Aeneas is a siege survivor and founder of the Rome. Aeneas has essentially gone from rock bottom and climbed all the way to the top throughout his journey. And although he is a pawn of fate, Aeneas is the face of an epic hero, like many we have previously discussed: Hector, Achilles, and Odysseus. He seems to carry traits from all three of these men. As well as, these traits directly tie to Virgil’s implication of pietas, severitas, and gravitas, all of which are embodied in Aeneas. Aeneas is comparable to Hector in pietas (devotion).
“I am Aeneas, devoted to my city’s gods” (1, 13, 460).
Much like Hector in the Iliad Aeneas has clear devotion to the gods and their will as we see throughout through The Aeneid where Aeneas does many things we may question because he seems like he is being a jerk, but he really is seeing as loyalty to the gods and that their will is most important. As well as Odysseus’s severitas (sternness), Aeneas takes a strong stance against the trials he is faced and conquers them. And much like Achilles gravitas(dignity) in war.
“In great Sila, or high on Taburnus, two bulls have locked horns in mortal combat. The keepers fall back in fear, and the cattle stand in silent dread, the heifers musing on who will be lord of the entire herd” (12, 189, 861).
The thundering fight between Aeneas and Turnus speaks of the dignity in both men that they clash head to head in honor. Aeneas embodies these three themes of The Aeneid, and many astounding character traits: including unmatchable will power, and phenomenal insight to the world. Thus, making Aeneas a perfect catalyst for an epic hero, and is also why Virgil saw Aeneas as the main character. And separates The Aeneid from the Homer’s the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’.
Describing Aeneas’s behavior to Dido, he is evasive and cold, and although deep down he cares he does not show it.
“While he is speaking she looks him up and down with icy, sidelong glances, stares at him blankly, and erupts into volcanic fury” (4, 63, 416). Dido response to Aeneas telling her she is practically out of luck and that “Nor have I ever proposed marriage to you or entered into any nuptial agreement” (4, 62, 386).
Thus, you can see the cold wall Aeneas has constructed against Dido and the icy burning touch it delivers as she tries to scale it to reach him once again, but fails. But, how is all this explained?
Aeneas simply replies “the rushing winds, [order] me to leave. I saw the god myself, in broad daylight, entering the walls, and heard his very words. So stop wounding both of us with your pleas. It is not my own will-this quest for Italy” (4, 63, 411).
While still holding his stone like stance and stern dulled emotion he claims that it is the will of the gods and he must obey, like many other instances in The Aeneid Aeneas is displaying devotion once again.
In a way, I view Dido as the pinnacle of feminism. Why? Because she is a flawless display of a bright-minded, courageous, and strong-willed woman;...