Dido or Elissa is the name of the legendary founder of Carthage, daughter of the king of Tyre.

After a terrible storm, the ship Aeneas (a widower who lost his wife in burning Troy) approaches the shores of Africa ruled by Dido (who also lost her husband and who did not know family happiness but constantly rejecting her wedding suit). Aeneas talks about war, adventures, and travels, and Dido falls in love with a brave man and loves his son's motherly love from his first wife. She found a woman's happiness and partly even forgot about the state she founded. The reciprocal love of Aeneas is not so strongly expressed, and the artistic expressiveness of the image of Dido is such that in the fourth book, she as a character almost overshadows the main character. In this book, there is a temporary stop on the way of Aeneas, “apostasy”, which is overcome by him (the Jupiter's envoy predicts his fate: he will have the kingdom and the third wife), and having somehow explained himself with his beloved, he continues his journey, but at the cost of his life who could not survive the separation and committed suicide, from which there is pain in the hero's soul (as evidenced by their meeting in the realm of the dead).

Dido entered the circle of female world images embodying the heroism and sacrifice of love, and the love story with Aeneas in the history of culture acquired a certain intrinsic value.

The theme of Dido and Aeneas is the theme of sacrificial love, the search for female happiness and bitter disappointment (the death of the first husband, the escape of the second), the theme of opposition to desire, dream, what you want (Dido) and destiny, what you need (Aeneas). This is the most dramatically tense part of the poem, and artistically the strongest.

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Dido in the Essays