Vergil, Aeneid 1.748–749
“Nor did unhappy Dido fail to drag out the night
With all kinds of talk as she was drinking deep of love.”
nec non et vario noctem sermone trahebat
infelix Dido longumque bibebat amorem,
A few days ago Christian Lehmann (@buffyantiqua and a teacher at Bard High School Early College, Cleveland) told the story of Aeneas and Dido from Vergil’s Aeneid through GIFs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is not only genius which the world needs to witness for its own sake, but it also combines a few things I love: Homeric reception/myth and Buffy. (I tried to write about this once and partially failed.)
I loved this so much that I wanted to share it with those who don’t use Twitter and Christian was kind enough to give his consent (see his work on “The 100 and Classical (Under)Worlds” too). This is a lively and fascinating retelling–it forces reconsiderations, I think, of both the Aeneid and BVTS. Also, Buffy and Spike > Buffy and Riley.
[below is my contribution: I learned this passage in high school where it was obligatory to understand that Dido was not dutiful enough and gave into passion, whereas Aeneas was oh so very pius.]
Vergil, Aeneid 4. 165-172
To the same cave came Dido and the Trojan captain
Earth first then nuptial Dido gave their sign
The lightning bolts were shining out and the Sky was a witness
to their bridal rites as the Nymphs sounded out on the mount’s highest peak
That day was the first cause of death; the first cause of evils.
For no longer was Dido cautioned by appearances or rumor
And no more was she harboring a secret love.
She calls it a marriage: with this name she cloaks her fault.
speluncam Dido dux et Troianus eandem
deveniunt. prima et Tellus et pronuba Iuno
dant signum; fulsere ignes et conscius Aether
conubiis, summoque ulularunt vertice Nymphae.
ille dies primus leti primusque malorum
causa fuit. neque enim specie famave movetur
nec iam furtivum Dido meditatur amorem;
coniugium vocat; hoc praetexit nomine culpam.
5 thoughts on “The Tragedy of the Aeneid’s Dido As Told Through Buffy GIFs”
If I had access to it I would post my most certainly terrible “Dido and Aeneas as The Big Sleep pastiche” I did as a high school senior for an assignment.
(Also, it’s pretty good money that this is a better retelling than that god awful pastiche!)
I wish you had it. It would be an awesome addition!
Someone else in that class did it as a Pulp Fiction riff and mine may therefore have been slightly less painful.