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Dido, Queen of Carthage, Hamlet, and the transformation of Narcissism.

It is fairly frequently observed that Phoebe's couplet in As You Like It (1599)--"Dead shepherd, now I find your saw of might, / 'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'" (1)--is the only occasion in which William Shakespeare acknowledges and quotes the work of a contemporary author. But it pales by comparison to the even greater compliment Shakespeare bestows on Marlowe in Hamlet (1600), where the surviving playwright actually incorporates what amounts to a highly positive theater review of Marlowe's first play. (2) And such praise arises, apparently, even in spite of the lack of enthusiasm with which Dido, Queen of Carthage was greeted by its initial audience. As Hamlet states to the First Player:

I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was never acted, or if it was, not above once, for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviar to the general. But it was--as I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine--an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning.... One speech in't I chiefly loved: 'twas Aeneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially when he speaks of Priam's slaughter. {Hamlet, 2.2.434-48)

The review is strikingly specific in its rhetorical praise: "I remember one said there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter savory, nor no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation, but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine" (440-45). If we accept Bevington's editorial suggestions, this analysis apparently approves the play's avoidance of "spicy improprieties," commending its "well-proportioned" rather than "elaborately ornamented" language (1084). While Shakespeare's fiction here may not necessarily reflect an accurate record of the playwright's assessment of Marlowe's rhetoric in Dido, Queen of Carthage, these remarks by Hamlet are in fact curiously literary, or literary critical, observations for the prince of Denmark to make at this moment in the tragic action.

The meaning of the allusion must be assessed, then, not only in the general, and profound, mythical context evoked by the constellation of Virgil, Marlowe, and Shakespeare, but also in the more specific critical and psychological responses of Shakespeare to his dramatic precursor. With respect to the mythical resonance of the Troy narrative, historicist critics remind us that the fall of Troy, which now "seems important ... because of its literary merits, not because we recognize it to be about our own genealogy or identity or the future," was one of the "foundational myths" of medieval and early modern European culture. Alan Shepard and Stephen D. Powell argue that the myth was crucial in justifying aspirations "toward empire, or at least toward cohesive notions of national identity." (3) For early modern society in particular, I would add that the myth was also crucial in consolidating--and conversely, also undermining--cohesive notions of a new masculinity participating in the foundation of the nation-state. It may not be an exaggeration to suggest that in the Renaissance the narrative in many ways carried comparable significance to the creation story of Genesis. Tracing the significance of the myth for Edmund Spenser, James Carscallen provocatively argues that the Elizabethan poet's story of "Troy becoming his own England is ... a kind of scripture" which mirrors "the Trojan scripture that Virgil had produced for Rome.... Virgil has Aeneas called out by Venus, his mother, to bring the surviving Trojans to Italy and unite them there with the indigenous Latins. A new race now exists, a chosen people destined to build a new city and ... give a biblical kind of blessing to the world." (4) Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) relates the story of the coming of Brutus--great grandson of Aeneas and accidental parricide of his father Silvius--to Britain to found a second Troy, fulfilling the prophecy of Diana he has received in a dream. The British, specifically Welsh, origins of the house of Tudor made the myth particularly attractive to Spenser--however much some in sixteenth-century England may have privately sneered at the royal family's descent from a "Welsh butler," (5) Owen Tudor, who married the widow of Henry V. Even aside from the question of die possible influence of the complex Spenserian exploration of the relation of love and war, and of masculinity and femininity', in (especially) the middle books of The Faerie Queene (1590-96), Marlowe and Shakespeare both respond as poets within a Christian culture to the portrayal of uncertain masculinity in the Aeneid (c. 29-19 BCE), with its vexed identifications with, and subordination to, both female and male divine authority in the form of Venus and Jupiter.

We might temporarily simplify our approach to this question by asserting that, while Shakespeare is clearly responding both to Virgil and Marlowe, Marlowe at least can be understood as responding primarily to Virgil. Yet such an approach would itself be oversimplification, and I wish to begin by considering a significant recent critical attempt to account for the oddness or ambivalence of tone in Dido, Queen of Carthage, the perennial question of whether Marlowe is offering a seriously tragic, or rather a comical-satirical, version of Virgil, which in some crucial ways echoes a perennial question concerning Marlowe's art in general. (6) Timothy Crowley, in fact, asserts that the supposed ambivalence of tone arises from a misunderstanding of Marlowe's artistic purposes regarding "the play's self-consciousness about its own theatrical parody rooted in compound imitatio." (7) While earlier commentators have recognized a "generally Ovidian spirit" within the play, Crowley suggests a more controlled deployment of Ovid: "The play's imitation is not merely 'eclectic,' nor does it rhetorically suspend in a noncommittal way the Vergilian and Ovidian foundations upon which the ideological legacy of Troy stands. Rather, it consistently critiques the Aeneid and deploys Ovid for its unique parody of Vergil." (8) My rhetorical purpose is not exactly to refute Crowley's, which on its own terms is effectively developed. But I wish to complicate his claim for an Ovidian interrogation of Virgil's Aeneas by adding a further layer of analysis, a consideration of a Christian Marlowe to Crowley's classical Marlowe; in doing so, I suggest a return to a more dialectical adjudication of the tone and morality of Marlowe's play, in order to fully comprehend the reasons that early Marlowe held such a fascination for Shakespeare at the height of his career. Marlowe's implicit recognition of Christianity's, and in particular Calvinism's, psychologically constricting, even traumatizing tendencies and an intensifying, more explicit recognition and subsequent amelioration by Shakespeare through the promotion of what I shall term "imaginative agency" represents, I contend, the real essence of the thematic and ideological link between the two plays.

Like previous commentators, Crowley must account for the surprisingly tenuous masculinity of Marlowe's Aeneas, who "remains both aware of and controlled by the power of language.... Dido's hold on Aeneas has less to do with erotic attraction than with rhetorical persuasion" (428). After his announcement of his dream from Hermes and his first attempt at departure in act 4, scene 3, Aeneas feebly resists Dido's attempt in act 4, scene 4 to ensure his continuing commitment to Carthage by exclaiming:
   How vain am I to wear this diadem
   And bear this golden scepter in my hand!
   A burgonet [small helmet] of steel and not a crown,
   A sword and not a sceptre fits Aeneas. (4.4.40-43) (9)


For Crowley "the play's audience could not escape the impression that Aeneas simply regurgitates the soldier's rhetoric impressed upon him in 4.3. The use of both first person and third person here conveys the paralysis Marlowe's play has created for Aeneas: T betrays his own tendency to bend with Dido's every word; Aeneas' signals recitation of language she and others use to invoke 'warlike Aeneas'" (428-29). But die "waver[ing] between first and third person" is also often observed by critics as a significant feature in Faustus's self-constructions, and indeed occurs not infrequently in the drama of the 1580s. (10) Crowley intimates a more general significance of this feature when he compares it with the "Tudor play of mind" (429) discussed by Joel Altman, (11) but we should here perhaps consider the tension between subjective and objective constructions of selfhood beyond the conscious employment, within Renaissance humanist education, of rhetorical arguments on both sides of an issue. Crowley eventually observes that "Marlowe's Dido (and Marlowe as playwright) treats Aeneas like a blameless puppet" and cites Rick Bowers to assert that Aeneas's "impetus for leaving Carthage is the same as that for staying: someone else is always 'organizing] his desire'" (430). Thus, Crowley can conclude, "In this radically non-Vergilian fourth act, Marlowe's pseudo-Ovidian Aeneas remains constant only in his impulse toward personal metamorphosis" (430). (12)

While Aeneas's lack of genuine erotic attraction for Dido may certainly be relatable to a homoerotic displacement at work in the play and thus connected to the "high camp" that Bowers observes there, I suggest that Crowley's "pseudo-Ovidian Aeneas" and his susceptibility to discursive construction needs to be reconsidered simultaneously as a "Calvinist Aeneas," with a theological basis for his uncertain masculinity and his treatment as a "blameless puppet." (13) In Reformation England the Virgilian theme of Roman destiny with which Jupiter assures Venus--who in Marlowe has anxiously speculated that "religion hath no recompense" (1.1.81)--would certainly carry overtones of Calvinist predestination:
   Content thee, Cytherea, in thy care,
   Since thy Aeneas' wand'ring fate is firm,
   Whose wean- limbs shall shortly make repose
   In those fair walls I promis'd him of yore. (1.1.82-85)


With respect to the Virgilian source Marlowe "actually increases Jupiter's concern and involvement by having the god directly order Aeolus to stop the storms, whereas in the Aeneid Neptune performs this function even before the Venus--Jupiter confrontation." (14) The very Virgilian emphasis on "walls" in the above passage as the ultimate establishment of a new phase of civilization, and of masculine ego boundaries, finds in Marlowe the very un-Virgilian repetition of the image in the form of quasi-maternal protection in a female embrace, (15) as Marlowe's Aeneas (unlike Virgil's) succumbs to Dido's pleas and asserts, "This is the harbor that Aeneas seeks, / Let's see what tempests can annoy me now" (4.4.59-60). As Crowley observes, Aeneas "now priz[es] her love as a 'harbour' that protects him from his 'wayward' destiny" (429). Thus Marlowe's version combines, provocatively, the desire for masculine self-authorization and for feminine nurturance. On a theological level, such a combination may suggest Debora Shuger's "intimation that [in die Renaissance] fathers, especially divine fathers, are deeply endowed with what we call maternal attributes." (16) Indeed, in the opening scene, Marlowe's Aeneas laments the vanishing of his mother Venus in terms which echo Christ on the cross: "Stay, gentle Venus, fly not from thy son! / Too cruel, why wilt thou forsake me thus?" (1.1.242-43). The conflicting desire for divine authorization and divine nurturance evoked in Marlowe also recalls William Perkins' surprising application of the doctrine of the trinity in A Warning Against the Idolatrie of the last times (1584), where the distinction between God-the-Father and God-the-Son staves off the apparent fantasy of an all-merciful God, framed according to that all-too-human desire for protection and nurturance, which Perkins apparently wishes to repress. (17)

Shuger in Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance (1990) considers whether "current notions of gender differentiation," specifically ones that attribute to fathers more despotism and control and less tenderness and nurturance, "may post-date the Renaissance." (18) Perkins' Calvinist position would in this sense seem to anticipate more modern, less affectionate conceptions of fatherhood. (19) Certainly forms of feminine, and maternal, identification are crucial in a consideration of the intertextuality of Dido, Queen of Carthage and Hamlet, and I will attempt, below, to come to terms with then function within the plays. Nevertheless both plays suggest that the absence or the uncertainty of a viable paternal identification, exacerbated by theologically inconsistent conceptions of divine fatherhood, constitutes a significant, seemingly pivotal source of trauma for the vexed process of masculine s elf-fashioning. In the context of the intensification of secular culture that concerns Marlowe and Shakespeare, "Virgil's proclivity for building his theme around the loss of fathers and sons thereby highlighting the problem of continuity," would have constituted a powerful attraction; indeed, Anthony Dawson's consideration of "memorial repetition" in the two playwrights essentially defines the Reformation as an Oedipal moment, an "historical shift" involving
   the growing sense ... of England's global, Protestant destiny,
   combined with the nagging feelings of loss associated with the'
   demise of Catholicism, ... the disappearance of embodied comforts
   before the mastery of a more rigorously austere religious
   aesthetic. Thus Virgil's sense of the inevitable mixture of triumph
   and loss, and the personal cost of destiny and city-building,
   strikes a chord ... for Shakespeare and some of his fellows at this
   historical moment. (20)


This general but powerful description of the period perhaps casts some doubt on Crowley's thesis of the "overall effect" of Dido, Queen of Carthage as a satire of "Marlowe's contemporaries' investment in the Troy legacy," although Crowley hedges his critical bet by asserting that "Dido parodies the convention of imitatio and thus complicates its own critical edge. Despite relentless theatrical parody produced by Marlowe's skeptical incursions upon Vergil by way of Ovid, his puny Aeneas character remains 'Aeneas' in Dido's mind and in our own, complete with the conflicting ideological baggage that name carries" (410-11). While this argument comes close to intimating a kind of transhistorical longing for an idealized masculine embodiment of heroic agency, Crowley is more careful in his concluding remarks to emphasize Marlowe's "characteristic touch of lively ethical ambiguity.... Marlowe imports [Ovid's] poetic strategies into his play presumably to fuel a critique of contemporary investment in the Aeneids imperial theme--but Dido, Queen of Carthage also flaunts the fact that it cannot change the shared parameters of that source material upon which it feeds, thus remaining knowingly bound to Vergil's Aeneid as if to an antagonist" (438). Nevertheless the relation between Virgil and Marlowe, and the Virgil-Marlowe-Shakespeare configuration explored here, may be less purely antagonistic than this argument suggests. Crowley ends with an emphasis on Marlowe's "delightfully ruthless humor," and indeed the definitive study of humor in Marlowe, which recurs oddly and unexpectedly throughout the canon, probably remains to be written; but the relation of his humor to his "ethical ambiguity" will require, I contend, a thorough plumbing of unconscious meaning rather than simply a delineation of conscious satirical purpose (438).

Not that conscious satirical purpose can be deemed entirely absent in Marlowe. Crowley's most intriguing point involves the consideration of another Shakespearean text: "King Henry's threat to the Governor of Harfleur in Henry V amplifies violent details from Dido Queen of Carthage (2.1.190-99): it provides a parallel image of old fathers' heads bashed in, changes the image of virgins skewered by pikes to that of virgins violated by soldiers, and intensifies that of infants bathing in then parents' blood to become 'naked infants spitted upon pikes' (3.3.38; see 11.27-41)" (436). To an extent Marlowe's parodic imitation of Virgil can be seen as a Renaissance critique of military aggression and martial virtus, since, as in Marlowe's Dido and Tamburlaine, the anachronistic detail of pikes no doubt would evoke an impression of contemporary militarism. The King's speech containing this threat marks a divergence from Holinshed's Chronicles, Shakespeare's main source, and it conveys the brutal nature of 'impious war' (3.3.15) to much the same theatrical effect as the description of Troy's fall in Dido 2.1" (436). Crowley's reading is undeniably attractive to the postmodern mind, filled to overflowing with the horrors and catastrophes of the history of modern warfare, and now more or less permanently cured of any kind of susceptibility to martial idealism in realistic contexts.

That Shakespeare would share or sympathize with this vision has been plausibly suggested by Robin Headlam Wells in his important study Shakespeare on Masculinity (2000), where he argues that Shakespeare himself "probably" shared the critic's own view that "the 'ethic of heroism' has no place in the modern world." Wells outlines two idealized poles of early modern masculinity represented mythological (437) by Hercules (the warrior) and Orpheus (the divinely inspired creative artist), and argues that through the Shakespeare canon as a whole the playwright gradually subsumes the former in the latter. Wells' doubts concerning the viability of the heroic ideal are based in part on a distinction between Aristotelian "moral virtue, which consists in a mean between extremes, and heroic virtue, which is a kind of greatness that defies description, an excess ... of virtue." Thus "Tasso gets closer to the truth about the peculiar fascination of the epic hero when he admits that heroes defy conventional morality," (21) a claim that invariably brings to mind a figure like Tamburlaine. I have much sympathy with Wells' reasoning, and his preference for moral over heroic virtue (according to these definitions), but as I have expressed elsewhere in a discussion of Macbeth (1606), (22) his thesis may in a sense oversimplify or too easily downplay Shakespeare's ambivalent admiration for the Herculean hero, which (at least in one case) is clearly reflected in the notorious ambiguity of his Henry V. While it may be easier for the postmodern reader to regard Marlowe as a cynical satirist of martial values, a consistent equation of Marlovian soldiers and martial motifs with an inevitably pathological masculinity is also critically problematic. (23) Antiwar commentary within Dido through anachronistic military allusions and Shakespeare's subsequent imitation of this method are plausible as one aspect of the artistic intent in these dramatic texts, but inadequate as a blanket explanation for either or both playwrights' portrayal of, and obsession with, uncertain masculine self-construction. Moreover, an exposure of the brutal nature of "impious war," as Crowley's reading of Henry V (1599) intimates, does not preclude, perhaps tragically the positive valuation of a potentially "pious" one. The Protestant clergyman George Gifford, in A Treatise of True Fortitude (1594), attempts to argue that the existence of men "both godly and valiant" does not constitute an ideological contradiction. (24) Indeed, the Virgilian source for both Dido, Queen of Carthage and the Player's scene in Hamlet includes the most famously ambiguous of epic heroes (prior to Satan in Paradise Lost [1667]), with Aeneas torn psychologically between the values of pietas and furor. Clearly the ideological effect of the classical sources on both early modern plays needs to be considered in deeper psychological and even religious terms.

Martial masculinity holds a powerful attraction for early modern writers, and in some contexts at least may in fact function, imaginatively or symbolically, as an expression of valid and necessary--that is, not gratuitously violent--masculine assertion. (25) Such artistic attraction needs to be read in the larger context of the dramatic portrayal of masculine self-fashioning within the theological and historical uncertainties of an emergent Protestant state, as described by Dawson. Hamlet unsurprisingly recalls from Marlowe's play the specific description of the fall of Troy--the climax of the war, which easily invites a reading as a symbolic expression of early modern psychological and political trauma. Yet the accounts of Marlowe and Shakespeare, as has been noted, contain significant variations. Ending any questions concerning Shakespeare's direct allusion to Dido, Queen of Carthage James Black observes that the Player's speech "uses details that are in Dido and not in the Aeneid (2:559-728): Priam's feeble attempt to struggle with Pyrrhus at close quarters; Priam being blown over by the wind of Pyrrhus' sword; Pyrrhus being interrupted--in Dido by Hecuba's attack on him, in Hamlet by the distraction of Troy crashing down in fire; the prolongation of the butchery of the old man; Pyrrhus standing like a statue (Dido) or a painting (Hamlet)," (26) Clearly the figure of the patriarch Priam, and his desecration by Pyrrhus, compels the artistic imagination of both Marlowe and Shakespeare. The element of ekphrasis--the description in literature of a visual work of art--in both playwrights probably derives from Virgil: the memorialization of human suffering, and martial competition, in art occurs significantly in the Aeneid, where the walls of Carthage's Temple of Juno are, oddly, already inscribed with the "historical" images of Trojan war (including the actions of Aeneas himself) when Aeneas and his men arrive. The close, tearful perusal of these scenes by the epic hero thus suggests a potential for narcissistic self-reflection even in the classical source. (27)

Marlowe appears to replace this episode with simply a statue of Priam, although the exact nature of the image to which his characters allude has been debated by critics--Priam's figure is arguably meant to represent one aspect of an expanded frieze or relief sculpture in stone. Nevertheless Aeneas's response to Priam's image is highly significant:
   Achates, though mine eyes say this is stone,
   Yet thinks my mind that this is Priamus;
   And when my grieved heart sighs and says no,
   Then would it leap out to give Priam life.
   O, were I not at all, so thou [Priam] mightst be! (2.1.24-28)


In The Irony of Identity (1999) I suggested that the scene involving Priam's statue "involves an attempt at 'transmuting internalization' of an idealized self-object by which Aeneas can fill in a missing psychic structure" and that Aeneas's retelling of the fall of Troy, with its secondhand reporting of Oedipal conflict and potential Oedipal guilt, could be illuminated through Heinz Kohut's psychology of the self' with its emphasis on the pre-Oedipal stages of psychic development. (28) I am concerned here to consider both the voyeuristic nature, and the struggle toward greater self-integration in Marlowe and Shakespeare's texts in more general psychological (and theological) terms. Aeneas's rhetoric obviously displays a deep and desperate need to recover a source of masculine identification in the form of the patriarch Priam, whom Dawson nicely terms the "ur-father." (29) The desperation and tenuous self-image reveal a kind of weakness that suggests narcissism, and the parallel to the psychological situation of the young Hamlet, who expresses suicidal urges consequent upon his father's death and mother's hasty remarriage even before the trauma of the Ghost's appearance, seems irresistible. (30) Hamlet expresses a highly similar binary of excessive, externalized idealization and striking personal inadequacy: "My father's brother, but no more like my father / Than I to Hercules" (1.2.152-53). Yet there is something about Aeneas's heroic self-surrender--the desire to revivify Priam through self-sacrifice--that is not quite consistent with the clinging dependency evoked through postmodern theories of narcissism. There are eucharistic overtones to Aeneas's response before the statue of Priam, recalling the gesture to self-sacrifice before the altar in the liturgy of the Communion: "And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice unto thee." (31) That is, Aeneas's response suggests the vexed combination of personal inadequacy, desire for personal empowerment, and uncertain or shifting identification that characterizes masculine self-fashioning in a Reformation or Calvinist context, where the church has the duty "by bringing men into obedience of the Gospel, to offer them as it were in sacrifice unto God." (32)

In fact the generally more theological character of Marlowe's account can be underlined by considering one detail he includes during the butchery of Priam that is found in neither Shakespeare nor Virgil. When the king falls to the floor, recites Aeneas painfully,
   Then from the navel to the throat at once
   [Pyrrhus] ripp'd old Priam; at whose latter gasp
   Jove's marble statue gan to bend the brow,
   As loathing Pyrrhus for this wicked act. (2.1.255-58)


Priam's status as "ur-father" certainly renders this action on the part of Pyrrhus as nightmarishly Oedipal and patricidal, even while Pyrrhus completes the revenge for his own father Achilles's death. In Marlowe the assault magically affects the whole symbolic order as, in another brief ekphrasis, a statue of the father of the gods himself registers the abomination. In Shakespeare the violation is in a sense humanized. Not that the attack is not horrifying, or that Priam's body is not read symbolically. But rather than evoking a higher symbolic or metaphysical order, Shakespeare emphasizes the violation of Priam's own physical and political integrity. One of Black's key claims, a very crucial one for an understanding of Hamlet, is that the Ghost's story of his murder by Claudius becomes, through the play's repeated representation of "the individual as micro-fortress," "a precis of Troy's last hours" which "culminates in the brutal slaughter of Priam in his domestic and religious sanctuary": "the Ghost's description of how poison invaded his system is only one instance among many of a recurring figure--the individual as beleaguered and embattled in mind and body" (20). Black emphasizes that, while attention to imagery of warfare has long been central to readings of Hamlet, the kind of warfare, specifically siege campaigns, needs more critical attention, since "Hamlet's [psychological and political] struggle has the elements of a siege war" (23-24). In his most provocative claim, Black observes: "Coming as it does after a long passage of prose in this scene of Hamlet, the florid style of the Player's speech suggests that Hamlet's experience--including the Ghost's story--is 'real,' even though--in fact, because--the Ghost's story has the same topos as the account of Priam's murder" (21).

This coincidence of the "reality" of experience and heightened imaginative reception draws us into one of the most crucial questions regarding the text of Hamlet, and in a sense the function of Renaissance dramatic art. In relation to Marlowe's influence on Shakespeare, such coincidence also recalls a passage from Simon Shepherd's 1986 study which has longed lingered in my critical memory, in a chapter significantly entitled "Making Persons":
   Dramatic characterisation in the 1580s is supposed to be a bit of a
   mess. The playtexts are seen to be caught between the didactic
   presentation of Moralities and the imitation of real psychology
   which Shakespeare invents. This argument is being put at the time I
   write by a series of television programmes by John Barton and RSC
   actors, in which extracts from pre-Shakespearean plays are read in
   silly voices to show how unreal they are, and extracts from
   Shakespeare are read earnestly to show how 'natural' and real is
   the achievement of his blank verse. (33)


Besides underlining the injustice of approaching early modern drama with preconceived critical judgments in mind, Shepherd's observation anticipates the present debate over Harold Bloom's controversial claim regarding Shakespeare's "invention of the human." (34) In the case of Dido, Queen of Carthage, the question of psychological realism raises the apparent conflict between the supposedly burlesque nature of the play, or its failure in evoking a truly tragic pathos, and Hamlet's claim that the play he recalls was "honest," not given to excessive rhetorical ornamentation, with "no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation" (Hamlet, 2.2.441-45). Indeed, rereading Marlowe's play never fails to surprise me in terms of its psychological interest and poetic intensity. In spite of the awkwardness of the triple suicide at the end, the speeches, especially Dido's, are frequently deeply moving and poetically powerful, persuasively delineating conflicting emotional responses, as when Dido cannot refrain from expressing a mixture of deep love and deep hate in her response to the desertion of Aeneas:
   I hope that that which love forbids me do
   The rocks and sea-gulfs will perform at large
   And thou shalt perish in the billows' ways,
   To whom poor Dido doth bequeath revenge.

   Why starest thou in my face? If thou wilt stay,
   Leap in mine arms: mine arms are open wide.
   If not, turn from me, and I'll turn from thee;
   For though thou hast the heart to say farewell,
   I have not power to stay thee. (5.1.170-73,179-83)


If anything, Dido's responses--while set in a simpler register of characterization or psychological complexity--seem more genuine at times than the manipulative rhetoric with which Cleopatra plies Antony, in the tragedy which often features in critical analyses as, on one level, Shakespeare's response to Dido, Queen of Carthage. (35)

That Marlowe's characterizations seem more innocent than Shakespeare's in Antony and Cleopatra (1607) may relate not only to die appearance of the play at the beginning of Marlowe's career but to its status as a production by child actors, and indeed the sense of not only pervasive immaturity--of a decidedly narcissistic intensity--but also the very theme of constrained maturation (36) may help explain why Aeneas stands out as the most disturbing, unnerving presence in the play. Of the correspondences between characters in Shakespeare and Marlowe (and Virgil), Black focuses on the most important, highlighting "word-play," which as far as I am aware, has occurred to no one else: "In the Player's speech from the old play, Hamlet, by speaking the first thirteen lines, casts himself as the tale-teller Aeneas, the looker-on who saw Priam killed and did not intervene (it is tempting to hear word-play on 'Aeneas' in his soliloquy just afterwards when he rages at himself for silence and inaction and says 'Why, what an ass am I!' ...)" (25). Marlowe's version of Troy's destruction heightens the observer status of Aeneas in a way that suggests the voyeurism associated with narcissistic disorders: "The narrative voice is not recounting a history of its own Oedipal conflicts and (potential) adaptations, but the voyeuristic enjoyment of another's heightened aggression, and there thus emerges at moments in the rhetoric and imagery a sadism, a savage glee, in this fantasy of Oedipal triumph, which is heightened by the incongruity of Aeneas's otherwise deferential manner." (37) Such voyeurism develops full-blown in the dramaturgy of Marlowe's subsequent creation, which replaces the tentative and oddly detached Aeneas with the cruelly rapacious conqueror Tamburlaine.

Shakespeare in Hamlet responds to the sense of psychological paralysis in Marlowe's Aeneas. Black, among many other critics, draws some significant parallels: "Lucianus [more word-play?] in 'The Murder of Gonzago' is both Claudius and Hamlet, poisoner and avenger, just as Pyrrhus in the Player's speech was murderer of Priam and avenger of his father Achilles. [Harold] Jenkins and others note that Pyrrhus is also imaged in Hamlet standing over Claudius and '[doing] nothing'" (Black, 25). But that notorious phrase "Did nothing" from the Player's description of Pyrrhus "as a painted tyrant" (Hamlet, 2.2.480-82) also echoes Marlowe's lines, where Aeneas describes Pyrrhus' response after the slaughter of Priam: "So, leaning on his sword, he stood stone still, / Viewing the fire wherewith rich Ilion burnt" (2.1.263-64). Richard Wilson has beaten me to the punch here in a characteristically dense, knotty, and tortuous discussion--it reads at times like an extended crossword puzzle clue--that is nevertheless full of important observations. He observes that "Marlowe's murdering idol 'stood stone still' ... after the massacre, contemplating [the effected] genocide with the pitilessness that excites Hamlet" (emphasis mine). But Hamlet's Pyrrhus pauses before the act of patricide, "extending the life-saving interim 'Between the acting of a dreadful thing / And the first motion' ([Julius Caesar] 2.1.63-64) into the eternal stasis of a picture." Thus "Pyrrhus' hesitation opens space for the aesthetic, as a hiatus within which a reckoning is endlessly deferred. Its caesura is not ... just a signal for the prince of indecision, but a template for art itself." (38)

I propose to build on the difference in the moment of stasis in Marlowe and Shakespeare to make a case for what, as indicated at the outset, I term the production of imaginative agency in Shakespeare, which,' as it emphasizes a sense of artistic responsibility, will question Richard Wilson's postmodern assertion of an "endlessly deferred" artistic reckoning, as well as "pitilessness" as the source of Hamlet's excitement in Dido, Queen of Carthage. Like many recent critics, Richard Wilson ultimately suggests Shakespeare's refusal or surrender of "Marlowe's pact with power" (as exemplified most obviously in Faustus) in his "final play" (39) but The Tempest (1611) is clearly not Shakespeare's final artistic statement, and in fact is less grandly comprehensive of Shakespeare's ideological development than has often been assumed. (40) Though hardly a postmodernist, Bloom as well misreads the nature of the influence here: "Shakespeare clearly is not an exalter of power: even Henry V is presented equivocally, and it is not sentimentalism to affirm that Falstaff, both in his glory and when he is rejected, meant more to Shakespeare and his audience than did England's hero-long." (41) There seems to me indeed a kind of sentimentalism at work in Bloom's unending admiration for Falstaff, whom Shakespeare, as early as the latter stages of 1 Henry IF (1596), casts in a decidedly chilling light: "Tut, tut, good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder. They'll fill a pit as well as better" (4.2.64-66). It is unclear to me how any post-Holocaust reader can ever really recover from these lines from the mouth of the supposedly greatest comic creation in English literature. Bloom does add, significantly, "Yet without Marlowe, Shakespeare would not have learned how to acquire immense power over an audience." Because Bloom believes Shakespeare's art is "beyond political ideology," he fails to perceive how the artistic responsibility to which he alludes is but one facet of the larger networks of responsibility within human social interaction. (42) In the course of his career, Shakespeare revises, not surrenders, Marlowe's vision of imaginative control and domination through analogies suggesting progressively less narcissistic and more productive forms of psychological and political influence.

Wells' theory of a gradual replacement of Herculean with Orpheus-like ideals of masculinity, as it elevates the artistic over the presumably coarser, violent temperament, remains therefore highly attractive, but even still may represent an oversimplification. The first necessary stage in the process of masculine individuation remains the development of the will toward heroic commitment of action, of some kind, even the risky or potentially violent kind. (43) That Shakespeare qualifies the "pitilessness," the odd but undeniable sadistic quality that recurs in Marlowe's writing, can be seen even in Crowley's consideration of the amplification of violent details from Dido, Queen of Carthage in Henry V quoted on pages 106-107. Shakespeare "changes the image of virgins skewered by pikes to that of virgins violated by soldiers"; without in any way downplaying the savagery and brutality of rape, Shakespeare at least in this passage which correlates to the description in Dido, Queen of Carthage avoids the complete eradication of the female body that features in some of Marlowe's cruelest moments, such as Tamburlaine's nightmarish consignment of the Virgins of Damascus to excruciating and merciless execution in / Tamburlaine: "there sits Death, there sits imperious Death, / Keeping his circuit by the slicing edge" (5.1.111-12). Even less directly violent moments in Marlowe contain this unexpected eradication of femaleness, such as when Aeneas's lament before the statue of Priam in Dido, Queen of Carthage embellishes Virgil with Ovid through an allusion to the myth of Niobe, but in this exclusively male "elegy" the devastated mother weeps only for "her sons' death" (2.1.4) and not for her daughters', though she had seven of each slaughtered by Apollo and Diana.

While h is often observed that Marlowe has Aeneas fail to save three women (Creusa, Cassandra, and Polyxena) in a row--thus building on the martial inadequacy of Virgil's Aeneas, who stands "unmanned" (44) after witnessing the murder of the patriarch Priam--Marlowe significantly deletes the extremely moving encounter between Aeneas and the ghost of Creusa in Virgil. Whether this moment of pathos in any way anticipates the invention of heterosexual romantic love that C. S. Lewis famously dates to eleventh-century Provence, (45) it likely would not appeal to the more cynical reading of sexual passion which often characterizes Marlowe's work, with perhaps the most infamous example from The Jew of Malta: "Thou hast committed--/ Fornication? But that was in another country: / And besides, the wench is dead" (4.1.40-42). But perhaps the most telling change that Crowley identifies in Shakespeare's modification of Dido, Queen of Carthage's rhetoric of atrocity in Henry V is the rendering of Marlovian infants bathing (literally "swimming") in then parents' blood as "naked infants spitted upon pikes." While Shakespeare's deliberately horrific image may anticipate British propaganda during the World War One concerning German troops parading with babies on their bayonets, it nevertheless lacks the nightmarish lack of affect that characterizes Marlowe's indifferent offspring, which underlines the potentially psychopathic emotional paralysis that recurs in Marlowe's writing, as for example in Tamburlaine's repeated and unfeeling acts of cruelty, or Lightborne's cool pretense of concern before the sadistically savage murder of Edward.

While an attribution of psychopathic tendencies to Shakespeare's Henry V himself would admittedly not be beyond the realms of critical credibility, the distinction remains that the king's ugly threat to the governor and the citizens of Harfleur effectively forecloses the imagined violence; it does not revel in its fulfilment like the rhetoric of Tamburlaine, or memorialize its horror in strangely unempathetic ways, as in Dido, Queen of Carthage. We need to consider more closely, then, Richard Wilson's claim for Shakespeare's Pyrrhus, pausing before the slaughter, as emblematic of the opening of a "space for the aesthetic." As everyone knows, Laurence Olivier's film version of Hamlet (1948) attempts to cut the Gordian knot of centuries of critical debate and baldly identifies the play as "the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind" still not a bad point with which to introduce the play to undergraduates. In the classroom the point frequently leads to a consideration of Aristotle's concept of hamartia in the Poetics (c. 335 BCE), often explicated as "tragic flaw" but more accurately translated as "error in judgment." Students may reflect that a character with a tragic flaw will eventually likely commit a serious error in judgment. But in Hamlet we may' indeed see Shakespeare deliberately working through Aristotle's more "existential" emphasis on action and transforming it into a principle of self-reflexive contemplation--self-fashioning not just as external action but as intellectual organization and, in keeping with a the literary product of a Christian culture, spiritual reflection, as when Hamlet belatedly realizes, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will" (5.2.10-11).

Andrew Hiscockvery helpfully reminds us of the combined classical and Christian impetus behind the early modern project of humanist self-fashioning through a carefully planned program of education:
   if Roman theorists concentrated upon the oratorical experience
   requisite for success in the civitas, Christian theologians, at
   least as far back as St. Augustine, had recognized the significance
   of memory and the skills of public performance in coming to
   understand some of the mysteries of spiritual inferiority----From
   the perspective of this Church Father, memory is frequently linked
   to the gaining of self-knowledge and ethical understanding, and
   indeed to spiritual commitment. In De Trinitate ... Augustine
   envisaged an analogue to the Holy Trinity in memory, understanding
   and will--However, throughout the development of all these
   various philosophical traditions, the stress returns regularly to
   the notion of translating learned knowledge into significant human
   action. (46)


Hiscock links the emphasis on memory, both individual and cultural, in humanist education to the artistic interest in the story of Troy during the late sixteenth century. His most interesting critical suggestion, however, involves a reconsideration of what is in effect Hamlet's direct response to the Player's speech. In consequence of his famous reflection, "What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba" (2.2.559), Hamlet arrives at an idea--the staging of the Mousetrap--which is central, I suggest, to Shakespeare's art: We can paradoxically arrive closer to the truth of any aspect of experience by strategically adding to it one more layer of illusion. (47) As Polomus has already (unconsciously) made clear, "By indirections [we can] find directions out" (2.1.67).' Hiscock identifies The Murder of Gonzago, since it constitutes "the mimesis of revenge," as a kind of displacement of Hamlet's apparently reluctant project of personal vengeance that, in terms of audience response to Hamlet itself, encourages us "to collapse the boundaries between doing and telling in order to diversify our understanding of cultural intervention." More than a test of Claudius' guilt, the Mousetrap "offers the prince the possibility of [ethically acceptable] empowerment." (48) That the ethical nature of Hamlet's actions and the stability of his identity remain, until the fifth act, highly questionable is part of the tragedy of the play; the further irony of the Mousetrap is that, while Hamlet comes to perceive more clearly the state of Claudius' conscience, the reverse is also true.

Though not explicitly stated, Hiscock's argument concerning the conflation of doing and telling, and Hamlet's "movements back and forth from biological to textual fathers" has, through its suggestions of the "talking cure," psychoanalytic implications--in this case ones to be read, I contend, in terms of the psychological disadvantages arising from the theological context which Shakespeare has inherited from Marlowe. (49) In the most obvious sense, the action of both Dido, Queen of Carthage and Hamlet recalls Nietzsche's admonition that "if one hasn't had a good father, then it is necessary to invent one." (50) This requirement should be considered both in more broadly cultural as well as directly familial or biological senses. Although in classical and later culture the Virgilian emblem of Aeneas bearing his father Anchises on his back as he escapes the ruins of Troy became a notable encapsulation of patriarchal dedication to patrilineal duty and inheritance, Aeneas's self-effacing and self-immobilizing gestures before the statue of Priam in Marlowe both shock his companions and underline a desperate psychological need, even abject weakness. In Hamlet there is a notorious incongruity between the hero's extreme idealization of the memory of his father--compared with Claudius, as "Hyperion to a satyr" (1.2.140)--and the Ghost's tale of excruciating suffering in purgatory as a result of "the foul crimes done in [his] days of nature" (1.5.13). More recent criticism has understandably wrestled with the Ghost's injunction to Hamlet, "Remember me" (1.5.92), and its echo of the liturgical function of the Protestant Eucharist, in essence a memorialization of Christ's sacrifice. What then is the exact meaning of Shakespeare's attribution to a deified father (from his son's perspective) of the agonies of purgatorial imprisonment, in the apparently Protestant context of the Danish royal court, to the certainly Protestant audience of late Elizabethan London?

The ostensibly anomalous allusions to purgatory in Hamlet have been a concern in Shakespeare scholarship since at least }. Dover Wilson's What Happens in Hamlet (1935), which still functions as a helpful introduction for readers interested in the question: While Hamlet and Horatio, as students of the university of Wittenberg, are clearly "Protestants," and while Hamlet never names purgatory and only hints at it once, the Ghost on the other hand is clearly "Catholic" and comes from purgatory. Because of these theological contradictions, J. Dover Wilson asserts, "the Ghost in Hamlet was a far more arresting and prominent figure to the Elizabethans than he can ever be to us." (51) Of the more recent historicist attempts to reconstruct something of this peculiar perception, Stephen Greenblatt's Hamlet in Purgatory (2001) constitutes the most significant effort to come to terms with the "afterlife" of purgatory. According to Protestant polemic, the Catholic church invented, without any scriptural authority whatsoever, a "poet's fable" (as the title of Greenblatt's introductory chapter indicates) between heaven and hell--that is, between the irrevocable destination of the elect and the reprobate--as a means of psychological and political control, and with an enormous financial benefit to itself. But if such Protestant writers "charted the ways in which certain elemental human fears, longings, and fantasies were being shaped and exploited by an intellectual elite who carefully packaged fraudulent, profit-making innovations as if they were ancient traditions," (52) can the idea of imaginative agency which I have raised be employed to suggest that Shakespeare in Hamlet concerns himself with something more than a parody of purgatory, or even, as Greenblatt goes on to suggest, a lingering attachment to a mechanism for assuaging fears and longings associated with human mortality and grief? In spite of the fascinating and illuminating contexts explored in Hamlet in Purgatory, Greenblatt fails to push home a point about human integrity that seems implicit in much of his explorations.

I wish to highlight two crucial passages from Greenblatt's first and second chapters in order to make Shakespeare's ultimate artistic purpose, or at least motive, more explicit. At one point Greenblatt considers the emotional, even in a sense spiritual, paucity of the Protestant worldview concerning the life of the soul on earth, by focusing of John Donne's Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624):
   Donne began his work by imagining himself as his own ghost, an
   image he now immeasurably deepens. But where do these ghosts--all
   of us, in effect, or at least all of us who have heard the bells
   toll--reside? ... In a special place set aside for purgation? No,
   here in this world, a world that is an enormous charnel house,
   where we await resurrection. "Where Lazarus had been four days,"
   Donne tells God, "I have been fifty years in this putrefaction; why
   dost thou not call me, as thou didst him, with a loud voice, since
   my soul is as dead as his body was?" (53)


In the following chapter Greenblatt considers more closely, in some hair-raising detail, the horrific nature of purgatorial suffering--a horror nicely if briefly intimated by the Ghost in Hamlet--and begins his subsequent reflection with a fine sense of black humor:
   This is, let us reiterate, the good news. These are souls destined
   for Heaven, but they cannot enter its sacred precincts with the
   burden of even relatively minor sins upon them. Why did God's
   sacrifice of his own Son not suffice to clean the slate of each
   soul? Because that sacrifice did not erase individual moral
   responsibility. If all actions are significant, ... if individuals
   are accountable for their own behavior, then the principle of
   retributive justice absolutely required that each and every sin ...
   be counted, weighed, and punished. (54)


This passage highlights the profound challenge the "invention" of purgatory poses to the doctrine of the atonement: "Because that sacrifice did not erase individual moral responsibility." If Hamlet presents a very odd incongruity between Hamlet's intense idealization of his dead father, and his father's purgatorial suffering, the play also intimates the necessity, indeed inescapability, of an earthly agent or role model for the young man's self-constructions within the social community, by having his less than ideal father return from the grave with the still very human motive of a desire for personal revenge: Remember me, not to surrender your sense of personal agency, but remember me, in order to perpetuate my legacy of masculine control and authority. But such remembrance involves not only an assumption or questioning of moral responsibility but an assumption or an acceptance of paternal guilt and imperfection.

The confusing and conflicted religious allusiveness of the play does not so much parody purgatory as it parodies the lack of any sufficient or viable masculine role model in die Protestant scheme of salvation--the fact that the atoning Christ remains inimitable, for men's agency in the world. In Marlowe, Aeneas's voyeuristic participation in Pyrrhus' assault on Priam, a gesture which conflates revenge on behalf of the personal father with the act of cultural patricide itself, recalls Shuger's description of the experience of the reader of the Calvinist passion narratives, which "present violence (both acted and endured) as the site of self-division and subjective contradiction." Shuger observes that while such texts "stress the trial of obedience, where, to use Erasmus's terms, the Son must reject 'mother nature'--the instinct of self-preservation--in order to drink from the Father's cup ... their emphasis on the Son's meek submission to this economy of sacrificial suffering, which quantifies moral value in terms of pain, only partially conceals traces of filial aggression against the Father."' Shuger reminds us that in "Calvinist piety, as students of Herbert will recognize, self-control usually implies a covert resistance to the 'Lord of Powre'; the attempt to withstand the torturer is itself a suspect assertion of inner autonomy." (55) The cultural context of Calvinist devotion--"by bringing men into the obedience of the Gospel, to offer them as it were in sacrifice unto God," in John Calvin's own words (56)--therefore results in a reaction formation, an impetus toward a creative search for a major revision of the image of divine fatherhood. In order to avoid a facile participation in a cycle of violence for which personal responsibility is endlessly denied or deferred, the true Son needs a true Father who has himself, in his own experience, accepted the risks and the suffering of self-assertion and self-surrender, of human self-fashioning and the limits of self-fashioning--not an "ill-tempered, sanctimonious bore," as Bloom fairly accurately describes the (Augustinian/Calvinist) God of Paradise Lost (57) Shakespeare in Hamlet struggles to replace the voyeuristic, narcissistic paralysis of Aeneas--haunted by his own masculine inadequacy--with a subjectivity containing at least the potential for a more viable, creative agency. That Shakespeare's Pyrrhus hesitates before the destruction of Priam emblematizes the playwright's search for an "aesthetic space" which is really an acceptance of an imaginative, and imagined, self, one prepared to accept the responsibility for its triumphs and failures, not to blindly embrace, out of desperation or unthinking reaction, a purely narcissistic aggression against its own emotional being or the being of others.

The necessity of human agency and self-assertion undoubtedly remains. Perhaps this is why the text of Hamlet makes so much, in response to the Ghost's initial appearances, of its war-like attire--a spectral image quite unusual for the Elizabethan stage, according to J. Dover Wilson, which manages "to lift the whole ghost-business on to a higher level, to transform a ranting roistering abstraction into a thing at once tender and majestical," and quite "overwhelming in its realism." (58) The play clearly still honors the manly, martial image, an essential aspect of the dead king's nobility, but qualifies it as well. Every reader notes the apparent foils to the indecisive Hamlet, those other, more assertive sons--Pyrrhus, Laertes, and Fortinbras--who so energetically pursue revenge for then wronged fathers. But of course Shakespeare seldom uses foils so simply. For example, as the calculating Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra shows up Antony's lack of "manly" control of his Dionysian, predominantly sexual passions, so also does Caesar underline the limits of such control, the cost of Apollonian self-mastery to one's humanity; thus the tension between the two characters gradually reformulates, in essence renders more urgent, the question of what should, or could, constitute real manliness in the play. Likewise, a figure like Fortinbras ironizes not only the purely martial image of masculine assertion but the whole meaning of the political resolution of Hamlet, with Hamlet's "prophecy" of Fortinbras's election. The play's complexity, indeed its centrality within the Shakespeare canon, is borne out by its careful inclusion, after the male-dominated political world of the second tetralogy, of the feminine perspective, not just as competing voices in the political context but as an artistic exploration of a more comprehensive psychological spectrum for the emergent secular self, incorporating both active and contemplative, "masculine" will and "feminine" emotional well-being.

Tanya Pollard, in a recent investigation of Hamlet's profound response to the Player's description of Hecuba, argues that "we have not yet acknowledged or understood the significance of the period's engagement with a predominantly female-centered canon of Greek tragedy," and suggests that "there is more than one ghostly parent haunting this play." (59) When Hamlet describes himself "Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause" (2.2.568), he is technically "comparing himself with the player, but Hamlet's curious indictment of himself as 'unpregnant' suggests that it is Hecuba herself against whom he fails to measure up" (1063). Pollard considers related passages in the play that associate Hamlet with the "brooding" state of pregnancy; such imagery certainly links the tragic hero with a feminine state that, as in the case of Marlowe's Barabas, could suggest a potential for narcissistic self-fixation. (60) But Hamlet presumably compares unfavorably to Hecuba not only for reasons of her astounding fertility--she is "identified by Euripides as a mother of fifty" (Pollard, 1063)--but because of her final assertiveness, and in describing Hecuba as "a bereaved mourner who seeks revenge" (1060), Pollard cites the action of the classical precedents she considers, specifically Euripides, where Hecuba manages to "transform her grief into violence" (1066). Considering collectively a series of Shakespearean allusions to Hecuba, Pollard argues that for the Renaissance playwright himself "Hecuba represents not ... passive suffering ... but active responses to wrongdoers, the possibility of transforming grief into the satisfaction of revenge" (1075). But the case is different in Hamlet, and Pollard fails to clarify the distinction: There the description of the barefoot Hecuba "threat'ning the flames / With bisson rheum" or blinding tears (2.2.505-6) seems meant, poetically and pathetically, to underline not her vengefulness but her overwhelming impotence and distress. It is surprising that, among Shakespeare's sources, Pollard fails to consider Dido, Queen of Carthage at all, since she seems to confuse Shakespeare's Hecuba in Hamlet with the "frantic Queen" in Marlowe who, after Pyrrhus strikes off Priam's hands, "leap'd on [Pyrrhus'] face, / And in his eyelids hanging by the nails, / A little while prolong'd her husband's life" (2.1.244-46).

I thus wish to add an important qualification to Pollard's historicization of Hamlet. In light of the "remarkable popularity" of Euripides' Hecuba (c. 424 BCE) in the Renaissance, Pollard argues, "early modern English responses to Hecuba suggest that the play's popularity derived especially from its combination of passionate grief and triumphant revenge, each of which embodied a crucial aspect of what the period's writers found compelling in tragedy" (1065). While undoubtedly building on the popularity of this particular combination, Shakespeare at the same time explores his intimation that a coherent masculinity, and indeed a coherent subjectivity, needs to temper both; that is, he seeks a dialectical resolution of too much passive and too much aggressive emotion, in the containment and coherence of imaginative agency, and not--as Marlowe in his earlier work at times apparently offers his audiences--in the indulgence of narcissistic fantasy. Pollard does ultimately argue that Hamlet introduces innovations in the genre of tragedy that challenge tragedy's previous, classical culmination in triumphant revenge: "Presented as audience and mirror to the play's female figures, Hamlet takes the choral role from its characteristic position on the play's margins and moves it to the center, reversing its relationship with the grieving women to whom it responds." The artistic result is to refocus "the genre on the experience of the audiences who watch and respond to it" (1087-88). Thus Pollard's reading aligns with Richard Wilson's "opening up of an aesthetic space" and my idea of imaginative agency. (61) But if Shakespeare "transforms women's place in the genre," as Pollard suggests, he does so by in fact reducing the agency of his female characters in comparison to then precursors in classical drama, whose grief led to active and satisfying revenge. Their own role in grieving or not grieving (in the case of Gertrude in response to her husband's death) is certainly highlighted, but in a sense tragically contained within the process of achieving a more integrated masculinity.

I suggest that Pollard's reading needs to consider more closely the differences between classical and Christian subjectivity, and not just in the sense that "revenge" is more morally problematic in a Christian context. (62) Crucially, classical self-conception does not present a core of subjectivity internally riven by the moral contradictions of a Christian guilt culture, and the resulting shifts and complications of gender identification, which problematize not just (violent) revenge but any kind of agency and moral discipline. "Passionate grief" can now no longer issue directly in "satisfying revenge" but must undergo a vexed and apparently tortuous masculinization--in Pollard's terms the masculine appropriation of the choral role--that tempers suffering with a painful but inescapable moral objectification, achieved only by effectively challenging the terms of its own supposed inadequacy and dependency. That is, Shakespeare must establish a psychological and ideological context that interrogates the potential for narcissism in a theology of grace, its inherent inhibition of masculine self-integration, even while such theology paradoxically increases or at least complicates the spiritual burden of moral responsibility toward others.

This attempted transformation of narcissism may be related to classical and biblical mythological allusions involving the tragic objectification of female figures in the service of masculine self-idealization, for example Jephthah's daughter, beloved only child in Judges 11, tragically sacrificed by her father because he has promised God to offer up the first thing that emerges from his door in exchange for military victory over his enemies. Pollard notes that "between hearing of the players and watching them represent Hecuba, ... Hamlet is ... thinking about a female sacrifice linked to classical tragedy: his meditation of Jephthah's daughter [2.2.403] ... foreshadows that Ophelia--who, like Iphigenia [Agamemnon's daughter], is sacrificed by her father for matters of state negotiated between men--will both mirror Hamlet and compete with him for the play's tragic center" (1087). This observation is linked in Pollard's argument with the claim that Hamlet's choric status, while effeminizing in terms of being "marginal, passive, and observing," nevertheless "strengthens him by giving him the leverage of an external vantage point" (1085). The reference to Jephthah, who in the Renaissance imagination was frequently linked to Iphigenia, interestingly recalls Barabas' protestation of deep love for his daughter Abigail in The Jew of Malta: "one sole daughter, whom I hold as dear / As Agamemnon did his Iphigen: / And all I have is hers" (1.1.136-38, emphasis mine). Besides the obvious irony in the foreshadowing of Barabas' actual "sacrifice" of his daughter later in the play, the rhetoric here also directly echoes the love of God the father in the parable of the prodigal son, underlining the potential for a fatal narcissism in "divine" love, especially since Barabas later vows to sacrifice Abigail "on a pile of wood" (2.3.53), alluding to the story of Abraham and Isaac, which was read as a type or prefiguration of God's willing sacrifice of his only Son. The text of Hamlet engages in a careful reconsideration of the necessity and the nature of human "sacrifice," in psychic or subjective terms. The eucharistic potential I noted in Aeneas's self-effacement before the statue of Priam is in Shakespeare renegotiated by an implicit challenge to, or subtle correction of, the detrimental psychological effects of the doctrine of atonement, through the notorious but (as it turns out) not entirely illogical appearance of a Catholic ghost amidst a disordered Protestant state. In essence purgatory becomes an emblem of the psychic readjustments activated within the Shakespearean unconscious.

Hamlet's meditation on Jephthah certainly reflects Shakespeare's recurring concern with unusually close father-daughter relationships, with perhaps incestuous potential, (63) and also contributes to Hamlet's quasi-Oedipal, ongoing critique of Polonius. In spite of what many readers have found Hamlet's fairly appalling treatment of Ophelia, his final protestation of love for her after her death--ironically while fighting over and around her corpse--seems a significant attempt to recognize her as a cherished, but distinct "other," even while her personal and social agency has been tragically subsumed within the psychological trajectory of his own trauma. The whole rest of the Shakespeare canon in effect shows the playwright's continuing attempt to resolve the dilemma of the narcissistic possession of women by men, through a reconceptualization of a viable masculinity as a necessary prelude for, in effect, human psychic integrity in both male and female characters. Janet Adelman has pointedly observed that the mother figure "returns with a vengeance" in Hamlet, (64) and even those readers unsympathetic to psychoanalytic interpretation must admit that in this central work Shakespeare begins a serious renegotiation of the power and the nature of the feminine in his imaginative world. In light of Pollard's argument concerning the secret affinities between Hamlet and Hecuba, it is probably significant that Marlowe, unlike either Virgil or Shakespeare, dares to depict if not the murder then the disposal of Hecuba at the fall of Troy--"At last, the soldiers pull'd her by the heels, / And swung her howling in the empty air" (2.1.247-48)--an image disturbing but consistent with Marlowe's savage and sadistic eradication of femininity and the female (or feminized) body.

I have suggested that Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage served as catalyst for the development of Shakespeare's renegotiation of the feminine, but only by highlighting a failure and a lack of an integrated masculinity that the dead playwright underlined. Indeed it may seem a contradiction that the eponymous hero of Marlowe's first play is, after all, a woman, and therefore the play could be said naturally to fulfill the expectation of heightened female emotion that characterizes classical, especially Greek, tragedy, the influence of which in the Renaissance has been underestimated (according to Pollard). But Marlowe's Virgilian context highlights a disjuncture between an erotic desire and the "necessity" of political conquest; die Christianization of this context further complicates both the desire and the political subjectivity in ways that clearly emphasize challenges to early modem masculine self-authorization and self-coherence. The pathos of Dido in Marlowe is certainly moving, but what Hamlet significantly recalls is Aeneas's speech about Priam's slaughter. Indeed, Rick Bowers' reading of Dido, Queen of Carthage as "high camp" might support, as I suggested earlier, the claim for a displacement of homoerotic desire, but the idea has I think more serious artistic and moral consequences than Bowers ultimately suggests, when he concludes that Marlowe turned the "cultural artifacts" of classical culture into "something newly reconstructed, something hilarious and outrageously off-kilter, and yet something immediately recognizable in terms of extreme emotional behavior. Perhaps only his hairdresser knew for sure." (65) While perhaps not simply a projection of postmodern predilections, the aspects Bowers underlines are not, apparently, the "honest," "wholesome," and "sweet" qualities that attracted Shakespeare to Marlowe's play, as reflected in Hamlet's speech to the players.

If the effective pathos of Dido's speeches has something to do with a part of the consciousness of the playwright that shares both her desperation and her desire, it might be tempting to suggest that such a possible displacement also resembles a recurring pattern in Shakespeare's art, (66) although this claim would constitute a separate, no doubt controversial, discussion. My main point here is to demonstrate that Shakespeare saw and remembered a moving human dilemma in Dido, Queen of Carthage, one that related directly and deeply to crucial challenges facing self-conception in late Elizabethan England that were intensified by the theological and political upheaval of the Reformation, (67) and attempted in his own art to transform the trauma and paralysis he observed there into a more viable model of secular self-fashioning for his society and his age. That is, he saw the wonder, the wit, the brilliance, and indeed the humanity in Marlowe's art, but sensed at the same time something irrefutably (from his perspective as well as our own) pathological.

I thus finally question Lucy Potter's reading that Dido, Queen of Carthage successfully enacts a sixteenth-century version of Aristotle's catharsis and that, after the telling of his tale of Troy, Aeneas "is entirely different." (68) In support of her claim, Potter quotes one of the play's most central artistic statements, Aeneas's exclamation, when he reencounters the woods where he first landed destitute upon Carthage's shores, "O, how these irksome labours now delight / And overjoy my thoughts with their escape! / Who would not undergo all kind of toil / To be well stor'd with such a winter's tale?" (3.3.56-59). Rather than a true working through, a transformation of an emotional burden, the speech constitutes the infantilization of a necessary reconstitution of experience, a reduction of the process of maturation to a child's fantasy, a delight in storytelling. Indeed, even its intimation of the challenges of individuation is enough to make Dido petulantly respond, "Aeneas, leave these dumps and let's away" (3.3.60), which emphasizes the narcissistic refusal of reality that characterizes the play as a whole. But Shakespeare keenly perceives, even while it fails here, the power of human imaginative production to facilitate a more practical and socially responsible self-fashioning as does, I believe, Marlowe himself, even while in his art he specializes in exploring what could justly be described as primarily negative exempla, tragic versions of cautionary tales.

At stake here is the crucial distinction between "real" or "true" and false or specious performances as acts of self-fashioning, a differentiation that certainly requires the consideration of the choices one makes, and the goals one pursues, as ethical or unethical, but depends in the first instance on whether legitimate choice is believed to be possible. Such judgment or assessment ultimately represents, in effect, an ideological challenge to Martin Luther's bound will and Calvin's doctrine of predestination. That so much theoretical emphasis in poststructuralist and postmodern criticism has ironically tended to dismiss the distinction between an essence-who-performs and the nature of the performance as bogus, as an ideological and oppressive (not liberating) fiction, means that the moral catalyst Shakespeare perceives in Marlowe needs in this case further clarification through an honest admission of personal cohesiveness or self-coherence as an historically legitimate goal for early modern writers, in terms of their own humanist endeavors.

University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

(1.) William Shakespeare, As You Like It, in The Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. David Bevington, 4th ed. (New York: Longman, 1997), 288-325, 3.5.81-82. All subsequent references to Shakespeare's works are from this edition unless otherwise noted.

(2.) I repeat here the usual suggestion that Thomas Nashe may have helped prepare the text for the printer, or revised it for publication, to explain the fact that his name appears on the title page of the 1594 edition of the Dido, Queen of Carthage. My lack of critical scruples in this case results from an unfashionably romantic intuition arising from a prolonged engagement with particular literary contexts: in spite of their authors' collaborations in other instances, Dido, Queen of Carthage is a text that, thematically and emotionally, has Marlowe written all over it as surely as The Revenger's Tragedy (1606) has Thomas Middleton written all over it.

(3.) Alan Shepard and Stephen D. Powell, introduction to Fantasies of Troy: Classical Tales and the Social Imaginary in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. Alan Shepard and Stephen Powell (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2004), 1-14, 1, 3.

(4.) James Carscallen, "How Troy Came to Spenser," in Shepard and Powell, Fantasies of Troy, 15-38, 15-17.

(5.) As does Lettice Knollys, memorably, in the sixth installment of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television series Elizabeth R (1971).

(6.) On this question the essay by J. R. Mulryne and Stephen Fender, "Marlowe and the 'Comic Distance,'" in Christopher Marlowe, Mermaid Critical Commentaries, ed. Brian Morris (London: Ernest Benn, 1968), 47-64, is still highly pertinent and frequently cited.

(7.) Timothy D. Crowley, "Arms and the Boy: Marlowe's Aeneas and the Parody of Imitation in Dido, Queen of Carthage," English Literary Renaissance 38.3 (2008): 408-38, 408. Hereafter cited as Crowley.

(8.) Crowley, 409-10.

(9.) Christopher Marlowe, Dido Queen of Carthage, in "Dido Queen of Carthage" and "The Massacre at Paris," ed. H. J. Oliver, The Revel Plays (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1968). All subsequent references to Dido, Queen of Carthage are from this edition unless otherwise noted.

(10.) See, for example, Hieronimo's speeches in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, 2.5.4, 3.13.95, and 3.13.106.

(11.) Joel B. Altman, The Tudor Play of Mind: Rhetorical Inquiry and the Development of Elizabethan Drama (Berkeley: U of California P, 1978).

(12.) Crowley is citing Rick Bowers, "Hysterics, High Camp, and Dido Queene of Carthage f in Marlowe's Empery: Expanding His Critical Contexts, ed. Sara Munson Deats and Robert A. Logan (Newark: U of Delaware P, 2002), 95-106, 98.

(13.) Mathew Martin also sees a Calvinist connection, asserting that Dido, Queen of Carthage "explores an experience analogous to the experience Calvin ... claimed to be at the heart of Christian faith: responding to God's call without mediation," but proceeds to mount a Derridean analysis, arguing that "Calvin would not have completely agreed with Derrida's description of faith." Martin, "Pious Aeneas, False Aeneas: Marlowe's Dido Queen of Carthage and the Gift of Death," Early Modern Literary Studies 16.1 (2012): [paragraph]1,[paragraph]3.

(14.) Ian McAdam, The Irony of Identity: Self and Imagination in the Drama of Christopher Marlowe (Newark: U of Delaware P, 1999), 64.

(15.) See McAdam, The Irony of Identity for a discussion of the ambiguity of the wall imagery in the play, 67-68.

(16.) Debora Kuller Shuger, Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance: Religion, Politics, and the Dominant Culture (1990; repr., Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1997), 223n20. Shuger cites a "recent study in cross-cultural psychology [which] seems to corroborate the existence of maternal qualities in Christian symbolizations of the father and God" (223n20).

(17.) "God is to be conceived as he reveales himself unto us, and no otherwise: if otherwise, God is not conceived, but a fiction or idol of the braine.... And the unitie of the Godhead is to be adored in the Trinitie of persons. Here then behold the Idol god of the greatest nations of all the world; of Turkes, of Jewes; yea of many that pretend Christianitie, who upon ignorance, worship nothing but an absolute God, that is, God absolutely considered, without any relation to Father, Christ, or holy Spirit. Yea the multitude in all places set up unto themselves, a god that is all mercy, and no justice: because they content themselves with the light of blinde nature, and frame God according to their owne desires and affections." William Perkins, A Warning Against the Idolatrie of the last times, in The Workes of That Famous and Worthy Minister of Christ... William Perkins, vol 1 (London: John Legatt, 1612) 669-716-673; STC 19650.

(18.) Shuger, Habits of Thought, 222-23.

(19.) Interestingly, Shuger in Habits of Thought observes that "even Calvin's Institutes a work not known for its sentimental warmth, consistently associates fathers with pity and nurturing care (222), but this position is not quite consistent with her reading of "the contrast between the harsh patriarch and the desolate child" in the English Calvinist passion narratives in Shuger, The Renaissance Bible: Scholarship, Sacrifice, and Subjectivity (Berkeley: U of California P, 1994), 111. It is an interesting historical question whether forms of English Calvinism promoted by Perkins and his contemporaries were fundamental in the progressive hardening of the patriarchal role in subsequent societies, at least those influenced by these particular developments in Calvinist theology.

(20.) Anthony B. Dawson, "Priamus Is Dead: Memorial Repetition in Marlowe and Shakespeare, * in Shakespeare, Memory, and Performance, ed. Peter Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006), 63-86, 75.

(21.) Robin Headlam Wells, Shakespeare on Masculinity (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000), 207, 2.

(22.) See Ian McAdam, Magic and Masculinity in Early Modern English Drama (Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 2009), 259.

(23.) See for example, Ian McAdam, review of Marlowe's Soldiers: Rhetorics of Masculinity in the Age of the Armada, by Alan Shepard, Renaissance and Reformation 27.1 (2003): 121-24.

(24.) Gifford argues that, even in the case of the heathens, "as God in hys high providence, had before ordained the great Monarchies or kingdoms, so also hee prepared the instruments that should erect and uphold them. He put that skill for the warres, and that heroycall courage into them." Gifford subsequently refutes those Christians who claim that martial skill and piety are mutually exclusive. Gifford, A Treatise of True Fortitude (London: John Hardie, 1594), sig. B1v, B7r-B7v; STC 11870.

(25.) Imaginative or symbolic expression of idealized masculinity in martial form could explain the continuing high frequency of such motifs in popular film and fiction especially fantasy fiction, in our postmodern age, in spite of the profound inscription of the horrors of twentieth-century warfare on our present cultural consciousness. This phenomenon seems particularly true for medieval chivalry (in Tolkieman and other manifestations), which was also revived significantly in an imaginative form-in literature and other forms of art, architecture, and social ritual-both in Elizabethan England and the Victorian age probably in part due to what Shuger has aptly designated "the mystification of violence" (The Renaissance Bible, 120).

(26.) James Black, "Hamlet Hears Marlowe; Shakespeare Reads Virgil," Renaissance and Reformation 18.4 (1994): 17-28, 18-19. Hereafter cited as Black.

(27.) Martin's reading suggests this potential is effectively contained: "Virgil's Aeneas turns trauma into a moral exemplum that substantiates rather than ruptures ethics and provides a continuity between past and present fully in keeping with the epic's ... teleological perspective" ("Pious Aeneas, False Aeneas," 11).

(28.) McAdam, The Irony of Identity, 49-57.

(29.) Dawson, "Priamus Is Dead," 73

(30.) Perhaps not surprisingly, I have much sympathy with Avi Erlich's challenge to Freud's Oedipal reading of Hamlet "Hamlet has a highly specific conflict deriving not so much from his desire to have killed his father but rather from his lack of a strong father." Erlich, Hamlet's Absent Father (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977), 23, emphasis in original.

(31.) Qtd. in R. Chris Hassel, Jr., "Frustrated Communion in The Merchant of Venice" Cithara: Essays in the Judeao-Christian Tradition 13.2 (1974): 18-33, 23.

(32.) John Calvin qtd. in Shuger, The Renaissance Bible, 107.

(33.) Simon Shepherd, Marlowe and the Politics of Elizabethan Theatre (Brighton: Harvester, 1986), 72.

(34.) The idea is clearly explored in Bloom's study Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (New York: Penguin-Putnam, 1998), but nicely intimated earlier in his remark, "We are fools of time bound for the undiscovered country, more than we are children of God returning to heaven The issue is not belief but our human nature, so intensified by Shakespeare as to be his re-invention" in The Anxiety of Influence, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford UP, 1997), xxviii.

(35.) As in, impressively, Robert A. Logan, Shakespeare's Marlowe: The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2007). Logan observes that "if Marlowe is interested in capturing the intense power of Dido's love, Shakespeare is interested in conveying the elusive sources of Cleopatra's ability to captivate" (172).

(36.) The title page of the 1594 edition of the play states that it was acted by the Children of Her Majesty's Chapel. The production of Dido, Queen of Carthage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2003, directed by Tim Carroll, rather fittingly set the action in a children's playground, which suggested not only that the human actors were playthings of the God, but more importantly emphasized the narcissistic motivations of the tragic heroes themselves.

(37.) McAdam, The Irony of Identity, 50-51.

(38.) Richard Wilson, '"The Words of Mercury': Shakespeare and Marlowe," in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists, ed. Ton Hoenselaars (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012), 34-53, 51, emphasis in original.

(39.) Richard Wilson, "The Words of Mercury," 51.

(40.) For one example of the reconsideration of the limitations of The Tempest, see Ian McAdam, "Magic and Gender in Late Shakespeare," in Tate Shakespeare: 1608-1613, ed. Andrew J. Power and Rory Loughnane (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013), 243-61.

(41.) Harold Bloom, The Anatomy of Influence: "Literature as a Way of Life (New Haven-Yale UP 2011), 48.

(42.) Bloom, Anatomy of Influence, 49, 48.

(43.) King John (1595) seems to me a significant artistic expression or development of this principle. See Ian McAdam "Masculine Agency and Moral Stance in Shakespeare's King John," Philology Quarterly 86.1/2 (2007): 67-95, in which I argue that the play "transforms an exploration of the admittedly often treacherous capacity of role playing into a startling expose of the uselessness of any 'moral' position, no matter how fine or correct, without individual agency and assertiveness to substantiate it in the context of pragmatic social interaction" (69).

(44.) Virgil, Aeneid, trans. Robert Fitzgerald (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), 2.731.

(45.) C. S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1936). Interestingly Virgil is one of the figures to whom Lewis imagines we would now have trouble explaining the doctrine of romantic love as an ennobling passion (3). In spite of the surprising depth of passion experienced between Aeneas and the shade of Creusa, she is conveniently evacuated from the plot of the Aeneid to make way for the purely dynastic connection with the cypher Lavinia in Italy.

(46.) Andrew Hiscock, '"What's Hecuba to Him ...': Trojan Heroes and Rhetorical Selves in Shakespeare's Hamlet," in Shepard and Powell, Fantasies of Troy, 161-76, 163.

(47.) This idea is in essence the raison d'etre of Renaissance dramatic art. Anne Barton offers a succinct formulation in her discussion of Ben Jonson: "Playing shapes reality, not because it is an agent of deceit and imposture ... but because it is a way of uncovering and articulating hidden emotional truths." Barton, Ben Jonson: Dramatist (Cambridge: Cambodge UP, 1984), 226.

(48.) Hiscock, '"What's Hecuba to Him,'" 170.

(49.) Hiscock, '"What's Hecuba to Him,'" 170.

(50.) Qtd. in Harold Bloom, introduction to The Victorian Novel, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: Chelsea House, 2004), 1-46, 8.

(51.) J. Dover Wilson, What Happens in Hamlet (1935; repr., Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1962), 86. 6

(52.) Stephen Greenblatt, Hamlet in Purgatory (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2001), 45.

(53.) Greenblatt, Hamlet in Purgatory, 44, emphasis in original.

(54.) Greenblatt, Hamlet in Purgatory, 66.

(55.) Shuger, The Renaissance Bible, 110-11, emphasis in original.

(56.) See footnote 32.

(57.) Harold Bloom, Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1989), 112.

(58.) J. Dover Wilson, What Happens in Hamlet, 57, 58.

(59.) Tanya Pollard, "What's Hecuba to Shakespeare," Renaissance Quarterly 65.4 (2012V 1060-93, 1061, 1063. Hereafter cited as Pollard.

(60.) See McAdam, The Irony of Identity, 154.

(61.) Mathew Martin also at least anticipates this idea when he argues that the actor playing Aeneas in Hamlet 2.2 "seeks to translate trauma's emotive force into a community of empathetic witnesses who along with him rail against Hecuba's misfortune." Martin, "Transtatio and Trauma: Oedipus, Hamlet, and Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage" Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory 23.4 (2012): 305-25, 319-20.

(62.) That consideration is certainly not insignificant, and unsurprisingly highlighted in Hieronimo's famous and self-conflicted "Vindicta mihi!" soliloquy in The Spanish Tragedy (3.13).

(63.) Relationships frequently considered in this light include Lear-Cordelia, Prospero-Miranda, and Pericles-Marina. Perhaps more unusually, Robert Darcy considers the potential for at least symbolic incest between Shylock and Jessica, and Portia and her dead father, in Darcy, "Freeing Daughters on Open Markets: The Incest Clause in The Merchant of Venice" in Money and the Age of Shakespeare: Essays in New Economic Critirism, ed. Linda Woodbridge (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 189-200. Here again the portrayal of quasi-incestuous passion between Barabas and Abigail in The Jew of Malta--particularly in the balcony scene (2.1) when Abigail restores her father's riches--may have served as a model.

(64.) Janet Adelman, Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origins in Shakespeare's Flays, Hamlet to the Fempest (New York: Routledge, 1992), 10.

(65.) Bowers, "Hysterics, High Camp," 105.

(66.) In my reading experience, the most natural and persuasive (as opposed to factitious or ambivalent) heterosexual passion in Shakespeare is expressed by female for male characters: for example, Juliet for Romeo and Rosalind for Orlando.

(67.) The viability of political self-fashioning may carry in this case progressive, even revolutionary tendencies of early modern masculinity, the germ of which Shakespeare perceives in Marlowe. Patrick Cheney observes that "at the end of Dido, when the queen prophesies the 'revenge' of Hannibal against Rome, Marlowe re-routes republican discourse, using the anti-imperial general to critique not simply the imperial Virgil but also imperial England (with its myth of Roman origin) and finally Elizabethan England's Virgilian epicist, Spenser." Cheney, Marlowe's Republican Authorship: Lucan, Liberty, and the Sublime (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 96.

(68.) Lucy Potter, "Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the Fortunes of Catharsis," in "Rapt in Secret Studies": Emerging Shakespeares, ed. Darryl Chalk and Laurie Johnson (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2010), 287-304, 295.
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