The Aeneid

The Expression of Love by Venus in the Aeneid College

Love is something that takes many forms. However, the single word that we use to describe it tends to be rather inadequate considering the many aspects that love constitutes. The best way to describe love is to divide it as the Greeks did into seven different types: Eros, Philia, Ludus, Storge, Philantia, Pragma, and Agape. Yet despite love’s variety, the goddess of love Aphrodite or Venus to the Romans, has been typically seen in her surviving myths to mostly represent Eros, the romantic passion between two lovers. The Aeneid, however, shows Venus to exhibit a different kind of love, Storge being the unconditional love of family. Specifically, Venus shows Storge love as a mother would to her son Aeneas. And while Eros is still a major aspect of the goddess, she wields it in the poem as a tool to ultimately serve her purpose to protect Aeneas as a mother would protect her child. This is exemplified in two points of the story, when she indirectly makes Dido fall in love with Aeneas, and then personally using her charms on Vulcan to get Aeneas his armor and weapons.

In book one of the Aeneid, lines 782 through 821 tell of Venus’ plan to enflame Dido with passion for Aeneas. Within the passage her reasons are as stated: “No doubt...

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