Essay about The Imagery of Fire in Virgil’s Aeneid

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The Imagery of Fire in Virgil’s Aeneid In discussing fire imagery in the Aeneid I will attempt in the course of this paper to bring in an analytic device to aid in assembling the wide array of symbols into a more uniform set of meaning. Consistently throughout the Aeneid, fire serves to provoke the characters to action. Action which otherwise it is not clear they would enter upon. Fire clears the way for the juggernaut plot to advance. Juno, first of all, described as burning - pondering (with her hatred of the Dardans) goes to Aeolus with the idea of sending the winds to create an under-handed storm to destroy the Trojans, at the sight of their fleeing ships and successful escape from the Greeks (I.75)1. Fire from the Greeks burns down…show more content…
The central characters are all described principally in terms of their incendiary capacity. Dido burns, and burns, and burns, and burns. The plan of Venus (and of Juno as well) is to inflame the queen to madness (I.920). Later: The words of Ana feed the fire in Dido, hope burned away her doubt and destroyed her shame, (IV.75). And unhappy Dido burns (IV.90), Whirled around in fire by the furies (IV.514). Dido, broken by fate can only call for an avenger [to] rise up from my bones, one who will track with fire brand and sword the Dardan settlers, (IV.863). Turnus after the visit by Allecto burns with a continuous rage which compels him unalterably to murderous action. Aeneas does not burn, not so much, but instead is confronted with fire -destructive fire he must run through and away from. Ever endangered by fire it seems to surround him throughout the work. Fire threatens to cut off his escape, as when his ships at the beach in Italy only divinely escape destruction, fire is also evoked to draw him forward. A clear example of this is the arrow that Acestes launches in a futile gesture that bursts into flames and disappears, regarded by all as an unmistakable sign to continue (V.690). Aeneas even has dreams of fire in book IV he rests and sleeps after completing preparations to leave Carthage, but dreams something, resembling

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