In the "Aeneid", how much fatalism appears in the narrative of Aeneas? In what lines is it most clearly expressed? In what lines is it most clearly expressed?

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anzio45 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately I gave away all my Virgil stuff just this week to somebody who wants to revisit the Latin studies of his youth, so I can't offer you any lines for the second part of your question. On the general point, however, I would say that Aeneas's narrative is heavy with fatalism from beginning to end. He awakens from a dream - in which Hector is directing him to leave his doomed city of Troy and establish a new homeland for his people - to find the Greeks destroying Troy. By the end of Book 2 he has begun his journey to the west. In Book 4 the love affair with Dido is also fated to end in tragedy as the gods, and specifically Mercury, again direct Aeneas to resume his journey to his destined homeland in Italy. In Book 6 his visit to the underworld again confirms his destiny. In the second half of the Aeneas the Rutulian leader Turnus somewhat takes on the role of doomed protagonist that Dido has in Book 4: his fate is sealed because destiny has ordained it so. To some extent, I feel, the character of Aeneas is unsatisfactory because the hand of fate lies so heavily on him and on the whole story, but that's a different argument.