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Female’s Impact On Politics In The Aeneid By Virgil

1382 words - 6 pages

In the opening books of the Aeneid, Virgil presents many different characters that play important roles and have influences on Aeneas’s journey. This includes not only mortal men and women, but also Gods and Goddesses. Throughout the plot, Virgil constantly addresses political issues through the actions of the characters. Of these characters, the female figures are often portrayed in a negative way. For example, they tend to act emotionally and in a way contrary to knowledge. This implies that women’s participation in politics may lead to negative consequences. Virgil shows women’s negative impact on politics by examining their unfavorable characteristics, such as irrationality, impulsive ...view middle of the document...

At the end, her obsession with Aeneas leads her to her own suicide. Virgil portrays Dido as a woman with characteristics that a political leader should never have. She makes an irrational decision by staying with Aeneas and puts her city under military threat when the kings from neighboring cities find out because she has previously refused their marriage offers. When Aeneas leaves the city, she acts emotionally and impulsively and decides to commit suicide. As a queen of a new and half-established city, she does not take her country into concern when she ends her life. This greatly affects the city and the citizens because an empire without a ruler may lead to problems, such as chaos and fear and eventually the downfall of the city. Additionally, by being irrational and acting in a way contrary to knowledge, she sets a bad example for her followers. Although some people say that Dido is a great political leader because she is able to establish a kingdom, everything starts to diminish after the presence of Aeneas. This highlights how she is easily influenced and changed by other people.
Furthermore, Dido constantly asks her sister Anna for help and seems to not be able to make up her mind and breaks her promise to be loyal to her husband. It is very important for a leader to keep his or her promises so that citizens do not lose faith in the government and that the nation remains united. All of these characteristics imply that females tend to have a negative impact on politics. On the other hand, Virgil shows that Aeneas is capable of giving up his love desire and leave Carthage in order to establish a new city because he sees the nation and his political responsibility as priorities, unlike
Dido. The woman is willing to sacrifice everything at the expense of love and acts emotionally, while the man chooses political responsibility before love. By contrasting the differences between men and women through their choices of action, it greatly illustrates how female involvement in politics is detrimental to a city.
The negative portrayal of the female characters is not confined to just mortals but also the Goddesses Juno and Venus. Throughout Aeneas’s journey, Goddess Juno, who holds a grudge against Troy, constantly gets in Aeneas’s way and takes her anger out on Aeneas by interfering with his destiny. Although Juno already knows about Aeneas’s fate and that it is determined for him to find Rome regardless of anyone’s involvement, she still continues with her childish actions and irrationally tries to stop his fate even though she knows she cannot change the end result. For example, she sends the goddess Iris to stir up discontent among the Trojan women, who are tired of traveling and would like to settle permanently in Drepanum because ‘’her old resentment still unsatisfied’’(Book V, line 801-802). By constantly delaying the Trojans’ journey, she hopes that they will not to be able to get to their destination. Virgil portrays Juno as an...

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