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Ana Hull


Bold Points




Scottsdale Preparatory Academy

High School
2016 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
    • Philosophy
    • Philosophy and Religious Studies, Other
    • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
      “Meanwhile confusion takes the sky, tremendous turmoil, and on its heels, rain mixed with hail,. The scattered train of Tyre, the youths of Troy, and Venus’ Dardan grandson in alarm seek different shelters through the fields; the torrents roar down the mountains. Dido and the Trojan chieftain have reached the same cave. Primal Earth and Juno, queen of marriages, together now give the signal: lightning fires flash, the upper air is witness to their mating, and from the highest hilltops shout the nymphs. That day was her first day of death and ruin. For neither how things seem nor how they are deemed moves Dido now, and she no longer thinks of furtive love. For Dido calls it marriage, and with this name she covers up her fault.” -Book IV, Line 213-228. The Aeneid of Virgil translated by Allen Mandelbaum The wedding scene of Dido and Aeneas plays a crucial role in the development of the plot of The Aeneid after that point, making the way a reader interprets that scene essential to understanding the narrative broadly. Particularly, the legitimacy of their wedding greatly impacts the opinion a reader possesses of the characters in the epic. Throughout Aeneas’ and Dido's “wedding” scene, wedding terminology is utilized, causing the sensation that this interaction must be a legitimate wedding. The presence of Juno, “queen of marriage”, furthers this notion, however this scene does not actually depict a legitimate wedding due to the influence of Dido's “fault" on her perception of her circumstances. Initially, this wedding scene may seem to be exclusively the narration of Virgil, causing his description to be objectively true within the narrative, but aspects of Dido's thoughts actually appear throughout, indicating her influence on the portrayal of the scene. The depiction of Dido “[calling] it marriage”, that “it” being her current situation, implies that the use of wedding language like “witness” and “shout and nymphs”, as if singing a wedding song, comes from the influence of Dido's perception of the scene. Further, viewing her circumstances as a wedding would be favorable to Dido, due to the presence of her “fault”. The “fault" which Dido wishes to cover up is her shame. Dido and Aeneas are described as going to the “same cave”, a place usually found deep underground. Their location could simply be depicted as “shelter”, a word Virgil uses previously, yet he switches to cave for the sake of alluding to a downward direction. Further, during the wedding those present are depicted as being “upper” or “highest” compared to Dido, placing her and Aeneas as lower than their witnesses. This lowered view of herself and Aeneas implies Dido feels a sense of shame, an emotion which creates a lowered sense of self compared to those surrounding the individual. This shame is ultimately her “fault”. The presence of such a “fault” could result in her not thinking properly which she is described as doing towards the end of the stanza. A lack of proper thought and consideration of her circumstance could result in her attempting to skew her perception of the scene to justify her actions, so that she can cover up her shame. Such thought processes manifest through the marital language elaborated on previously, creating the description of the scene the reader is faced with, and resulting in Virgil’s narration being unreliable at face value. However, the presence of the prophecy that this day would be “her first day of death and ruin” could not have been known by Dido, meaning this scene is not purely Dido's perspective but Virgil's true depiction with Dido's influence so that her mentality could be revealed by the scene itself. The presence of this objective fact on the part of Virgil implies that the presence of Juno may not just be a manifestation of Dido’s hope that Juno is present, but may indicate an actual presence on Juno’s behalf, despite the natural conclusions from previous discussions of the influence of Dido’s “fault”. The presence of the “queen of marriage” might initially seem to prove the legitimacy of the wedding, but this is not the case. The scene opens with “confusion [taking] the sky”. While “the sky” could simply be literal in its meaning, it may also represent the gods and Divinity itself, implying a potential confusion in Juno herself. The Latin itself confirms this interpretation of “sky”, since the use of the Latin “caelum” may be easily viewed as a form of metonymy, which Virgil frequently employs. Further “Primal Earth” makes an appearance as well. The description of Earth as “Primal”, combined with the description of Dido and Aeneas' interaction as “mating”, provides an animalistic and primitive undertone to the scene. Such an archaic interaction creates a merely temporary bond rather than a more permanent bond of actual marriage. Primal Earth serves to counteract Juno's presence as a marital force, causing the apparent confusion that results in all the characters present. Such a counteractive presence leads to this interaction not being a completely legitimate marriage, but only functionally a partial marriage. The use of any marital language with regards to the scene derives purely from the presence of Dido's influence on the narrative. The presence of Juno however cannot be discredited as just Dido's delusion, but is likely an actually divine presence, since Dido would have no way of knowing a Goddess is present at that moment. Juno's presence does not necessitate a legitimate wedding as would seem to be implied, since the animalistic Primal Earth also holds sway over the interaction, counteracting Juno's power and creating the confusion depicted at the beginning. Despite the initial assumptions a reader would make, the wedding Virgil describes is not a legitimate one, influencing the reader's perception of the narrative as a whole. If the wedding had been legitimate, the moral integrity of both Dido and Aeneas would have been preserved in the eyes of the reader. When this epic was written such interactions as Virgil depicts between Dido and Aeneas would have been considered taboo. Accordingly, the scene would have heavily influenced the way a reader or listener would view these characters. Such deeds would have been considered shameful at the time, as highlighted by Dido’s “fault”. The illegitimacy of the wedding would cause the readers to view these characters as lesser in the way that Dido depicts herself. And while the modern reader would not necessarily hold the same interpretation it is important to consider how audiences would have reacted at the time for the sake of having a more accurate understanding of the intended message of the writer. In this particular case, the reader would have viewed Dido and Aeneas as lesser, but the reader would also recognize Juno's influence on the events, further solidifying in their minds Juno’s role as the antagonist in the story. Continually reminding the reader of this fact actually serves to counteract the negative image this particular scene might have otherwise created and builds up Aeneas as a hero who only aims to fulfill his destiny. While this image becomes a source of contention later, due to the apparent poor treatment of Dido for the sake of this fate, once again, the modern reader must consider the perspective of readers at the time and acknowledge that this would not have been as great a source of conflict, since it would have been obvious to ancient readers that the will of Zeus takes precedence over everything else. For the sake of not disregarding such conflicts in the narrative, though, one could also consider immoral actions such as these a valuable source of deeper interpretation regarding the actual goodness and virtue present in actions taken on account of strictly divine influence. This scene would have also served to develop the sympathy readers would have felt for Dido at this point and gives more weight to the actions she takes later due to her grief. Readers would have both pitied Dido more for her twisted fate, but also would have established Juno as the antagonist even more than this wedding scene would have on its own. Overall, when considered in greater depth this scene becomes crucial to developing the image Virgil wants the readers to have of these characters, resulting in the nuances of this scene becoming pivotal to the narrative as a whole. One can only, upon further inspection, consider the wedding of Dido and Aeneas to be false in nature, fundamentally influencing the essence of Dido’s, Aeneas’, and even Juno’s characters, shifting the tone of overarching story after this point. Ana Hull