The Aeneid: Fate of Aeneas and Juno's Opposition

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Virgil is considered the most renowned Latin poet, according to the work “Divine Intervention, Supremacy of Fate in The Aeneid.” He is the writer of the epic poem The Aeneid. Virgil’s epic is a continuation of Homer’s The Iliad. The Aeneid is very much like The Iliad. In The Iliad, the men and gods are a driving power of the Trojan War, as are the men and gods a driving power of Aeneas’s journey in The Aeneid, but there is a stronger power driving Aeneas on his journey. It is the same power to which the characters of The Iliad are subject, and that is the power of fate. In The Aeneid the men and gods draw the battle lines. Some want Aeneas to succeed on his journey to Latium. Others want him to fail. Still other characters are just on the side that is beneficial for them. According to Wildman, the main character who opposes the protagonist, Aeneas, is the goddess Juno (26). The characters’ interventions only move the epic to its end, but fate has the final word (“Divine” 1). This paper will discuss how the fate of Aeneas always thwarts Juno’s opposition.

According to “The Function of the Gods in Virgil’s Aeneid” by Woodworth, the main plot of The Aeneid is outlined in the first verses of the poem (114). In the beginning of Virgil’s Aeneid it is written, “I sing of warfare and a man at war. From the sea-coast of Troy by destiny, to our Lavinian shore, a fugitive, this captain… (1).” This quote is talking about Aeneas’s destiny to journey to the shores of Rome (Woodworth 114). Virgil continues, “By blows from powers of the air—behind them baleful Juno in her sleepless rage (Aeneid 1).” This states that the secondary plot, or the “superplot,” is Juno’s effort to stop Aeneas’s fate of arriving at the shore of Rome (Woodworth 114). Therefore, Juno’s hatred of Aeneas and her opposition to his destiny is made clear in this quote that follows the opening quote that states the main plot of the epic poem (Woodworth 114). Coleman comments that throughout the epic poem, Juno and the other gods that she persuades intervene in human affairs (144). The gods usually intervene in one of two different ways. One way the gods intervene is by using the world itself to interfere with the Trojans’s journey. An example is when Aeolus blows the Trojan vessels off course with a storm. The second way Juno or the other gods intervene is by making certain human characters do what the gods want. An example is when Cupid makes Dido fall in love with Aeneas. Juno is constantly trying to stay a step ahead of Fate (Coleman 144). The plot of Juno starts at the beginning of the epic poem according to the work “Divine Intervention, Supremacy of Fate in The Aeneid” (1). Coleman mentions that Juno’s rage against Aeneas and the Trojans is strong because of the judgment of Paris (1). Her hatred is so strong that she will stop at nothing to prevent the Trojans’ journey to found the city of Rome (“Divine 1”). In Book One of Virgil’s Aeneid, Juno asks Aeolus, the god of wind, to use his mighty powers to destroy the Trojan vessels. Juno makes the “…plea to the god of the winds [Aeolas]… ‘thrash your winds to fury, sink their warships, overwhelm them or break them apart’”(qtd. in “Divine”). The plea works only after Juno offers Aeolus her fairest sea-nymphs to marry (“Divine 2”). The power of Fate over the will of Juno is evident in the following events, according to the work “Divine Intervention, Supremacy of Fate in The Aeneid” (2). Neptune is annoyed at having a storm blow across his ocean without his permission, so he calms the storm. Neptune says, “The power over the sea and the cruel trident were never his [Aeolus] by destiny, but mine [Neptune],” according to Vergil’s Book One of The Aeneid (8). Juno’s attempt to destroy the Trojan ships is unsuccessful because, the control of the sea is not Aeolus’s destiny but it is only Neptune’s (“Divine 2”). By calming the storm, Neptune saves the Trojans (“Divine” 1). Then, later, what Jupiter says to Venus further...
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