Intervention of the Gods

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The first intervention that Juno makes in Aeneas’ life is when she sends a storm to destroy his fleet of ships. He is trying to reach Italy, but she is determined for that not to happen. Juno approaches Aeolus, god of the winds, telling him the Trojans are “a race of people whom I hate”. She offers him Deiopea, the loveliest of her nymphs in marriage in return for him letting the winds loose on the Trojans. She says “swamp their ships, sink them, scatter them and pitch their bodies into the sea.” Juno hates the Trojans because Aeneas’ mother was chosen as the most beautiful goddess in the Judgement of Paris, a Trojan youth (Ganymede) was chosen to be Jupiter’s cup-bearer instead of Juno’s daughter, Hebe, and because she knows that in the future, it is fated for Aeneas’ Roman descendants to destroy her favourite city, Carthage.

Another intervention that Juno makes in Aeneas’ life is during the destruction of Troy, she encourages the Greeks level Troy. Venus tells Aeneas of Juno’s participation in the destruction of Troy “Juno, with her sword by her side, is holding open the Scaean gates and summoning her beloved Greeks from their ships.” Juno’s intervention lead to Aeneas almost killing Helen for bringing about Troy’s destruction, but when Venus point out that the “merciless gods” were responsible, then he finally realises that Troy is doomed. As a result Aeneas is forced to flee Troy.

The effect of Juno’s intervention on Aeneas’ life is deep. In book 1 he is already doubting himself, after spending 7 years at sea, trying to find Latium. He hasn’t really had much guidance from the gods as to his destiny. Then when the storm comes, he says “my friends that died at Troy were four times luckier than I” and he wishes he had died at Troy. Aeneas suffers here from self-doubt and self-pity. He puts aside his role as a leader, instead focusing on his short comings.

When Juno intervenes again in Book 4 she wanted to divert Aeneas’ promised kingdom from Italy to...
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