Thursday, September 27, 2012
Similarities Between Dido and Medea
As I'm reading the Aeneid, I cannot help but notice the similarities between Dido's situation and Medea. Dido falls in love with this great hero, marries him, and sacrifices much for him (in line 417 she says, "Because of you, Libyans and nomad kings detest me, my own Tyrians are hostile; because of you, I lost my integrity and that admired name by which alone I made my way once towards the stars."). But then, like Jason secretly left Medea, Aeneas decides to secretly leave Dido. Both men leave because they want to seek greater things - Jason wants to become a king and Aeneas wants to found the city of Rome. Granted, Aeneas leaves much more reluctantly than Jason does, but the men's actions are still similar. Both Medea and Dido are devastated and enraged by their husbands' betrayals and both of them resort to violent retaliation. However Medea's retaliation is violent towards other people while Dido's retaliation is violent towards herself and Aeneas. In both cases, the men perceive the women as irrational. Jason looks down on Medea, who, according to him, is so overcome with passion that she cannot understand the logic behind his actions. Dido is displayed as being too passionate to the point of it as a flaw. As she pines over Aeneas, all the construction ad the success of Carthage comes to a halt. Then, as Dido tries to bring vengeance on Aeneas, he is warned by Mercury, who says in line 760, "Woman's a thing forever fitful and forever changing." In both stories, women are portrayed as less emotionally stable than men.
Posted by Linz A at 5:18 AM