Throughout the beginning of the Aeneid Dido, the queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, son of Venus and leader of the Trojans have an intimate relationship that ends in death. The relationship begins in Book I when Venus, the goddess of love, has her other son Cupid fill Dido with passion for Aeneas, to ensure Aeneas's safety in this new land. "Meanwhile Venus/Plotted new stratagems, that Cupid, changed/ In form and feature, should appear instead/ Of young Ascanius, and by his gifts/ Inspire the queen to passion, with his fire/ Burning her very bones." (693) Venus did this to protect Aeneas and his son, in fear that Dido would have otherwise been cruel to them.
As Aeneas tells his story he portrays himself as a hero, which makes Dido even more infatuated with him. The couple immediately finds that they have many things in common as well, both Aeneas and Dido fled from their homeland. "I, too am fortune-driven/ Through many sufferings; this land at last/ Has brought me rest. Not ignorant of evil,/ I know one thing, at least - to help the wretched." (664). At this time Aeneas notices that Dido is fair and just to her people which is the way he would like to be seen as a ruler of the Trojans.
In the beginning of Book IV Dido tells her sister Anna that she lusts for the Aeneas, and that he is the only man that she would break a vow she made to her dead husband to be faithful. "And my bridal bed, here is the only man/ Who has moved my spirit, shaken my weak will." Soon after Dido makes this confession Juno, queen of the gods, and Venus, decide to join Dido and Aeneas sexually. They both do this for their own personal well being, but it does bring the couple together even more then originally intended. Dido's passion has gone out of control, which causes physical and emotional disorder. "What woman/ In love is helped by offerings or altars?/ Soft fire consumes the marrow-bones, the silent/ Wound grows, deep in the heart." (67)... [continues]
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