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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 09:59 pm (UTC)
This was a marvelous comment which for reasons I know not wot of got deleated. I hope its author won't mind me reposting it anonymously, because it greatly amused me and I would like it to live in the right place:

Right, I'll freely admit I've very little idea of the plot of Dido and Aeneas, however I did manage the Aeneid during High School, which is basically Aeneas' life-story. Here are relevant bits from the plot of that that I remember (they may not be true in your one, but I'm betting the Aeneid was the main influence here):

1. Aeneas is the son of Venus, the goddess of Love.

2. He grew up in Troy. Juno (wife of Zeus) hates Troy (see the Iliad for why).

3. Troy is sacked, look up stuff about the Trojan war for more details of this (remember that there's an awful lot of gods interfering in this).

4. Venus appears to her son, and prophesies that he *must* leave in order to found a city. This city would then 'give birth' to the greatest civilisation of all time. (Romulus and Remus were born in the city Aeneas is said to have founded).

5. Aeneas is told to flee and take folk with him. He loses his wife, but manages to take his son and father with him.

6. Juno stirs up a storm to drown the escaping Trojans, this pisses off Neptune who calms the storm and allows them to get to Carthage.

7. Dido is a strong, competent ruler of Carthage, who is negotiating for an arranged marriage with various of the surrounding rulers. Carthage is a new city, still being built.

8. Dido welcomes Aeneas with open arms. They become lovers and he helps her build up her city, beginning to forget about the prophecy, and thinks about marrying Dido.

8. Venus is worried by this, and uses a storm to get Aeneas on his own. She then berates him into leaving, by pointing out his responsibility to the Trojan refugees he has with him, and to his son.

Then there's the complicated bit of Dido not really knowing what she wants, and knowing that she can't go up against a goddess. Aeneas leaves.

Dido then says that in order to get over him she wants a funeral pyre of all his stuff - somewhat akin to chucking out your old boyfriend's belongings. The pyre is built, then at night she sneaks to the top of it, lies on their bed (it's a *big* pyre), drenches herself in oil, then sets light to herself.

Hope this vaguely helps. Prophecy's a bitch.
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