In book 2 of the Aeneid, lines 506–558 describe the fate of Priam, king of Troy. Virgil emphasizes the hopelessness of the old king's situation by depicting him putting on the armor he used to wear when young, then describing how Hecuba cries out to him, echoing the reader's thoughts about the madness of trying to defend the city himself. Priam's death is foreshadowed by that of Polites. Even the strong young man cannot stand against the looming, sinister figure of Pyrrhus, who kills him in front of his parents. Pyrrhus's roughness and impiety, not caring whom he kills, in what circumstances, or in what holy place, mark him out as a more barbaric type of warrior than Achilles was. There is a strong dramatic contrast between Priam's chivalric values and Pyrrhus's brutality.
In lines 705–740, Aeneas and his family escape from Troy. The representation of the fugitives is visually striking, as Aeneas carries his father on his shoulders, while Anchises himself carries their household gods. Iulus runs beside Aeneas, holding his hand. No sooner have they started out than Creusa, the wife of Aeneas, suddenly disappears. There is a vivid description of the chaos and confusion around them as they flee from the burning city.
Finally, lines 768–794 continue to describe the tumult of the falling city, amidst which Creusa's ghost appears. Before she disappears, Creusa prophesies the future to Aeneas, telling him that he must forget her, since he will find a royal wife in a new land. Although this means that he will marry Lavinia in Italy, he is telling this story to Dido, who could easily believe that the prophesy applies to her. Aeneas seems dazed as he attempts to clasp his wife but fails three times, as she vanishes. The speed with which Creusa appears and disappears, and the amount of information she conveys in a few short lines, keep up the pace of the narrative at this dramatic moment.