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Tearjerker / The Aeneid

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  • Most deaths, with Pallas, Mezentius and his son (Lausus), and Camilla being standouts.
  • The final hours of Troy.
  • As Troy burns, Creusa (Aeneas's wife) is lost and killed. When he does meet her again, she appears as a ghost who prophesies his fate before disappearing as he desperately tries to embrace her.
    And thrice about her neck my arms I flung,
    And, thrice deceiv'd, on vain embraces hung.
    Light as an empty dream at break of day,
    Or as a blast of wind, she rush'd away.
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  • In the Underworld, Aeneas meets the not-yet-incarnated souls of future Romans, including Marcellus, the beloved nephew of Augustus who died young before the poem was written. Aeneas recognises his short life: "If you could break free of your harsh fate, you would be Marcellus." Sad in itself, but leads to an even stronger meta-tearjerker: according to a story, when Vergil was reading part of his work to Augustus' court, Marcellus' mother Octavia passed out from grief upon hearing that scene.
  • The whole love story between Aeneas and Dido, showing the founder of Carthage and the progenitor of Rome in love... And then being forcibly separated by the gods, with her Dying Curse at Aeneas being stated as the cause for the Punic Wars and the destruction of Carthage at the hands of the Romans.


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