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To what extent was Aeneas to blame for Dido's death?

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To what extent was Aeneas to blame for Dido's death? Dido clearly committed suicide, she was not murdered, but what part did Aeneas play in her feeling so terrible that she would take her own life? Dido was successful, she had seen hardship, through her brother Pygmalion and the death of Sychaeus, but had come through that, to be a much-loved Queen. However, she could no longer live off this kingdom, as Aeneas had had such a hand in its development, he had helped build the walls and Dido's kingdom was now not her own. Therefore, her success was not her own. Aeneas had ruined one of her reasons for living. She would agonise every time she woke up, reminded of her love for Aeneas everywhere she went. ...read more.


Nor did Jupiter and Mercury force the issue of love on either character, it is therefore not the fault of Jupiter or Mercury, and this would again point the blame at Aeneas. However, Venus cannot help herself. As Goddess of love, and clearly wanting the best for her son - shown when she discuses his fortune with Jupiter in book one - her, Cupid (as Ascanius) and Anna encourage Dido's love for Aeneas. This would again suggest Aeneas was not to blame, but the Gods and Dido's sister. However, The first line of book four says 'But the Queen had long since been suffering from love's deadly wound', suggesting that the intervention of the Gods only sped things up a little. ...read more.


Dido must die so that Aeneas can be punished by not founding Rome himself, only Lavinium, nor does his son found it. Dido cursing Lavinium with eternal war with Carthage and Rome and Carthage punishes Aeneas and explains the wars Rome has encountered. Each city that Aeneas and his crew leave, he leaves in flames, with the death of a female, Dido's death simply continues this theme, Troy and Creusa, Carthage and Dido. Dido herself obviously blames Aeneas as she burns his things. She says she 'loved [Aeneas] while the Gods and Fates allowed it' and this past tense, along with her suddenly remembering the prophecies, suggests the divine intervention of Venus being overcome by Aeneas's fate, therefore this control Venus had, was not that strong - Dido had been too willing to love Aeneas. ...read more.

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