Love Hurts revised
Greek Heroes Romances and marriages do not always end well for our heroes or their loved ones. When we examine the cases of Dido and Aeneas, Herakles and Deianeira, and Jason and Medea, we see issues of the vulnerability that romance brings to even the most superhuman among us. We also see, however, contrasting attitudes between the Greek and Roman perceptions of the hero.
Aeneas and Dido’s story of love is a tragic one as it does not end in a happily ever after as other love stories do. Aeneas was just a stranger and the prince of Troy who met Dido by chance when they go shipwrecked off the coast of Africa after being stricken by Juno. When Dido meets him, she falls in love him mainly out of pity after he gives her an account of all the misfortunes that had befallen him. Dido fell in love with Aeneas, and she considered herself married to him. However, Aeneas was not going to drop his destiny in Rome and eventually he left breaking off their relationship. Overwhelmed by the breakup and loneliness, Dido decided to end her life because she found it unbearable without Aeneas.
The story of Aeneas and Dido is almost similar to that of Deianira and Hercules, who were also deeply in love, but their relationship came to an abrupt end. Deianira was Hercules’ second wife who had to fight for her love and won by breaking Acheloos’ horns. Deinira poisoned her husband accidentally while trying to give him a love portion to make him fall in love with her again. In both cases, the men were on a quest to accomplish something in their lives when they came across women they loved, and things were never the same again after that. In addition, one of the spouses lost their lives as a result of the love they had for the other or because of the relationship.
The story of Jason and Medea is also similar to that of Aeneas and Dido, and Hercules and Deianira. Jason was married to Medea, and they had two children, but he still left her to marry Glauce. This was after they moved to Corinth in search of exile. Medea ended up being crushed emotionally by the love of her life, just like Dido. This prompts Medea to take revenge against Jason by poisoning Glauce. She kills her by giving her poisoned gifts. Medea also kills her children and flees from Corinth, leaving Jason alone and distraught just like Dido. This is also similar to Deianira’s story who also killed her husband, though accidentally, and was left alone and lonely even though she had found the love of her life.
Being the son of a prince and the nephew of a King, Aeneas had the duty of saving the remaining of his people after Troy fell and leading them to Rome to establish an empire. Thus, he was a leader to his people, and he took all risks and went through horrifying experiences just to get his people safely to Rome. He was a strong and handsome man, with a charming demeanor and eloquent speech. This is some of the virtues that got Queen Dido to fall in love with him the first time she saw him. He was also a good leader as he managed to lead his people, as well as, Dido’s people in unity with Dido during the one year that they lived together as husband and wife.
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