The Role of the Gods in the Aeneid Essay

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The role of the gods in the aeneid is clear from the onset: it is the journey aeneas must make to fulfill the will of the gods at the same time as enduring the fury of other gods in order to become founder of the roman race (find a quote). Aeneas is able to do this through his self-sacrifice and ability to resist temptations and own desires, whereas those that do not and resist the will of the gods die tragic deaths eg dido and turnus.

The interaction between gods and mortals, is clear from line 11 of book 1:
‘Why did she drive a man famous for his piety to such endless hardship and such suffering?’ [line 11] virgil lets us know that Aeneas is not even at fault but the queen of the gods has such hatred for him.
‘can there be so much
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From now on dido…no longer kept her love a secret…but called it marriage…‘ [4.170-174]. It take the angry prayers of a king from another land for Jupiter to intervene ‘…this is not the man promised us by his mother…it was not for this she twice rescued him from the swords of the greeks’ [4.227-230] he sends mercury to tell aeneas ‘so now you are layign foundations for the high towers of carthage and builign a a splendid city to please your wife? Have you entirely forgotten your own kingdom and your own destiny?’ [4.267-270] Aeneas is described as ‘dumb and senseless’ at the sight of mercury [280] but it reminds him of his duty and makes the decision to leave dido and carthage despite reasoning with her that ‘it is not by my own will that I search for italy’ [361]

The interactions between gods and gods is clear from book 1 where Juno is fuming because her favoured city Carthage has been prophesized to be destroyed by Trojans. She calls on Aeolus to let free the ‘brawling winds and howling storms’ [1.54] to keep Aeneas and his men from reaching their destiny in return for the most beautiful nymph. Aelous gives his consent to this and the trojans face a sudden and violent storm. However, Neptune god of the ocean does not appreciate this and calms the storm down ‘he [aeolus] is not the one who has jurisdiction over the sea or holds the trident that knows no pity. That is my responsibility, given to me by my lot.’ [1.137-140] this shows even
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