Book 4 Analysis

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  • Analysis of Book 4
    • to provide a poetic and romantic explanation for the hatred that existed between Rome and Carthage
      • The Punic Wars would seem to be the fulfillment of the curse Dido places on Aeneas and his posterity when he abandons her and sails to Italy to fulfill his destiny.
    • To present Aeneas not only as the embodiment of Roman virtues, but a a living, breathing human being
      • Aeneas is portrayed as being haunted by the same doubts and fears as other people.
      • He was not born a hero; he becomes one because of the many obstacles he has overcome
    • To show Aeneas stumbling in the dark
      • To display the hero's humaness would portray him in the grips of the strongest of all passions
      • His struggle between his love for Dido and his need to prove worthy of his fated missions shows that he is not a one-dimensional character
      • When he appears to be the perfect hero, Dido susggests that he is a lawed, mortal man.
    • The mission would not have been completed
      • The Trojan hero realizes his mistake and that nothing will stand in his way now.
      • He has replaced his true love for Dido with his love for Italy.
      • His mistake is making the Gods question whether he is useful.
      • He has forgotten about the impact it has on his son, Iulus/ Ascanius
    • To show his irresponsible behaviour towards his son
      • He has abandoned his people for the love of Dido
      • Virgil exposes hints on how the Trojans feel. He compares them to ants that work tirelessly to keep the colony alive.
      • A community is needed in order for Rome to prosper
    • Dido's portrayal
      • She is doomed to fail in her conquest for Aeneas' love
      • She cannot prevent her own psychological demise
    • Dido = Turnus
      • They are both as powerful, if not more than Aeneas
      • Dido and Turnus are sympathised by their deaths
    • Dido's inability to control her emotions
      • She has this gnawing, excruciating lust for Aeneas
      • Her love is so great she becomes mad
      • She has no freedom in her emotions, except when she commits suicide
      • Dido and Juno lose, Venus and Aeneas win
      • She curses the Trojans because of how she was treated, leading to the Punic Wars
    • Immortal intervention
      • ensures Rome's victory and Carthage's defeat
      • Juno knows that Carthage will be defeated by Rome, but she can block the outcome as long as possible
      • No matter how hard they try, nothing can stop Aeneas from founding Rome

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