| Quote #1
And more than anyone, the Phoenician queen,
This is only one of many passages in the Aeneid that suggest love should come with a warning label – CAUTION: CONTENTS ARE EXPLOSIVE. Why do you think Virgil chose to portray love in this way? On another note, does it strike you as strange that Dido is so charmed by what she thinks is Aeneas's son (but is actually the god of love). What is the psychology behind Virgil's making her fall in love through this intermediary?
| Quote #2
And Dido, fated queen, drew out the night
Do you think Dido really cares about all this stuff? Or do you think she really just wants an excuse to listen to Aeneas talk? If you think the second option is the better one, how do you think this passage relates to the Aeneid's depiction of love more generally? To get the ball rolling, consider this: if love is powerful enough to unite people who have different interests, couldn't it also make people forget their own interests (such as, say, sailing to Italy and founding a new home for the Trojan people)? Hmm…
| Quote #3
The inward fire eats the soft marrow away,
Echoes of these lines recur frequently in the Aeneid. They point out that love isn't a bowl of roses. Sometimes, it's more like all the thorns from those roses stabbing you all at once. It is important to note the emphasis these lines place on the fact that the pain of love is "inward" and "internal." How do you think this private aspect of love might play out in a poem that is so overwhelmingly concerned with the outward virtues of political and military action?