Aeneid Iv

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Throughout Book Four of the Aeneid, the evolution of the epic's plot revolves around the relationship between Dido and Aeneas. Aeneas comes to Carthage, and Queen Dido is extremely infatuated with him as soon as she sees him. Book 4 is set off with our first passage from lines 20-29 in which the audience gets a sense of Dido's overwhelming love for Aeneas. As the book continues, Aeneas finds himself in a difficult position as Dido thinks they are married, but he is to leave Carthage in order to pursue his destiny. Ultimately, Dido feels betrayed and rejected, and she consequently decides to continually condemn Aeneas in lines 320-330.

Initially, Book 4 is introduced with a happy tone, and Dido has now found her new love. After she has taken a vow to not marry again as a result of her former husband's death, she considers breaking the eternal promise when she meets Aeneas. Lines 20-29 begin with Dido's confession to her sister Anna. She tells her sister that Aeneas has now driven away her waivering spirit (solus hic inflexit sensus animumque labantem impulit.) The next sentence "Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae" expresses Dido's feelings in that she has recognized the flame in Aeneas as she did the flame in her late husband's spirit. Of course this is used figuratively, and she could be implying that she can see Aeneas' and Sychaeus' similarities. Moreover, at the end of the passage, Dido states in conclusion that Aeneas bore away her affections (line 28-29 ille meos… amores abstulit.) Here she says in essence that Aeneas has been the only man to end her grieving for Sychaeus, and she is now able to move on to another man only because of Aeneas' profound character.

In between this initial passage and lines 320-330, a great deal of change occurred. Dido eventually was introduced to Aeneas, and she was still exuberantly taken by him. Furthermore, Dido takes Aeneas hunting one day, and what was to be a hunt ended up being a crude and an ultimately...
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