What are some examples of imagery in the "Aeneid"?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hunting, fire and walls are just a few of the recurrent images of the epic.   "For example, consider hunting in the Aeneid. In book 1 Aeneas is a real hunter who slays deer; in book 4 in a simile he is a metaphorical hunter of Dido and then again a real hunter as he and Dido engage in a hunting expedition. No doubt Vergil intended these three instances of hunting to refer to each other implicitly and to comment upon the story."

Then there is the imagery of walls.   "Aeneas seeks "walls"-"Give walls to the weary and family and an abiding city" (Book 3, lines 85-86), he prays, hoping to rebuild Troy and carry on the worship associated with the city. Walls symbolize all the peace and security and continuity that allow human beings to live well.

Then there are the forces that destroy walls, above all expressed in the ever-recurring images of fire. Troy is engulfed in flames. The passion that is described again and again as burning in Dido will lead to the destructive force of Carthage, which almost destroyed Rome. Fire sparks from Turnus, as he resists the peace that will allow Aeneas finally to build his walls. Fire is everywhere associated with furor, which can be translated as madness, rage, or frenzy, and Jupiter promises Venus in Book 1 that the time will come when wars will cease, when Rome will rule a world at peace, when the gates of war will be closed, and within them Furor will be bound forever"