The Aeneid

Dido and Aeneas The Aeneid is considered as the single most important poem ever written and has continuously guided and inspired billions of readers. Its popularity today remains the same as it was back in the time when it was published. Virgil, a Latin poet, devoted the final 11 years of his life to write this masterpiece book length poem. After completing it, but before revising it, Virgil left Italy for a trip to Greece. There, he fell mortally ill and returned to home to Italy. Unable to complete his work, Virgil commanded his companions to burn the unedited Aeneid. Augustus, a close friend of Virgil, ordered Virgils fellow poets not to burn the epic, but instead to edit and publish it. Upon its publication, the poem was labeled as a masterpiece, becoming extremely popular, a popularity the poem still has today. Virgils masterpiece epic poem is divided into twelve books. The books follow the legend of Aeneas from the last day at Troy, to Carthage to meet Dido, and to Aeneas’ victory resulting in the fusion of Trojans and Latins. The fourth book of The Aeneid, The Passion of the Queen, begins immediately following the banquet after all the guests have departed. Aeneas has just completed telling the story of his journey from Troy to Carthage. Cupid has already put a spell on Dido, causing her to fall in love with Aeneas. The queen for her part, all that evening ached With longing that her hearts blood fed, a wound Or inward fire eating her away. The manhood of the man, his pride of birth, Came home to her time and again; his looks, His words remained with her to haunt her mind, And desire for him gave her no rest. (IV 1-7) She confides these feelings to her sister Anna, telling her that Aeneas is the only man who has ever tempted her. While describing her feelings, Dido becomes confused. She wishes to be loyal and faithful to the memory of her departed husband, yet she still has immense f…

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