The Irony of Identity: Self and Imagination in the Drama of Christopher Marlowe

By Ian McAdam | Go to book overview

2
Dido Queen of Carthage: Tenuous Manhood

MARLOWE WAS LIKELY DRAWN TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL FOR DIDO Queen of Carthage—books 1, 2, and 4 of Virgil’s Aeneid—for reasons other than that the poem was well known to the Elizabethans and that these books were chosen for intensive study in the grammar schools and universities.1 The conflict between self-assertion and self-surrender finds a reflection in Virgil’s epic, a work structured partly around the tension between the Roman pietas, exemplified by Aeneas, and furor, exemplified by Dido and Turnus, although Aeneas himself demonstrates the latter as an inescapable component of his military prowess. Aeneas, I suggest, is the kind of ambivalent hero that would appeal to Marlowe’s psychological concerns, both religious and sexual. Partly due to the nature of these conflicts, the play Marlowe produced has in turn given rise to ambivalent and varied critical responses.2

Marlowe’s Aeneas, like Virgil’s, is a man faced with a divinely ordained heroic project that has already caused him much suffering in the past and that promises more in the future; understandably he is tempted to abandon his struggle prematurely, taking refuge instead in the arms of Dido and behind the walls of Carthage, before the gods convince him he must resume his voyage. It is possible to view this archetypal narrative pattern in a more specifically psychological or Freudian sense, and Constance Brown Kuriyama, in a chapter of Hammer or Anvil entitled “Emasculating Mothers,” sees the central conflict represented in the play as an attempt “to fulfill a predestined adult role [while] remaining hopelessly stagnated in a state of passive dependency by yielding to the wishes of … maternal characters.”3 While Kuriyama overemphasizes Aeneas’s Oedipal conflict and the emasculating quality of the maternal characters, her discussion is up to a point illuminating since she sees the problem with which the play grapples as “essentially one of defining or confirming identity.”4 I wish to modify Kuriyama’s approach by seeing the

-44-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Irony of Identity: Self and Imagination in the Drama of Christopher Marlowe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Irony of Identity - Self and Imagination in the Drama of Christopher Marlowe 3
  • Contents 7
  • Acknowledgments 9
  • The Irony of Identity 11
  • 1: Introduction 13
  • 2: Dido Queen of Carthage: Tenuous Manhood 44
  • 3: Tamburlaine the Great: Tenuous Godhood 73
  • 4: Doctor Faustus: the Exorcism of God 112
  • 5: The Jew of Malta: the Failure of Carnal Identity 146
  • 6: The Massacre at Paris: the Exorcism of Machevil 175
  • 7: Edward Ii: the Illusion of Integrity 198
  • 8: Conclusion 232
  • Notes 247
  • Bibliography 271
  • Index 279
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 284

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.