Compare the portrayal of Dido in the Aeneid to that of Calypso, Circe and Nausicaa in the Odysseys. Which figure creates the most pity in the reader?
These four characters all have the same role within the Odyssey and the Aeneid as they are all put in place as obstacles to the hero’s quest. Odysseus and Aeneas both have arduous journeys to undertake and these characters are simply temptresses, there to prevent the heroes from fulfilling there quests and in my opinion pose a greater threat to the completion of the journeys then the physical dangers both heroes have to endure. However although within these epics the characters have negative roles to play they themselves are victims of fate. Without each heroes underlying mission spurring them on it is reasonable to assume each of these women would have a good chance of having a long-term relationship with either Odysseus or Aeneas (indeed each character with the exception of Nausicaa engage in a brief relationship with the hero of there respective epic) and the fact these relationships have to be discontinued or unexplored seems unfair to the so called ‘temptresses’ and therefore causes the reader to evoke sympathy for the characters. These women, although play identical roles, are in very different circumstance and are very different characters and therefore the level of sympathy we feel for them varies and I believe it is fair to say that it is Dido we feel the most sympathy for: