Thursday, October 4, 2012

Does Juno's attempt to hurt the Trojans actually benefit them in the end while at the same time hurt Carthage?

Throughout the epic, Juno makes her displeasure for the Trojans clear.  From the beginning, she hates them as it is prophesied that they will lead to the downfall of Carthage.  Juno tries to make Dido and Aeneus fall in love in order to protect Carthage from being destroyed by the Trojans or Dido's brother Pygmalion.  In the end, this only leads to Carthage experiencing tragedy as their leader, Dido's heart is broken by Aeneus and she kills herself.  Aeneus, at the same time, goes on to eventually establish Rome.  Juno's attempt to protect Carthage and hold back Aeneus fails.  At the end of the epic, Juno again tries to hurt the Trojans (Aeneus specifically) as she turns King Latinus against him in his fight against Turnus.  King Latinus was originally Aeneus's friend who's daughter he was going to marry, but in the end Juno makes him his enemy.  However, Aeneus still pulls off a victory against Turnus which leads to yet another one of Juno's attempts on causing the Trojans' failure unsuccessful.

5 comments:

Lindsay A said...

That's an interesting thought. So basically, everything Juno does just leads Carthage further into destruction. Perhaps Juno is the reason Carthage and Rome always fight. Her actions caused the prophecy to come true. So then, do the gods actually know what will happen? Or not. Juno actions suggest the gods don't, but in Leda and the Swan, Yates thinks that Zeus/Jupiter does know.

Tyler Dean said...

I think that you are over thinking it a little bit. You have to remember that the Greeks had very strong beliefs in fate, and they thought that nothing at all could change it. So, as a result, Juno's efforts were futile and had no effect on the predestined result in the end. I would agree with you if it were not for the Greek belief in fate, but because of that, there is no way that Juno can have an effect on it.

Madeline Davis said...

I agree with Tyler, what the gods wanted was what the gods got. But your characterization of Juno as trying to do all she could to evade the prophecy of Rome's success reminded me a lot of the irony surrounding Jocasta in Oedipus. Although the gods had already declared prophecies for both Oedipus's future and the future of Rome, Jocasta and Juno did all they could to prevent them from coming true, in turn enabling the prophecies further.

Ben Bonner said...

Tyler touched on this but I think its important that we not consider the gods themselves exempt from fate. In Greek mythology the Olympian gods aren't eternal. They were born through one fashion or another just like everyone else. The Greeks did however believe in primordial gods, which I think were considered to be eternal. Among these was Ananke, the goddess of fate and destiny. We could therefore argue that the Olympian gods were themselves governed by fate and that, as Medeline said, like Oedipus, it is precisely Juno's attempts to prevent the prophecy from coming true that drives the prophecy to its realisation.

TSHAH said...

In terms of gods being in control of the fates, I think that the Gods were aware
of how their actions would impact the future, however they all seem to act as
they do in the poem regarding Leda and the Swan - "with and indifferent beak" as
they do not seem to care how their actions influence others. So in the end, I
think Juno was well aware of what her actions would lead to, however since the
Gods were subject to the same passions that normal mortals are subject to. Juno
let her emotions get the best of her and ended up compromising with Jove in the
end.