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I am a stupid mathmo who doesn't understand Art. More to the point,… - Sally's Journal
August 1st, 2006
02:29 pm


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Date:August 1st, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
I know nothing about the opera but I know about Virgil's version of Dido and Aeneus from studying it at school and I've seen a production of 'Dido: Queen of Carthage' (so there's the answer to one of your questions). From what you've written both of these versions of the story differ from the opera in significant ways but I'll give it a go.

[1] Dido does not want to enter into a new relationship with Aeneus because she is a widow and in the Roman culture at the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid a widow remarrying was generally disapproved of. Due to this Dido has been refusing the affections of a local king who could have been a valuable alliance so by marrying Aeneus she would be both sullying her honour and pissing off her next door neighbour who has an army.

[2] This might be because she thinks she should remain single for the rest of her life or could be because she knows about Aeneus's fate. Aeneus is fated to found Rome which obviously would involve him not being in Carthage.

[3] No idea. In Virgil's version she invites him to go on a hunting party with her at this point.

[5] Aeneus was one of the few survivors from the city of Troy. He only survived because his mum is Venus. His destiny is to found Rome the 'new Troy'.

[6] I don't know who Elissa is.

[7] Carthage may end up in flames because shunned other love interest to Dido will get pissed off and attack the city and Dido will be too love sick to defend it.

[8] In the Virgil version Dido is delusional and thinks that she is married to Aeneus because during the thunder storm they sheltered in a cave together and there's a weird 'did they get married/did they have sex' scene. Dido and Aeneus have been living as husband and wife for a while when he leaves.

[9,10,11] In the Virgil version Dido builds a big funeral pyer jumps on top of it and stabs herself with Aeneus' sword having set fire to the pyre. She's also seriously pissed off with a Aeneus for leaving and tells him that she will reck revenge on him from the underworld for the way he treated her.

Hope some of that helped.
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Date:August 1st, 2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
That was me.
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Date:August 1st, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
[6] Elissa is an alternative name for Dido. Used when he wanted a different rhythm in the words... ;-)
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