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Word Count: 757
The wretched love affair of Aeneas and Dido is one of the most prominent events in The Aeneid by Virgil In The Aeneid love is represented in the same manner as the gods Love is shown as an outside force acting upon mortals not a function of the individuals free will or inherent identity It is Aeneas fate and civic responsibility to get to Italy in order to establish the Roman line and eventual Empire and because of these duties love is something Aeneas can never fully succumb to To Virgil love is a force at odds with law and fate and it distracts its victims from their responsibilities The thesis of this paper is that because of the interference of gods and fate in Aeneas life the romance between he and Dido is damned before it ever really commences By examining Aeneas heroic character and his willingness to subordinate his desire for Dido to his fated duty and civic responsibility we can better understand Aeneas behavior and the outcome of his relationship with Dido In The Aeneid the power of fate stands above the power of the gods in the hierarchy supernatural forces Fate to Virgils Roman audience is divine This along with Aeneas devotion of his life to his gods fate and his people plays a significant role in the destruction of his relationship with Dido Aeneas behaves very honorably towards the gods and earnestly seeks to find out their wishes and conform to them as fully as possible Aeneas more than Dido is ruled by fate -- his duty to fulfill his destiny is ultimately more important than his social life Aeneas words to Dido in book IV and VI express his commitment to obey fate rather than indulge his feelings of genuine romantic love Aeneas reminds Dido that they never got married and without a true marriage by leaving he is only sacrificing his own desires towards Dido Virgil relays to
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