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Fire, Furor and Internal War Essay

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Psappo’s poetry was the model from which ancient cultures defined love. Her views on love have influenced many works of literature, including The Aeneid of Virgil. Love is an uncontrollable force that strikes an individual from the outside and can occur suddenly as well as unexpectedly. Love is often depicted as a positive emotion that causes people to feel blissful, but this can easily turn into furor; furor is the aspect of love associated with violence and insanity. Dido’s love for Aeneas exemplifies the internal turmoil that afflicts individuals when they are deprived of the love that they crave so ardently. Virgil accomplishes this through the incorporation of the symbol of fire and through the platonic metaphor of the war between…show more content…
Dido is so enthralled by Aeneas that she will love him at the expense of her reputation. This text clearly demonstrates this when it says, “Hope burned away her doubt, destroyed her shame.” (page 81, line 75). At this point in the text Dido makes the decision to shift the relationship she has with Aeneas from hostess to lover. In the beginning of book IV, fire symbolizes the exceptionally influential power of love over Dido, in enticing her to break her promise and pursuing a relationship with Aeneas. Dido’s relationship with Aeneas causes her to experience a series of internal struggles. Virgil uses platonic philosophy in order to illustrate the negative affects that love can have on a person. At first, Dido is so jovial about being in love that the only thing she can focus on is Aeneas; this causes the citizens of Carthage to feel like their queen is shirking her responsibilities by indulging in love. This does not seem to phase Dido until Aeneas tell her that he must leave Carthage in order to fulfill his destiny of founding a city for his people. The text verifies this when Dido says, “Do you flee me? By tears, by your right hand- this sorry self is left with nothing else-… because of you the tribes of Libya, all the nomad princes hate me, even my own Tyrians are hostile; and for you my honor is gone and that good name
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