Global civilizations have varied ways they use to revere women and pick specific ways to pass down their generations and the rest of the world, tales that explain their chosen ways exhaustively. Teachings are enhanced and emphasized on how women should be regarded and ways of improving this perception. Determining how civilized, the level of morality and spiritualism is often viewed for a certain culture is best define by how the people consider and value their women. In traditional or ancient tales, it was common to pair female and male gods or spiritual representation so as to best use and combine the influence and attributes each held thus have having our two examples of; Dido and Aeneas and Sita and Rama.
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Sita hailed from King Janaka who ruled over Mithila (Naravan, 5). The king actively participated in farming to assist in food production that would meet the needs of his subjects during the famine. It is while he was at it that while using a golden plough that he dug up a pitcher from which Sita emerged. The name was given to her as it was the name given to the edge of a plough thus it meant borne of the plough. At that instant an evil spirit by the name Ravana had collected his dues from the local wise men that had put in that buried pitcher their blood. When the pitcher was dug out, the force of life represented by the wisemen’s blood is what brought Sita into existence thus the reason for Ravana’s demolition. She was married by Lord Rama but the two were exiled by the Rama’s father due to a promise made to his younger wife who did not want Rama to inherit the throne. They wandered the forest and it’s when Ravana kidnapped Sita and tried to make her accept marriage to him but she did not. Rama and his brother searched for her and in their quest discovered Ravana’s ploy, got to his place and rescued Sita while destroying Ravana. Some doubts arose about Sita’s purity for spending all the time with Ravana and Rama had to exile her into the forest where she gave birth to twin sons. Sita is depicted as an innocent and uncontaminated woman who maintained this through her difficult life (Naravan, 5). She surrendered all comfort for her faithful and moral service to Rama her husband. She had to withstand fire and resist burning to prove her fidelity to her husband and protect Rama’s image as a king as if her ordeal with Ravana was not enough torture. She did this lovingly and willingly for her husband’s sake.
Dido a Carthage queen, on the other hand died for the love’s sake. She could not stand Aeneas departure for duty in troy thus committed suicide which she preferred to living without him. He in turn understood her reaction long before his departure (vigil, 127).She was a princess in the State of Tyre. When her father the king passed away, her evil brother murdered her husband who was wealthy. The husband’s Ghost later revealed his death and showed Dido where his treasures were hidden. She took the treasure and fled to Carthage and we see her brains when she exchanges her wealth for what she could contain with a skin from a bull. She stripped the skin and formed an arc with it shaping out land that curved towards the sea and so came to reign over the land as the queen. This is how Aeneas met her through his goddess mother who made Dido fall in love with him.
The two tales therefore represent two different cultures whereby, women are highlighted in the lives of two great men on a mission that is considered great and important o their husbands. This shows that both societies had recognition for the man’s purpose and determination to pursue it had their wives or women in their lives come to terms with losing them if only to make it worth he while of their husbands. It is evident that women had little choice in the decision made and were not meant to act as obstacles but appreciate and acknowledge the husbands quests. The women in both cultures are shown to endure or face hostile situations for the sake of abiding by their husband’s or men’s will. Both societies and cultures recognize this supportive role and depict women’s submissive nature. It should be noted that both women are born royal and can easily get a man and life they desire but they take an alternative route that is meant to serve their men as long as they are alive.
The contrast is in how the two women react. With Sita, She totally devotes her service and life to exalt her husband and even though her position final position is in doubt, she stays faithful to bear sons for the king. Dido on the other hand could not handle her rejection and resorts to suicide. This is symbolic of the two societies. It reflects the difference in reactions and strength of the women and thus the whole society. Despite her position of power as a Queen, Dido cannot use her powers to stop Aeneas from leaving. She understands his course and decides o stay back and suffers in silence. She has material wealth and power more than the man in her life but she maintained a submissive role. Sita had virtue, righteousness, faithfulness and loyalty of service and considered the husband as being right. Her case was different because the husband had the power. She still could have stayed back and left when asked to but she stayed on out of respect for the man she loved and for the sake of her children.
Therefore Sita’s immolation represented her willingness to go to any length to prove her fidelity as well as save the image of her husband while Dido’s suicide serves to show her devotion and recognizing the fact that life was not worth living without her man Aeneas. Both ends are meant to indicate the fact that women are given the powers that men quest for but are responsible for using the in a respectful manner and sharing this knowledge with the rest of the society.