course hero The Aeneid Essay - Aeneas women

course hero The Aeneid Essay - Aeneas women - 1 Aeneas...

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1 Aeneas’ Women The majority of Aeneas’ relationships in Virgil’s The Aeneid seem to end poorly for his counterparts with one exception, Lavinia. While the nature of these relationships differ greatly, they all serve the same purpose, to advance the plot and to demonstrate that through the deaths of Creusa and Dido, a higher power is at work. Though their suffering is not fair to themselves, their family or cities left behind, the greater events in the future transcend their sacrifice. Their sacrifice is not to be diminished but rather elevated because of their strong characteristics and selfless personalities. On the other hand, the success of the relationship between Lavinia and Aeneas is left to the imagination, an ending that Virgil uses to signify that Aeneas’ journey concludes now that everything is set as it is supposed to be. Each of these women contributes to the bigger picture that is Aeneas’ odyssey to find Italy, enabling if not encouraging him to continue and finish his journey. His first and most purely united relationship is with that of his late wife, Creusa. From his reaction to her death, it is clear how much Aeneas loves her. When roaming the streets looking for her, he “filled the streets with my calling; in my grief / Time after time I groaned and called Creusa / Frantic, in endless quest from door to door” (60). His panic and craze he enters while in desperate search for his wife shows how much he depends on her, as a mother and as a wife. Creusa, a maternal character, then appears to him as a spirit, saying “ ‘You may not take Creusa with you now; / It was not so ordained … For you / long exile waits, and long sea miles to plough’ ” (60) Creusa, even after her death, offers a sense of security and reassurance to Aeneas. Though Aeneas is deeply saddened by her death, she provides him with a bright optimism when she reads into the future telling him of the things to come. Because of her, he now knows what to look forward to on his expedition, giving him the ability to mentally prepare himself for the
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2 proceedings. Her encouragement also boosts Aeneas to begin his fated journey. Creusa’s spirit is essential to the plot because she acts as the initial trigger of the series of events throughout the epic poem. In this way, her brief appearance in the book lends itself to much grander outcomes than one would think with her small role. Though Creusa’s devotion to her husband is apparent, it is by far outshined by her
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