The Aeneid

Exploring the Theme of Impossible Love Throughout Virgil’s The Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses College

Throughout the ages, the theme of impossible love in literature has prevailed. Impossible love is an overall broad theme; generally speaking, it is a love that is forbidden, unrequired, or unable to flourish. Somewhere between 29 and 19 B.C. the legendary Roman author Virgil wrote his epic: The Aenid. The Aenid chronicles the journey of the great hero Aeneas, who falls in love with the queen of Carthage, Dido—resulting in a tragic spell of impossible love. Some years after Virgil, surfaced Ovid with his classic Metamorphoses which links a stunning array of mythological tales through the common theme of change or transformation. Many of the tales told by Ovid interact with the theme of impossible love—but especially the story of Pygmalion and his ivory maiden. The theme of impossible love is timeless because it is incredibly relatable, the heart wants what the heart wants, and therein negative consequences and drama forever ensue.

In fourth book of The Aeneid, the theme of impossible love presents itself when Dido and Aeneas fall deeply in love. Initially, Dido does not want to marry Aeneas. Dido is busy being a strong and well-liked leader for her people, she is aware of his journey, and knows that in the future the Trojan...

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