studies in all of literature. Dido finally knows, as do we, that she is doomed to fail in her conquest of Aeneas, yet we applaud her resourcefulness in facing down her destiny. Her begging at the beginning of Book IV for the earth to swallow her before she falls deeper into passion's indomitable grip is balanced by a similar self- recognition of her plight toward the book's end, when she asks of herself, "What am I saying? Where am I? What madness / Takes me out of myself? Dido, poor soul, / Your evil doing has come home to you." Tragically, no matter how much she is aware of the danger her passion presents, she cannot prevent her own psychological demise. In some ways, Dido, like Turnus, her male counterpart in the second half of the Aeneid , is even more...
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