Assignment On Aeneas's Metamorphosis

1024 words - 5 pages

Virgil's epic Aeneid is recognized as one of the world's greatest works of poetry. This is mainly due to the way Virgil constructs the characters in the epic. At the very core of this is the repeated emphasis on the three main Roman virtues, Gravitas (seriousness of purpose), Virtus (courage and strength), and Pietas (respect for the gods and duty). Virgil goes to great lengths to weave these three tenets of Roman virtue with characters in the epic and especially emphasizes Pietas in the main character, Aeneas. Pietas is the main factor in energizing Aeneas, pushing him to follow the wishes of the gods - to found Rome. At many points in the epic, Aeneas's desires and emotions threaten to derail him on his quest, but his strong sense of duty pushes him onward. d Having fled the destruction of Troy, Aeneas, and company arrive in the city of Carthage, a Phoenician colony in modern-day Tunisia. There, they meet Dido, the Queen of the city. Dido listens to the tale Aeneas tells and is impressed. She announces a feast to welcome them into the city. At this time in his life, Aeneas has a great sense of duty. This is apparent when, in the ruins of Troy, he finds Helen. At first Aeneas wants to kill her, for he believes she caused the downfall of Troy. Venus then appears and tells him to spare Helen and to move his family to the remote mountains. A core tenet of Pietas is love and obedience towards kin. Showing obedience towards Venus and doing the right thing for his family, it is apparent Aeneas values Pietas.

Aeneas now has to decide how he is going to relocate with his family. Anchises, his father, is elderly and can't take the journey alone. Now he is confronted with a grisly option: take his father with the rest of his family, slowing them down, or relinquish Anchises for a speedy getaway. Aeneas's strong virtue of Pietas will not permit him to forgo his father. He emphasizes this specifically, saying, "Did you suppose, my father, That I could tear myself away and leave you? Unthinkable; how could a father say it? Now if it pleases the powers about that nothing Stand of this great city; if your heart Is set on adding your own death and ours To that of Troy, the door's wide open for it" (Book II. 858864). In addition to being steadfast to Anchises well being, Aeneas also realizes that if his father, essentially the leader of the family, perishes, there would be a good probability that the order and safety of his family would be in danger. This is an illustration of Gravitas as Aeneas realizes the repercussions of his decision. In the end, his choice is clearly the one ordained by fate.

During the feast, Dido starts to become captivated by Aeneas. At first, she is resistant in her passion because of her late spouse Sychaeus, but in the end, she capitulates. Meanwhile, Juno doesn't want Aeneas to reach Italy. She will do anything...

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