1

Suffering of Preparing for the Rome Aeneas, son of mortal Anchises and goddess Venus, survives the siege of Troy. He is chosen to prepare for the Rome and its empire in Italy. However, the foundation of the glorious Roman Empire is built on suffering and sacrifices. The sadness and tragedy are so prominent that they tend to give readers a feeling of unworthiness to have this power. Aeneas is the victim for this unchangeable destiny, who has to sacrifice his own wishes, needs, and ego throughout the play. Examples of these include wanderings as the Trojans make their way from Troy to Italy, negative repercussions during and after the falling of Troy, the queen of Carthage, Dido’s love towards Aeneas, and Aeneas ‘s duty towards God. Therefore, Suffering is too much to set forth for the good of Rome. Aeneas and the Trojans feel vulnerable to fears of their wanderings as they make their way from Troy to Italy. One of the reasons for fear is because they do not know their fate at the beginning. After the Greek’s invasion of troy, the Trojans basically lose their home. The feeling of homelessness makes them suffer because they need to find a new place and settle down. Additional, getting the unknown land also sets more uncertainties for their lives. Aeneas appears to be confident and strong when he comforts his people. As he says to his people, “Friends and companions, Have we not known hard hours before this? My men, have endured sill greater dangers, God will grant us an end to these as well…Now call back your courage, and have done with fear and sorrow” (1.270). Even though Aeneas suffers from these uncertainties of their lives, he still needs to stand up as the leader of the Trojans. Aeneas and the Trojans not only suffer from wandering, but also need to deal with unexpected incident such as storms on the sea. Their ships are attached by frequent

2 storms. Juno, queen of gods, hates the Trojans because of the Trojan Paris’s judgment against her in a beauty contest. Juno calls on Aeolus, the god of the winds, to bring a great storm down upon Aeneas’s ships. Aeneas watches with horror as the storm approaches. The narrator describes Aeneas’s reaction: “Every sign Portended a quick death for mariners. Aeneas on the instant felt his knees go numb and slack, and stretched both hands to heaven” (1.129). The winds and waves are hitting their ships repeatedly, and some of them even sink in the whirlpool. As the narrator describes, “Across the stern, pitching the steersman down and overboard. Three times the eddying sea Carried the ship around in the same place Until the rapid whirlpool gulped it down. A few men swimming surfaced in the water. So did shields, planks, precious things of Troy” (1.160). The storms make the Trojans’ lives hellish by sinking and scattering their ships. Aeneas and the Trojans feel disoriented because they land on an unknown shore after the storm. Later, the Trojans figure out that they are on the coast of Libya. They can not get to their destination, Italy easily. Setbacks come one after another. Even though the Trojans feel tired, they make a fire and set out to hunt for food. As the narrator describes, “Driving them with his shafts through leafy places, Shooting and shooting till he won the hunt by laying seven carcasses on the ground, A number equal to his ships” (1.259). Despite all the difficulties they have experienced, they still need to set out to Italy after some rests. Aeneas is destined to survive despite all the hardships. His sufferings in Troy will be redeemed eventually by his glory in Italy. However, this glory is not worth it because suffering is not the value that one wants to live in. When Aeneas meets Dido, ruler of Carthage’s in Libya, she begs him to retell the story of his adventures during the war. Aeneas experiences the pain again when he begins his sorrowful story. As Aeneas says,

3 “Sorrow too deep to tell, your majesty, you order me to feel and tell once more…The splendor of our mourned-forever kingdom-heartbreaking things I saw with my own eyes And was myself apart of. Who could tell them, Even a Myrmidon or Dolopian Or ruffian of Ulysses, without tears” (2.3). This quote reveals that even the Greeks would be able to feel the sorrow of this tragedy if it is told properly from the point of view of the victims. Again, Aeneas expresses his feeling of sadness about the Trojan War. Aeneas has to sacrifice his desire of fighting for Troy and killing Venus, source of all suffering, while Troy is invaded by the Greeks. Aeneas feels extremely angry at the Greeks because they infiltrate his city and kill a tremendous number of Trojans. Venus, the goddess of love and the mother of Aeneas tells her son to flee Troy because his fate is elsewhere. Aeneas has to leave Troy while others Trojans are protecting and dying for the city. Again, Aeneas feels remorseful because he is not part of the force that guards against the intruders. He can not even kill Helen, source of the war, to ease his anger and frustration because Venus stops him. As the narrator describes, “I turned wildly upon her, But at that moment, clear, before my eyes-Never before so clear-in a pure light Stepping before me, radiant through the night, My loving mother came: immortal, tall, And lovely as the lords of heaven know her. Catching me by the hand, she held me back” (2.771). This quote states that the gods’ will determines who should and should not live. Enabling some of the Trojans to flee from Troy is part of destiny. Again, fate must always be fulfilled, and his fate is to survive and build the foundation for the Roman Empire in Italy regardless of all his suffering. Aeneas’s sadness not only causes by the downfall of Troy, but also the death of his wife, Creusa. While Aeneas, his family, and many other followers flee, Creusa is lost during their escape. After everyone leaves the city, Aeneas returns to look for her, but he

4 meets her spirit. His wife tells Aeneas not to be sorrowful because he will have a new home and wife. As Creusa says, “For you Long exile waits, and long sea miles to plough. You shall make landfall on Hesperia Where Lydian Tiber flows, with gentle pace, Between rich farmlands, and the years will bear Glad peace, a kingdom, and a queen for you” (2.1012). Aeneas listens to his wife advice and leaves Troy burning. He loses his people, his city, and even his wife. A man should not endure all these suffering because a destiny needs to be fulfilled. Dido also presents the suffering Aeneas endures and sacrifice he makes when he needs to leave Carthage for his destiny. Dido only has passion for Aeneas at the beginning, and they live openly as lovers after they make love in the cave. Dido risks everything by falling for Aeneas, and her determination not to marry again is no long existed. However, when Aeneas decides to leave Carthage, this love fails. Dido is extremely angry at Aeneas, and accuses him of stealing her honor. She also curses him, as she says, “If divine justice counts for anything, I hope and pray that on some grinding reef Midway at sea you’ll drink your punishment And call and call on Dido’s name!...You will pay for this, Unconscionable! The news will reach me even among the lowest of the dead” (4.529). This quotation demonstrates her rage on Aeneas. She feels disappointed and betrayed by his departure. Dido’ love towards Aeneas has turned into hatred and anger. Dido decides to kill herself when she can not reassume her dignified position and gain support of her citizens.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful