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Resolute Destiny Essay

816 words - 4 pages

Virgil used devices such as similes and foreshadowing to give clarity to the poem. These devices allow the reader to have a greater comprehension of the character of Aeneas, and the people he comes into contact with. The devices give weight to the unwavering presence of Aeneas, as he deals with hindrances to the overall theme of achieving his destiny.
Aeneas fought between his desire and the gods' will in his exchanges with Dido. Normally, Aeneas would have felt compassion for Dido from her words, but the gods interfered with their multiple meetings. Virgil used a simile to give more clarity in this excerpt. Dido and her sister's pleadings for instance were compared to how "... the north winds from the Alps / this way and that contend among themselves / to tear away an oaktree hale with age." This shows the fierce conviction the sisters showed towards Aeneas time and again. To show his steadfastness, Virgil compared Aeneas to a vigorous oak tree, which is renowned for its courage and strength. The word "cry" in regards to the wind and tree on line nineteen could refer previously to the tears the sisters shed on his behalf to stay, since the figurative tree takes on the human qualities of the sisters. However, in the comparison of how "... the buffeted trunk / showers high foliage to earth", Aeneas does not shed a tear. Instead, he stands resolute in his chosen path in front of Dido.
While the simile of the oak tree provides a comparison of Aeneas' personality during Dido's persistent pleading, it also supplies a moment of foreshadowing for his future exploits. Since his father's death, Aeneas wanted to see him, and the gods desired it as well. Going to the underworld would let him finish his grieving for his father, and let him learn about the future power of the civilization he will build in Rome. Virgil briefly mentions the underworld in the simile: "... for the roots go down as far / into the underworld as cresting boughs / go up in heaven's air...". He compares Aeneas to the trees' roots as they travel far into the ground, and the branches climbing into the sky. Like the tree's roots, Aeneas will journey into the underworld later on in the poem, and it will be the will of the gods, since the tree climbs towards the heavens. This shows his own divine aspect, because...

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