It was probably written between and , and was first published in The story focuses on the classical figure of Dido , the Queen of Carthage. It tells an intense dramatic tale of Dido and her fanatical love for Aeneas induced by Cupid , Aeneas' betrayal of her and her eventual suicide on his departure for Italy. The playwrights relied on Books 1, 2, and 4 of Virgil 's Aeneid as primary source. Dido is based on books 1, 2 and 4 of The Aeneid, but the author makes several deviations from this material.
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It was probably written between and , and was first published in The story focuses on the classical figure of Dido , the Queen of Carthage. It tells an intense dramatic tale of Dido and her fanatical love for Aeneas induced by Cupid , Aeneas' betrayal of her and her eventual suicide on his departure for Italy.
The playwrights relied on Books 1, 2, and 4 of Virgil 's Aeneid as primary source. Dido is based on books 1, 2 and 4 of The Aeneid, but the author makes several deviations from this material. Pigman draws attention to how imitators 'exploit Jupiter is fondling Ganymede, who says that Jupiter's wife Juno has been mistreating him because of her jealousy. Venus enters, and complains that Jupiter is neglecting her son Aeneas, who has left Troy with survivors of the defeated city. Aeneas was on his way to Italy, but is now lost in a storm.
Jupiter tells her not to worry; he will quiet the storm. Venus travels to Libya, where she disguises herself as a mortal and meets Aeneas, who has arrived, lost, on the coast.
He and a few followers have become separated from their comrades. He recognises her, but she denies her identity. She helps him meet up with Illioneus, Sergestus and Cloanthes, other surviving Trojans who have already received generous hospitality from the local ruler Dido, Queen of Carthage.
Dido meets Aeneas and promises to supply his ships. She asks him to give her the true story of the fall of Troy, which he does in detail, describing the death of Priam, the loss of his own wife and his escape with his son Ascanius and other survivors. Dido's suitor, Iarbas, presses her to agree to marry him.
She seems to favour him, but Venus has other plans. She disguises Cupid as Aeneas's son Ascanius, so that he can get close to Dido and touch her with his arrow. He does so; Dido immediately falls in love with Aeneas and rejects Iarbas out of hand, to his horror and confusion. Dido's sister Anna, who is in love with Iarbas, encourages Dido to pursue Aeneas.
Dido and Aeneas meet at a cave, where Dido declares her love. They enter the cave to make love. Iarbas swears he will get revenge. Venus and Juno appear, arguing over Aeneas. Venus believes that Juno wants to harm her son, but Juno denies it, saying she has important plans for him.
Aeneas's followers say they must leave Libya, to fulfil their destiny in Italy. Aeneas seems to agree, and prepares to depart. Dido sends Anna to find out what is happening. She brings Aeneas back, who denies he intended to leave. Dido forgives him, but as a precaution removes all the sails and tackle from his ships. She also places Ascanius in the custody of the Nurse, believing that Aeneas will not leave without him. However, "Ascanius" is really the disguised Cupid. Dido says that Aeneas will be king of Carthage and anyone who objects will be executed.
Aeneas agrees and plans to build a new city to rival Troy and strike back at the Greeks. Mercury appears with the real Ascanius a. Cupid and informs Aeneas that his destiny is in Italy and that he must leave on the orders of Jupiter. Aeneas reluctantly accepts the divine command. Iarbas sees the opportunity to be rid of his rival and agrees to supply Aeneas with the missing tackle. Aeneas tells Dido he must leave. She pleads with him to ignore Jupiter's command, but he refuses to do so.
He departs, leaving Dido in despair. The Nurse says that "Ascanius" has disappeared. Dido orders her to be imprisoned.
She tells Iarbas and Anna that she intends to make a funeral pyre on which she will burn everything that reminds her of Aeneas. After cursing Aeneas' progeny, she throws herself into the fire. Iarbas, horrified, kills himself too. Anna, seeing Iarbas dead, kills herself.
The play was first published in , a year after Marlowe's untimely death in Deptford , by the widow Orwin for the bookseller Thomas Woodcock, in Paul's Churchyard.
The title page attributes the play to Marlowe and Nashe, and also states that the play was acted by the Children of the Chapel. That company of boy actors stopped regular dramatic performance in , but appears to have engaged in at least sporadic performances in the late s and early s, so that scholars give a range of —93 for the first performance of Dido. The nineteenth-century scholar Frederick Gard Fleay attempted to delineate the collaborators' respective shares in the text, and assigned to Nashe these portions — Act I, scene i second part, after line ; Act III, scenes i, ii, and iv; Act IV, scenes i, ii, and v; — and the rest to Marlowe.
McKerrow, and Tucker Brooke found very little that they felt could be credited to Nashe. While Frederick S. Boas admitted a few details had parallels in Nashe's published works and some words or meanings are found in Nashe's works but not otherwise used by Marlowe, "the scenes in which these passages and phrases appear have, as a whole, the stamp of Marlowe.
No other play by Marlowe has such a strong female lead character, and in no other "is heteroerotic passion the centripetal force of the drama's momentum.
The 18th-century English composer Stephen Storace wrote an opera titled Dido, Queen of Carthage — alleged, by his sister Anna Nancy Storace , for whom the title role was written, to have been his greatest work — which largely set Marlowe's play to music. It was also the only one of Storace's works to have been completely sung throughout, with no spoken dialogue.
However, the work was never published, as Storace's impresario Richard Brinsley Sheridan wished to retain control over productions of it. A single copy was kept at the Drury Lane Theatre , to prevent pirated versions appearing elsewhere — and the opera is presumed to have been lost in the Drury Lane Theatre fire, since nothing of it has survived.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Play by Christopher Marlowe, published Spring Renaissance Quarterly. Comparative Drama. Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe Memorial. Dido Aeneas. Dido, Queen of Carthage c. Simple Man. Dido building Carthage. Low Ham Roman Villa Amelia. Virgil 's Aeneid 19 BC. The Avenger Aposiopesis Dactylic hexameter Hysteron proteron Sortes Vergilianae. Hidden categories: Articles with short description EngvarB from September Use dmy dates from September All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from November Commons category link is on Wikidata Articles with Project Gutenberg links.
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Dido, Queen of Carthage
Recently there has been a revival of interest in the play, at least partly explained by changing attitudes to homosexuality, and there have been several productions performed by adults. But Dido was written specifically for a company of boys, to be performed for sophisticated audiences at indoor theatres. Then the PE teacher, who turns out to be Jupiter, picks up and carries in his arms the small boy playing Ganymede. His speech begins: Come, gentle Ganymede, and play with me; I love thee well, say Juno what she will. This performance was in some ways a dress rehearsal for that on Saturday 21st September in the magnificent surroundings of the Banqueting Hall of Christ Church, Oxford. The inventive staging made full use of the massive space, with boys making entrances and exits all round the hall. Lamp and firelight provided the illumination, casting the portraits of royalty and alumni in shifting shadows.
The Plot: Dido, Queen of Carthage
All Search Options [ view abbreviations ]. Hide browse bar Your current position in the text is marked in blue. Click anywhere in the line to jump to another position:. Purchase a copy of this text not necessarily the same edition from Amazon. Christopher Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage. Click anywhere in the line to jump to another position: act: act 1 act 2 act 3 act 4 act 5.
In the play, Dido, the queen of Carthage, is in love with Aeneas, who has taken refuge in Carthage after the fall of Troy. He refuses to marry her, however, and as he sails from Carthage, the despairing Dido kills herself. Dido, Queen of Carthage. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Home Literature Plays.