Fortune's breath: rewriting the classical storm in the drama of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.
When the 1588 Spanish Armada encountered severe gales in the northern Atlantic, which destroyed nearly a third of the fleet, English Protestant commentators claimed the storm as a sign of God's care for England. As the pamphleteer I. L. reported in 1589, "the breath of the Lords mouth hath ... scattered those proud shippes, whose masts seemed like Cedars to dare the Sunne." (1) Contemporary medallions struck to commemorate the English victory similarly declared that "Flevit Deus et inimici dissiparunt" (God breathed upon the waters and scattered his enemies). (2) Such claims gained additional resonance after a second Spanish invasion fleet was wrecked by gales in October 1596, this time without any intervention by the Elizabethan navy: (3) God, English Protestants declared, was protecting his new chosen nation, his "little Israel." (4)
Such allusions to storms, divine providence and England's destiny situate these discourses within a wider tradition of early modern meteorology. As Alexandra Walsham has shown, a whole range of celestial apparitions, from destructive tempests to visions in the clouds, were identified by contemporary pamphleteers, divines, and scholars as sermons inscribed by God in the sky. (5) The apocalyptic framework through which these phenomena were read accords with a general tendency to look for omens of the future in heavenly and meteorological occurrences. Thus, as Gwilym Jones explores in Shakespeare's Storms (2015), contemporaries debated die significance of hearing thunder on a particular day: Thomas Hill, for example, notes in his Contemplation of Mysteries (1574) how "the learned Beda wryteth ... that if thunder be first heard out of the South quarter, threatneth the death of many by shipwrack;" while according to Leonard Digges, "Some write (their ground I see not) that Sundayes thunder, should bring the death of learned men, Judges and others." (6) As in the case of the Spanish Armada, such prophetic interpretations (although denounced by many writers as false superstition) were often applied to meteorological events that were perceived to be politically significant. One instance is the "prodigious storm" that occurred in March 1599, as "the Earle of Essex parted from London to goe for Ireland": according to biographer Alison Weir, Francis Bacon would subsequently remember the "furious" weather as an "ominous prodigy" foretelling Essex's predestined downfall. (7)
In characterizing the 1599 storm as an omen of Essex's future, it is possible that some Elizabethan and Jacobean commentators may have recognized an intriguing literary parallel in Lucan's De Bello Civili (c. 61-65 CE). Edward Paleit has demonstrated the notoriety that comparisons between Essex and Lucan's Caesar, as drawn by Essex's supporter Henry Cuffe, acquired during the latter's 1601 trial for treason. (8) In this context, it is interesting to note that Lucan's account of the cloudy skies that greet Caesar's crossing of die Rubicon posits a potential connection between the celestial phenomenon and Caesar's imperial destiny--although, in Essex's case, the outcome of his 1599 battle for England's Irish empire was inconclusive, and even disastrous. (9) While the phrasing of Lucan's counter-epic suggests some skepticism about meteorological portents, as emphasized in the translation produced by the Elizabethan dramatist Marlowe, (10) stormy atmospheric conditions are a striking and significant element in various classical epics, from Homer's Odyssey to Virgil's Aeneid.
In terms of the early modern literary tradition, the latter text is an especially important source. Virgil's high status in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe is well-known, as is his reputation as the poet of empire. Craig Kallendorf notes that: "the Virgil that emerges from the schools as part of the common classical heritage of the ruling elites of the early modern West, [is] a Virgil whose language and sentiments encoded power and privilege, [and] who provided the model for the imperial expansion that projected the power of Europe onto every continent of the newly expanded world." (11) Within Elizabethan and Jacobean England, the cultural authority of the Aeneid was regularly appropriated in support of English colonial ambitions, and literary critics have been alert to the epic's influence as an archetypal narrative of conquest. (12) Yet, as Margaret Tudeau-Clayton has persuasively demonstrated, a confused medieval reception history ensured that until the early seventeenth century, the poet Virgil was also considered to have been a mage, and the Aeneid was read as a prophetic text whose author had unique access to arcane knowledge. (13) Virgil's reputation for elemental magic complements the prominence given to storm imagery within the Aeneid, in which tempests provide both an obstacle to and prophetic guarantor of Aeneas's imperial destiny: in early modern England, conjurors and witches were often credited with the power to summon storms. (14)
In the Aeneid, command over meteorological phenomena is reserved to the gods, as disturbances in the air play an explicitiy functional role in bringing Aeneas's imperial destiny to fruition. Initially, the power of the storm belongs to Aeneas's enemies: bad weather is Ulysses' ally in the Greek invasion of Troy, rendering his wooden-horse trick plausible through the implied correlative that Neptune needs placating, while Juno instigates a storm that batters the surviving Trojans' ships as they flee the destruction of their city. Before long, however, these same violent winds give rise to Jove's resounding declaration of Aeneas's and Rome's destiny:
Thy kyngdome prosper shall, and eke the walles I thee behight: Thou shalt see rise in luivyne land and grow ful great of might. And thou thy sonne Aeneas stout to heauen shalt bryng at last, Amonge the gods be sure of this, my mynd is fixed fast. Let it be so: let tyme roll on, and set furth their renowne. Then shal be borne of Troian blood the emprour Caesar bright, Whose empire through the seas shal stretch and fame to heaven upright. (13)
The storms, stilled by divine intervention, inspire a prediction that will resonate across the course of the poem. Jove's commanding authority over the elements anticipates the control that Aeneas will subsequently acquire, when he fulfils his destiny as empire-builder; in the final line of this extract, Virgil asserts the marine and aerial dimensions of Roman power. Such imperial fame is then carried on the wind: sometimes positively, when the divine messenger Mercury crosses the liminal space between earth and heaven to assist Aeneas, and sometimes in a more dangerous fashion by the goddess Fama or Rumour. Fama's presence, while threatening in her prospective distortion of Aeneas's fame (she spreads damaging rumors about his relationship with Dido), further reinforces the link between empire-building, individual renown and aerial power that Virgil creates: imperial success and future reputation rely on controlling the air, through which destiny is framed and fulfilled.
In her fascinating study of Shakespeare's Troy (1997), Heather James concludes that Shakespeare appropriated, and contested, the political and literary tradition derived from imperial Rome in order to legitimate the cultural place of the theater in late Elizabethan and early Smart London. (16) This claim offers a suggestive insight into how literary echoes of Virgil's Aeneid might function in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Although not a focus of James's argument, the motif of the Virgilian storm is especially noteworthy in this regard, encapsulating themes of prophecy, imperial conquest, an authoritative textual legacy, and future reputation. (17) That success in these areas revolves around the ability to command the air within Virgil's epic adds further resonance to the dramatic significance of this motif, at a time when purpose-built playhouses were being newly constructed in the London suburbs, and indoor halls functioned predominantly, even exclusively, as dramatic venues: increasingly, the fictions staged at these locations could be conceived of as occupying a dedicated theatrical space. With actors and audience breathing the same air within the circumference of the building's wooden or wood-paneled walls, the atmospheric qualities of such theatrical space, arguably conceived of as an autonomous imaginative sphere, (18) became significant to the ways in which early modern playwrights engaged with the concept of theater in their dramatic writings. In this sense, the fact that the Aeneid aligns control of the air with the prophetic promise of everlasting fame is intriguing, especially when the plays themselves fulfil this promise through their restaging of the Virgilian narrative. The children's drama Dido, Queen of Carthage, coauthored by Marlowe and Nashe, (19) is one striking example of a play that combines a retelling of the Aeneid with a focus on questions of conquest and legacy, explored through ethereal imagery. Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, responding to this play, (20) offers an alternative perspective on the story of Dido and Aeneas, as Shakespeare's Cleopatra comes to symbolically embody the tempest that contests empire. Finally, in The Tempest, Shakespeare returns to these themes of controlling the air, imperial conquest, and the fashioning of personal and public legacies by staging the Virgilian storm as an explicitly theatrical event. Thus, in these works, Marlowe and Shakespeare utilize the motif of the Virgilian storm, which aligns aerial command with imperial destiny, to reflect upon the status of their own theatrical fiction--and to interrogate its future legacy.
Ruling Land and Sea in Dido, Queen of Carthage
Marlowe and Nashe's play Dido, Queen of Carthage provides an early example of such self-conscious reflection upon the atmospheric qualities of the purpose-dedicated playhouse, through a narrative focus that is explicitly indebted to Virgil's Aeneid. Performed by the Children of Her Majesty's Chapel, it was probably written for an indoor hall venue: it may have been staged at the first Blackfriars theater or, if completed after the Chapel Children's 1584 expulsion from that venue, either on tour or at court. (21) The Revels editor H. J. Oliver, recently seconded by Andrew Duxfield, proposes that the play may have also been performed at one of the outdoor amphitheaters, and the textual allusions to commanding the air might have gained a powerful new resonance on an open-air stage. (22) Either venue would however have facilitated this drama's intriguing engagement with and conceptualization of theatrical space as a distinct sphere to be manipulated and controlled by the actors (in the sense of both characters and players) in Marlowe and Nashe's fiction. Through this thematic interest in spatial conquest and an expansive theatrical vision, Dido, Queen of Carthage importantly anticipates and frames Marlowe's subsequent practice in the influential Tamburlaine plays and Doctor Faustus.
Written at a time when purpose-dedicated playhouses were still a comparatively new development, Dido, Queen of Carthage vaunts the power of theatrical illusion. In a short induction, which self-consciously parodies the popular reputation of the boys' companies, the power of the adult gods (represented by Jove) is surrendered to the child-actor Ganymede. Jove promises that "heaven and earth" will be "the bounds of thy delight" (1.1.29-31), implicitly asserting the boy-player's authority over the playing space by gesturing to the airy region between the stage platform and the painted "heavens" above: a promise that, in an open-air setting, might even have allowed the imagined sphere of illusion to figuratively expand beyond the limits of the playhouse by projecting theatrical authority beyond the stage canopy and into the sky overhead. (23) Jove's verbal commitment is reinforced visually as he plucks feathers from Hermes' wings (1.1.38-41), which, given the latter's mythological roles of divine herald and conductor of souls to the underworld, symbolize control over and occupation of the liminal region between stage heavens and stage hell. Since this episode was most probably staged on a stage balcony, as in the National Theatre's 2009 production, (24) the visual picture could have complemented these verbal references to Ganymede's command of stage-space, with the actor surveying the audience from above. By connecting the gift of the feathers with Ganymede's "fancy" (1.1.39), the play-text seems in addition to reinforce the real-life theatrical connotations in linguistic terms. A few lines later, Venus identifies Jupiter as "playing" with "that wanton female boy" (1.1.51): a charge that again echoes contemporary charges made against the children's companies,23 but which is countered by Jupiter's proclamation of the future to be shaped within Marlowe and Nashe's drama. At this point in the narrative, Ganymede's comprehensive authority over the fictional "world" of Dido, Queen of Carthage anticipates the predicted destiny of Aeneas's son Ascanius, of whom Jupiter promises that "no bounds but heaven shall bound his empery" (1.1.100). Possibly reinforced by the doubling of these two roles in performance, such linguistic echoes align control of the airy fictional sphere with imperial destiny, and foreshadow the Virgilian storm that follows.
This early storm scene is closely modeled upon book 1 of Virgil's Aeneid. Aeneas's mother Venus complains that "my Aeneas wanders on the seas / And rests a prey to every billow's pride" (1.1.52-53):
Poor Troy must now be sacked upon the sea, And Neptune's waves be envious men of war; Epeus' horse, to Etna's hill transformed, Prepared stands to wrack their wooden walls, And Aeolus, like Agamemnon, sounds The surges, his fierce soldiers, to the spoil. (1.1.64-69)
As the echoes of Troy indicate, the storm represents an obstacle to Aeneas's colonizing destiny: literally, in threatening his life, and indirectly, by shipwrecking him upon Carthage's shore, where Dido will challenge his Roman future. The potential cancellation of Aeneas's destiny is captured by Venus's metaphors, which by uniting past and present trauma effectively freeze the progression of the narrative. The theater thereby acquires command over the past, present, and future, as well as both geographical places. Conflating the Trojan horse with the "sounded" waves, this passage advertises the versatility of the stage's wooden boards, which can be at once Troy and the Aeolian Sea, and celebrates the effects used to "sound" the storm's presence. Since the storm in question was probably signaled by acoustic effects such as the beating of drums, and possibly the rumbling of a rolled cannon ball, (26) the playhouse here appropriates a martial soundscape that might more typically be associated with imperial conquest in the service of its own theatrical vision. At the same time, however, the fact that this illusory storm threatens "to wrack their wooden walls" equally aligns the imagined ships with the physical confines of the playing space, threatening the very fabric of the playhouse. (27) As with Shakespeare's The Tempest, this ship-stage parallel would have been especially powerful within an outdoor amphitheater, (28) but still resonant in the wood-paneled environs of an indoor hall. Exploiting the reverberating sound effects, Marlowe and Nashe again hint that their illusion might expand beyond the bounds of stage-heaven and stage-earth, swelling past the wooden borders of theater-space into the world outside: in this fantasy of theatrical "empery," freed from vertical and possibly horizontal limits, there are "no bounds but heaven"--a location that, in the classical form alluded to here, has already been brought within the parameters of the stage fiction in the drama's opening scene. (29)
As the play continues, so do these associations between storms, imperial destiny, and the theater. In accordance with Virgil's Aeneid, the storms that "sack" Aeneas's ships in the opening scene's maritime restaging of the fall of Troy are characterized as the result of Juno's alliance with Aeolus. (30) Subsequently, Juno and Aeneas's mother Venus, now reconciled, agree upon a "match" between the Trojan prince and the Carthaginian queen Dido (3.2.77-80). In pursuit of this plan, Juno arranges another storm, as outlined to Venus:
This day they both a-hunting forth will ride Into these woods, adjoining to these walls; When, in the midst of all their gamesome sports. I'll make the clouds dissolve their wat'ry works, And drench Silvanus' dwellings with their showers. Then in one cave the queen and he shall meet. (3.2.87-92) (31)
That the emphasis is now on the enclosure rather than expansion of space, as the focus narrows from within encircling "walls" to the even smaller and contained place of the "cave," suggests that the potential restriction of Aeneas's imperial destiny is anticipated within this exchange. Since a lasting relationship with Dido would halt Aeneas's geographical and colonial trajectory, as he concentrates upon entrenching rather than expanding Carthaginian space (5.1.1-17), this storm, like the previous tempest arranged by Juno, represents a threat to the promised foundation of Rome and, by extension, Virgil's Aeneid. While Dido, Queen of Carthage seems to deliberately mock Aeneas's heroic status at regular intervals, engaging in what Donald Stump terms the "persistent deflation of Virgilian high seriousness," (32) the spatial imagery' confirms that a threat to the Trojan prince's prophesized future is equally a constraint upon the imaginative sphere envisioned by Marlowe and Nashe--it is through Aeneas's Roman and Virgilian legacy, mocked by and contained within then dramatic framework, that the Elizabethan dramatists will extend their own surpassing fiction.
The play's closing contest between Aeneas and Dido, as each character seeks control over the aerial imagery that represents imperial destiny, is especially significant in this regard. Here, Aeneas ostensibly surpasses the otherwise more convincing conqueror Tamburlaine. When the latter protagonist seeks to assault the heavens in Tamburlaine Part Two, his lieutenant Theridamis ruefully responds that "if words might serve, our voice hath rent the air" (33); in the earlier children's drama, however, Aeneas employs a very similar phrase successfully to repudiate Dido's claims as he departs for Italy: "In vain, my love, thou spend'st thy fainting breath, / If words might move me, I were overcome" (5.1.153-54). Since sighs were theorized in early modern medical texts as symptoms of a body that has, quite literally, forgotten to breathe, the admonition aptly figures Aeneas's assumed control over the ethereal realm associated in this play with both imperial prophecy and theatrical fiction, while also foreshadowing Dido's fate. (34)
In Dido, Queen of Carthage, the death of the conqueror's "wife" is exposed as the cost of empire-building, with her fiery self-immolation and descent into the pit below the stage contrasting with Aeneas's advertised departure to claim his imperial destiny. In this contest for control of the elements that figure the performative sphere, Aeneas emerges victorious: Dido is left short of breath, and subsequently banished from the stage platform, while he commands the weather and the sea. Having acquired such authority during the play, Aeneas now defies Dido's efforts to contain his future within the bounds of Carthage, which he once imagined as a complete "world" (1.1.198). (35) Thanks to his possession of "silver whistles to control the winds" (4.4.10), gifted to him by Dido herself, Marlowe and Nashe's much-parodied Aeneas is able to partially regain his Virgilian stature:
Aboard, aboard, since Fates do bid aboard And slice the sea with sable-coloured ships, On whom the nimble winds may all day wait And follow them as footmen through the deep (4.3.21-24)
His power over the air and sea is explicitly characterized by Aeneas as the quality that will enable him to "ascend to fame's immortal house" (4.3.9), conflating his imperial destiny and literary legacy. Shortly afterwards, he leaves, and Dido is left to long like Marlowe's Faustus for a control of the air that is ultimately futile and self-destructive: "I'll frame me wings of wax like Icarus, / And o'er his ships will soar unto the sun" (5.1.243-44). (36)
Aeneas, whose imperial destiny is familiar to Elizabethan spectators but left unfulfilled within the play's narrative, exceeds the "bounds" of the theatrical illusion in performative as well as figurative terms: his Virgilian legacy requires the audience to project his achievements beyond die "world" of Carthage and the playhouse's fictional sphere. While Aeneas's trajectory is linear, however, the play also posits an alternative model of theatrical engagement through Dido's mourning speech. Thus, though she initially seeks to master the elements, enclosing sails "pack'd" with wind in her chamber, and so "drive" to Italy's shore (4.4.128-29), her ambitions increase until she hopes to bring all air within her own sphere: "I'll set the casement open, that the winds / May enter in and once again conspire / Against the life of me, poor Carthage queen" (4.4.130-32). When this suicidal effort to contain Aeneas's future by capturing the air fails, Dido then engages in a more inventive appropriation of the play's Virgilian storm imagery. Mirroring Venus' previous tactics, she retreats into a restaging of the past that simultaneously envisions an alternative, cyclical future:
See, see, the billows heave him up to heaven, And now down falls the keels into the deep. Now he is come on shore, safe without hurt (5.1.251-57)
By rewriting Virgil's version of Aeneas's future, albeit through what the play-text implies is a vain fantasy, Dido's final speech arguably sees Marlowe and Nashe anticipate what James has termed "Shakespeare's iconoclastic translations of empire," whereby the playwright "contaminates" the imperial tradition of Trojan Britain with competing interpretations; in James' reading, such translation (a term with significant spatial overtones) "conversely empower[s] the theatre as an independent sphere of cultural authority" (James, 33).
While Dido's vision reflects her traumatized state, then, it also aptly captures the complex temporality of dramatic performance, which is both finite in its span and potentially endlessly iterable. If Aeneas's future relies upon linear projection in space, generating the conditions needed for the creation of Virgil's epic and the legacy that it establishes for him, Dido dreams of an alternative temporal model in which immortality is conferred through containment and repetition. Thus Marlowe and Nashe present two alternative frameworks for theatrical authority within Dido, Queen of Carthage. In one version, the protagonist expands beyond the containing boundaries of dramatic illusion, effectively invading audience-space to assert his destiny with their imaginative cooperation--a concept that Marlowe would subsequently develop within his Tamburlaine plays. From another perspective, however, the bounds of the fictional sphere also represent a kind of authority, although one that Dido herself is unable to master; the very iterability of performance offers a different form of theatrical legacy, as Marlowe will consider again in Doctor Faustus. Both versions, however, offer a vision of dramadc performance that, in asserting the spatial and/or temporal power of the imagination, might implicitly contest the writings of contemporary antitheatricalists. Attacking the theater several years before, Stephen Gosson had employed the imagery of ships, unruly winds and shipwreck to signal modesty and restraint: "I will beare a lowe sayle, and rowe neere the shore, least I chaunce to bee carried beyonde my reache, or runne a grounde in those Coasts which I never knewe." (37) In Marlowe and Nashe's children's drama, however, such restrictions are no obstacle, even to the often bathetic protagonists: Aeneas turns his "wrack" on unknown coasts to advantage and pursues a journey "beyond ... reach" of the play's limits, while Dido, anticipating Faustus, projects her imagination high into the heavens.
The New Augustan Empire: Antony and Cleopatra
For all Aeneas's flaws, the closing impression in Dido, Queen of Carthage is that his vision of spatial expansion has, at least within this play, secured a more powerful legacy than Dido, if not a more lasting. In Antony and Cleopatra, however, Shakespeare offers a revised comparison of dramatic practice in which the linear imperial legacy of Augustus (and by extension Virgil's Rome) is contrasted to the defeated Cleopatra's powerful act of self-commemoration: spatially confined by the end of the play, she adopts tactics similar to Dido's to fashion her legacy for early modern audiences and the future, apparently with greater success. Although Shakespeare utilizes the Virgilian storm motif in a range of plays, including Julius Caesar (1599) and The Tempest, (38) Antony and Cleopatra has an especially strong thematic affinity with Dido, Queen of Carthage. In common with the latter drama, Shakespeare's play interrogates the connection between controlling the air, imperial conquest, and the fashioning of personal and public legacies: for example, Antony's defeat at Actium conflates the threats to empire posed by foreign queens and storms in the Aeneid when Cleopatra, who has come to embody the Virgilian storm, draws his fleet away from battle. While the tone of this drama sometimes hovers uncertainly between bathos and tragedy, as in Dido, both plays nonetheless offer developed reflections upon the status of early modern theater and its legacy. Thus James notes a conscious and significant resistance to the imperializing legacy of Virgil's Roman epic, suggesting that Antony and Cleopatra are intensely aware of the need to promote or disrupt the stories in which then meanings will be recorded: as early modern readers were aware, Virgil's Dido was partially modelled on Roman versions of Cleopatra, and so the, Aeneid could itself be termed a threat to her reputation. (39)
For Shakespeare's Cleopatra, this revisioning project begins with her spectacular entrance in her barge of state, which is reported by Enobarbus in a staged act of storytelling. The episode is reminiscent of Marlowe and Nashe's earlier play: as Richard Wilson argues, Enobarbus' account of Cleopatra's vessel recalls not only Shakespeare's direct source, Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives (1579), but also the equally impractical gallery of "rivell'd gold," with masts of silver, that Dido promises Aeneas [Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2.201-28; Dido, 3.1.113-33). (40) While Wilson reads this intertextual echo as Shakespeare's response to Marlowe's characterization of the Thames-side theater as a ship of fools, (41) however, the ethereal imager)' of both passages is at least equally important. In Antony and Cleopatra, the initial focus is on the barge itself, whose "purple" sails signify imperial authority and command of the elements. Yet such power comes from sensual invitation rather than martial force: it is the "perfumed" scent of these sails that makes the winds "lovesick with them" (2.2.203--4), anticipating how these same Nile winds will subsequently enhance the beauty of Cleopatra's complexion (2.2.211-15), and convey her "strange invisible perfume" to the senses of her audience (2.2.222-23). As Holly Dugan notes, Shakespeare's Egyptian queen is a master of multisensorial theatrical effects, with Enobarbus implying that Antony fell in love, not at first sight, but at first smell: "hinged to the power of her perfumes, her influence extends beyond her immediate realm and works in subtle ways." (42)
Since such perfume disperses through the air to tease the senses, Dugan's insight further extends the play's consistent alignment of Cleopatra with the elements of water and air. While the Roman soldier Philo initially portrays this quality in a negative and belittling light, complaining that Antony's heart "is become the bellows and the fan / To cool a gipsy's lust" (1.1.2-10), Enobarbus soon corrects the impression. In Shakespeare's play, Cleopatra is not merely the target at which a commanding Antony directs the air, but rather its natural destination. Thus, while she sails the Nile, Antony
did sit alone, Whistling to th'air, which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra, too, And made a gap in nature. (2.2.225-28)
The air's movement implicitly directs the spectator's gaze, as Shakespeare exploits atmospheric imagery to delineate die dimensions and directionality of his theatrical illusion. The "gap" that is imaginatively projected upon the aerial sphere mirrors the way in which Cleopatra is curiously absent from the poetic blazon constructed by Enobarbus (James, 138-39), which refers to virtually everything but her body. Jonathan Gil Harris has persuasively shown that it is precisely this absence that makes her so desirable to the Romans; drawing a comparison with the Ovidian myth of Narcissus, he notes that Cleopatra possesses both an ineluctable power to "make hungry" and a frustrating insubstantiality. (43) Enobarbus's claim that "she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies" (2.2.237-38) also again invokes her airy qualities, in a possible echo of Hamlet's claim to "eat / the air, promise-crammed" (3.2.93-94). (44) Indeed, the Roman's report continues to stress Cleopatra's spectacular, otherworldly power; to see her, the air defies natural limitations and creates a vacuum that echoes her own quality of absent presence; in contrast to Marlowe and Nashe's Dido (Dido, 5.1.153-54), Cleopatra herself is able to "breathless, pour breath forth" (2.2.242). Throughout, in fact, Shakespeare underscores Cleopatra's any and "breathing" qualities, which are contrasted with those of her Roman rival(s): thus Octavia, according to a messenger's report, shows "a statue [rather] than a breather" (3.3.21).
The distinction between Octavia as a static object to be merely studied and Cleopatra's immersive power, her "strange invisible perfume" (2.2.222), accords with what Mary Thomas Crane has identified as competing Roman and Egyptian modes of perception: while the Romans in this play understand their world primarily in visual terms, Egyptians inhabit die earth and engage with it through all of the senses. (45) It is such inhabitation of the elements that allows Shakespeare's Cleopatra to embody the Virgilian storm that both impedes and validates Roman imperialism, and so contest its legacy. At first, Enobarbus draws this link between the Egyptian queen and die storm in tongue-in-cheek fashion, announcing that: "We cannot call her winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report ... She makes a shower of rain as well as Jove" (1.2.153-58). (46) Yet such associations become serious at die Battle of Actium; here Cleopatra's unsettling relationship with the winds of imperial destiny brings Antony's fleet to grief as, unlike Dido, she fulfils the fantasy of having her lover carried to her on the wind:
She once being loofed, The noble ruin of her magic, Antony, Claps on his sea-wing and, like a doting mallard, Leaving the fight in height, flies after her. I never saw an action of such shame (3.10.18-22)
In this instance Cleopatra's captivating qualities, which draw the ah and hence the sad-driven ships after her, prove unhelpful to her cause. Wrecking Antony's ambitions, she furthers those of then mutual enemy Octavius Caesar, who (in terms reminiscent of Virgil's Fama) has already voiced his rival claim to command the airy' environs of Shakespeare's drama: "I have eyes upon him [Antony], / And his affairs come to me on the wind" (3.6.63-64). Thus the encounter between Antony and Caesar's forces at Actium can from one perspective be read, like the closing scene of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as a contest between two different models of commanding the theatrical sphere; here, Caesar's form of aerial coercion proves more effective in battle. As Canidius ruefully concludes, in another allusion to the threat of breathlessness, "Our fortune on the sea is out of breath" (3.10.25). Antony, his commander, is deeply disturbed by such implications, in line with the Virgilian notion that control of the air and sea frames imperial destiny: while not precisely a storm, Antony's defeat at Actium is attributed to misdirected air currents, a disruptive meteorological phenomenon that might foreshadow and "sheweth tempest[s]." (47) Ultimately, for Antony, surrendering his authority to Cleopatra's changeable lead threatens his very sense of self. After under-stage music subsequently symbolizes the departure of his guiding spirit Hercules, he perceives an unfixity in the air that reflects Iris own dissolving identity:
That which is now a horse, even with a thought The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct As water is in water My good knave Eros, now thy captain is Even such a body. Here I am Antony, Yet cannot hold this visible shape (4.14.9-11; 12-14)
As Wilson notes, Antony's reflection upon the subjective interpretations that one cloud might invite acknowledges that representation can "mock our eyes with air" (4.14.7), in a possible reflection on Shakespeare's own stage and story. (48) Recognizing that he has lost control of his own self-representation through naval and ethereal defeat, Antony experiences his failure as, in James's terms, a radical anamorphosis into empty "signs", which are indefinitely subject to refiguration (James, 128).
Cleopatra, conversely, finds in the very diffuseness of the air the quality that will enable her to fashion her theatrical legacy. First, she follows Marlowe and Nashe's Ganymede in imaginatively appropriating Hermes' command over the liminal spaces of the stage-world and its characters' afterlives; she dreams of the deceased Antony's bodily ascent, fixing his image aloft through her words. This passage's assertion of control over theatrical space might also have been realized physically, if Cleopatra's imaginative resurrection of Antony was accompanied by a ghostly tableau on the balcony:
His face was as the heavens, and therein stuck A sun and moon which kept their course and lighted The little O, the earth ... But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder (5.2.78-85)
Seeking to deify her dead lover through supernatural allusions, and identifying him too as an embodiment of the "rattling" storm, (49) Cleopatra prepares for the culminating performance with which she will outface Caesar and captivity.
At this latter point, the ongoing narrative conflict between the divergent models of theatrical ownership and occupation espoused by Caesar and Cleopatra reaches its height. Railing against Caesar's desire to place her on show in a visible spectacle of his triumph, the Egyptian queen characterizes Roman space as a threat to her "ah":
... Mechanic slaves With greasy aprons, rules and hammers shall Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths, Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded And forced to drink their vapour (5.2.208-12)
There may be an underlying metatheatrical playfulness, with the boy actor reminding his audience of the inevitable overlap between an elevated sphere of stage-illusion and audience-space; in one sense, this player's attempts to craft a new realm of the imagination is quite literally permeated by the "gross" breath of those standing immediately before the stage, as wed as the sound of the windlass that would "uplift" Caesar's captive before the eyes of the crowd. (50) Since "thick" ah was often identified as a cause of plague during this period, Shakespeare may also be implying a contrast between the perfumed healing power of Cleopatra's "sweet balm" and the diseased atmosphere of Rome (5.2.310). Yet the ah was understood to be particularly "thick" around the bodies of the recently dead, and the allusion to "balm" might invoke funeral ritual: thus Cleopatra's vision of forced performance is woven through with die traces of her death. (51)
While such imagery is a reminder of the stage's permeability, exposing Cleopatra to the threat of contagion, Shakespeare's protagonist transforms potential vulnerability into a source of strength. Because her power cannot be fully seen or known, Crane argues, it cannot be captured by sight, the Roman vehicle of mastery. (52) In this sense Cleopatra, whose "immortal longings" drive her transformation into "fire and air" (5.2.280, 288), perhaps epitomizes the newly immersive experience of early modern theater. An audience would always have filled stage-space with their "thick breath," but the early modern development of a dedicated performative sphere conversely enabled the theater's own immersive potential. As for Marlowe and Nashe's Dido, Cleopatra's quest for command of her literary legacy is framed by an expansive relationship with temporal and spatial bounds: noting that Antony is termed the "demi-Atlas of this earth" (1.5.24), a symbol of global authority, while Cleopatra is the "day o'th'world" (4.8.13), Wilson persuasively suggests that "together they constitute a theatre of the world." While in his interpretation "their defeat suggests the playhouse's vulnerability," (53) it seems that Shakespeare's conclusion may carry a certain, if qualified, sense of hope: if in political terms it is Caesar's vision that triumphs, the immersive theatrical model favored by Cleopatra continues to extend its influence over the closing moments of the play. Indeed, Dugan suggests that, in death, Cleopatra may even partially succeed at transforming her substance into the ether she resembles for much of the play, in the ultimate act of self-reinvention through dissolution. (54)
Whereas Marlowe and Nashe's imperialist conqueror Aeneas imagined the expansion of the theatrical sphere as an aggressive assault on the playhouse walls, Shakespeare here suggests a subtler yet perhaps more extensive diffusion of the performative illusion: a kind of theatrical osmosis, comparable to Cleopatra's "strange invisible perfume" in its effect (2.2.222). Ultimately, even the new Augustas Caesar (real-life patron of Virgil) recognizes and elevates the imaginative power of Cleopatra's fiction-making within the dramatic sphere of Shakespeare's play, which sets the "breathing" legacy of Antony and Cleopatra alongside the static, statuesque strategies of Roman commemoration: while Cleopatra resembles Marlowe and Nashe's Dido in prizing the iterability inherent to theatrical performance, her more adept establishment through "fire and air" (5.2.288) of her own legacy might be attributed to her prioritization of change, in contrast to the repetition that Dido favors. As Cleopatra earns her reputation for "infinite variety" (2.2.246), Caesar responds by literally raising her and her lover into the liminal region above the stage platform, in a striking closing spectacle: "Take up her bed ... No grave upon the earth shall clip in it / A pair so famous" (5.2.355-58). Despite his attempt to impose an imperial Roman interpretation through tableau, however, the real victor of this contest for theatrical authority and commemorative control is Shakespeare's drama, and the literary fame that it claims through the immersive capacity of his theatrical illusion.
Conclusion: Shakespeare's "Brave New World"
Shakespeare would return to the motif of the Virgilian storm several times during his writing career, including most famously in The Tempest. In a play that both alludes to the Aeneid and, "in narrative and phrase, is constituted of its parts," (55) Shakespeare engages in another striking and extended reflection on theatrical world-making. Roland Greene, exploring the "island logic" of the early modern period, notes that such world-budding succeeds because The Tempest "is not only a function of insularity but a play of encounters" (56): it is Prospero's command of the air, and specifically his ability to fashion his own version of the storm that opens the Aeneid, that enables such duality within the island world. In this sense, The Tempest restages the tension between enclosed space and expansive illusion that is so central to the contest for meaning within Antony and Cleopatra. Indeed, as Wilson notes, The Tempests self-conscious metatheatricality seems to closely echo the ethereal world of Shakespeare's Egypt: Antony's comparison of his "wreck" to the "rack" of a cloud machine (Antony and Cleopatra, 4.14.7-11) prefigures Prospero's reference to the "insubstantial pageant" that fades and dissolves to "Leave not a rack behind." (57)
Shakespeare's interest in the relationship between Virgil's literary legacy, the "insubstantial" sphere of fictional illusion and theatrical power is evident from the opening scene of the play, which reverberates to the acoustic effects of a staged storm: "A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard" (start of 1.1 s.d.). (58) As many critics have noted, the audience are at first encouraged to recognize this gale as "real" within the fiction of the play: Jones, for example, notes Shakespeare's sustained engagement with nautical technicalities, as the scene works to diminish the intrusiveness of its own "aesthetic framework." (59) Yet this illusion is soon undone: having responded to the shipwreck in terms that evoke an Aristotelian theory of theatrical spectatorship, (60) Miranda learns from her father Prospero that the sight before her is simply that: a "spectacle," wrought by his "art" (1.2.25--32). Shakespeare's protagonist here subsumes the Virgilian storm within his own sphere of authority, perhaps implicitly gesturing, as in Antony and Cleopatra, to the fabricated nature of imperial legacy. Crucially, however, Prospero's ability to secure his own destiny through such manipulation of his island's atmosphere depends upon his command over Ariel, the personification of theatrical storms and embodiment of the air. In this sense, as Jerry Brotton notes, Prospero may recall Aeneas, tamer of the sea (and winds); (61) yet the fact that both Prospero's art and Ariel's power is closely aligned with the insubstantial force of illusion suggests that Prospero the imperial colonizer is equally indebted to Cleopatra's model, utilizing the very diffuseness of the air to secure his legacy.
In The Tempest, Prospero's move from command of, to immersion in, the air of the island culminates in the epilogue, as he extends such immersion into the space of the audience themselves. Inviting the "gentle breath" of the spectators (epilogue. 11-13), as produced by the wind of their applause, to fill his sails and so guide his subsequent trajectory, Shakespeare's protagonist offers an ostensibly more modest model of theatrical expansion than that found in the children's drama Dido, Queen of Carthage. Rather than project the trajectory of the illusion directly into and beyond the audience, like Marlowe and Nashe's Aeneas, Prospero instead invites the audience to share his stage-space, in a positive reworking of the mingling of breaths that Shakespeare's Cleopatra feared (Antony and Cleopatra, 5.2.208-12). Yet this pose of submission is arguably qualified by the fact that the audience's powers are allied with those of Ariel, spirit of the theatrical ah and Prospero's former servant: gently, subtly, Shakespeare's illusion insinuates itself through the ah of the playhouse. Prospero's plea for liberty from confinement belies the fact that the island fiction he inhabits has already slipped its spatial and temporal bounds: the epilogue, with its direct address to the contemporary audience, simultaneously affirms the play's power to shuttle "between the weft of the present and the warp of the past." (62)
The prophetic associations of the Virgilian storm anticipate the temporal command assumed by Prospero's fiction, as the storm's ethereal and acoustic impact figures the associated expansiveness of the theatrical sphere. Thus, through a classical motif aligned with imperial legacy, Marlowe and Shakespeare interrogate the status of then purpose-dedicated theater, and the capacity of the drama to engage in illusory world-making. That such associations between meteorological phenomena, the space of the theater, and the drama's future meaning were recognized by contemporaries is suggested by the connection between false fortune telling, feigned storms and the playhouses that John Melton draws in his well-known denunciation of astrological superstition:
Another will fore-tell of Lightning and Thunder that shall happen such a day, when there are no such Inflamations seene, except men goe to the Fortune in Golding-Fane, to see the Tragedie of Doctor Faustus. There indeede a man may behold shagge-hayr'd Deuills runne roaring ouer the Stage with Squibs in their mouthes, while Drummers make Thunder in die Tyring-house, and the twelue-penny Hirelings make artificiall Lightning in their Heauens. (63)
This bathetic portrait of the early modern theater, although later in date, would have been familiar enough to Marlowe and Shakespeare. Dido, Queen of Carthage and (to a much lesser extent) Antony and Cleopatra belittle then protagonists even as the dramatic narrative constructs expansive spatial and temporal visions. While Marlowe's protagonists often assert then conquering power, such claims are rarely unambiguously endorsed; in Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest, Shakespeare's characters seem to profit most from defeat, submission, and containment, which then leads to a subtler diffusion of the theatrical illusion. The explanation for this two-tiered approach may lie partly in their shared interest in alternative, competing models of theatrical authority, or perhaps in ongoing tensions between classical and medieval theatrical legacies. Yet the fact that Dido, Antony and Cleopatra and The Tempest embrace a sometimes deflationary unfixity, never fully committing to or elevating a singular model of theatrical authority, may paradoxically explain the imaginative force of these ethereal dramas. As the influential classical commentator Seneca wrote, the "moving air is an unconquerable thing." (64) Thus a drama seeking its legacy through the Virgilian storm perhaps acquires the greatest spatial and temporal potential when characters, narrative and illusory sphere elude the grasp of playwright, players and audience alike, within the moving, "breathing" world of early modern theater.
University of Exeter
Exeter, United Kingdom
(1.) I. L., The birth, purpose, and mortal! wound of the Romish holie League.. . (London: printed by T. Orwin, 1589), A3 v.
(2.) Wallace MacCaffrey, Elizabeth I (London: Edward Arnold, 1993), 241.
(3.) Chris Fitter, "Historicising Shakespeare's Richard II: Current Events, Dating, and the Sabotage of Essex," Early Modern Literary Studies 11.2 (2005): 1-47, 29.
(4.) I. L., The birth, purpose, A3r.
(5.) Alexandra Walsham, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999), 329; and "Sermons in the Sky: Apparitions in Early Modern Europe," History Today 51.4 (2001): 56-63, 58.
(6.) Thomas Hill,Contemplation of Mysteries (London: Henry Denham, 1574[?]), H4r; and Leonard Digges, A prognostication everlasting of right good effect (London: Thomas Orwin, 1592), B4v. See also Gwilym Jones, Shakespeare's Storms (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2015), 44.
(7.) John Florio,Queen Anna's new world of words (London: printed by Melchior Bradwood, 1611), 04v; and Alison Weir, Elizabeth, the Queen (London: Pimlico, 1998), 441. See also Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 45-46.
(8.) Edward Paleit, "The 'Caesarist' Reader and Lucan's Bellum Civile, CA. 1590-1610," Review of English Studies 62 (2011): 212-40, 226-27.
(9.) Lucan, The Civil War, ed. and trans. J. D. Duff (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1928), 1.233-35.
(10.) Christopher Marlowe, Eucans First Booke, in The Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe. ed. Roma Gill, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987), vol. 1. See Chloe Kathleen Preedy, "'False and Fraudulent Meanes'? Representing the Miraculous in the Works of Christopher Marlowe," Marlowe Studies! (2012): 103-24.
(11.) Craig Kallendorf, The Other Virgil: Pessimistic Readings of the "Aeneid" in Early Modern Culture (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007), 14.
(12.) See, for example, Donna B. Hamilton, "Re-Engineering Virgil: The Tempest and the Printed English Aeneid," in "The Tempest" and Its Travels, ed. Peter Hulme and William H. Sherman (London: Reaktion, 2000), 114-20, 114.
(13.) Margaret Tudeau-Clayton, Jonson, Shakespeare and Early Modern Virgil (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998), 78.
(14.) Reginald Scot denounces such popular beliefs about "Witches power in meteors and elementarie bodies" in his Discoverie of witchcraft (London: printed by Henry Denham, 1584), C1r-1v. See Leslie Thomson, "The Meaning of Thunder and Lightning: Stage Directions and Audience Expectations," Early Theatre 2 (1999): 11-24,11-12; and Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 10.
(15.) Virgil, The whole xii bookes of the AEneidos of Virgill, trans. Thomas Phaer (London: printed by William How for Abraham Yeale, 1573), A4v.
(16.) Heather James, Shakespeare's Troy: Drama, Politics, and the Translation of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997), 1. Hereafter cited parenthetically as James.
(17.) By "Virgilian storm," I mean a storm or atmospheric disturbance at sea that impacts upon an imperializing agenda and gives rise, either directly or indirectly, to a prophecy of enduring fame, as is the case in book 1 of the Aeneid.
(18.) The idea that the imagination occupied a specific and autonomous cognitive domain was theorized by Aristotle in De Anima (c. 350 BCE), and elaborated during the early modern period by Sir Philip Sidney, in his Defence of Poesy (1595). See Aristotle, On the Soul; Parva Naturalia; On Breath, trans. W. S. Hett (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2014), 155-57. See also Guido Giglioni, "Fantasy Islands: Utopia, The Tempest and New Atlantis as Places of Controlled Credulousness," in World-Building and the Early Modern Imagination, ed. Allison B. Kavey (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 91-118, 96; and Sir Philip Sidney, The Defence of Poetry, in Sidney's 'The Defence of Poesy" and Selected Renaissance Literary Critiasm, ed. Gavin Alexander (London: Penguin, 2004), 1-54, 8-9. For the idea that those involved with the early modern theater may have identified it as a distinct imaginative sphere, see Paul Yachnin, Stage-Wrights: Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and the Making of Theatrical Value (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1997), especially xiv.
(19.) While Nashe's contribution to the play has been much debated, this article follows the 1594 title page in crediting him with at least some involvement. See Christopher Marlowe, Dido Queen of Carthage, in 'Dido Queen of Carthage" and "The Massacre at Paris f ed. H. J. Oliver, The Revels Plays (London: Methuen, 1968), 1-90, xix-xxvii. Hereafter cited parenthetically as Dido.
(20.) See for example Robert A. Logan, Marlowe's Shakespeare: The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007), 169-96.
(21.) The evidence of the title page, and a potential allusion to this play in Hamlet (2.2.432-33), indicate that Dido, Queen of Carthage was probably performed at least once (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, ed. Harold Jenkins, Arden Shakespeare [London: Methuen, 1982]). See H. J. Oliver, introduction to Dido, xxvi-xxx; Michael Shapiro, Children of the Revels: The Boy Companies of Shakespeare's Time and Their Plays (New York: Columbia UP, 1977), 14-17. The play cannot be dated with any accuracy, but is usually presumed to precede Tamburlaine and therefore tentatively allotted to 1585-86, although it may be even earlier. For the alternative arguments for a post-1588 date, see Margo Hendricks, "Managing the Barbarian: The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage',' Renaissance Drama, 23 (1992): 165-88; and Martin Wiggins, "When Did Marlowe Write Dido, Queen of Carthage," Review of English Studies, 59.241 (2008): 521-41.
(22.) Oliver, introduction to Dido, xxxii-xxxiii; Andrew Duxfield, "'Where am I now?': The Articulation of Space in Shakespeare's King Lear and Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage" Cahiers Elisabethains 88.1 (2015): 81-93.
(23.) Contemporary accounts indicate that some early modern theaters may have possessed a cloth or covering above the stage that was painted with celestial symbols and represented the heavens. Even if the performance space in question did not possess such decoration, a gesture by the actor to the sky or roof would have conveyed the point.
(24.) Christopher Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage, directed by James MacDonald, National Theatre, 2009.
(25.) See for example Phillip Stubbes, The anatomic of abuses (London: printed by John Kingston, 1583), L8r-8v.
(26.) On the theatrical effects used to create storms onstage, see Thomson, "Meaning of Thunder and Lightning," 14; and Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 34. As Jones points out, it is less likely that fireworks would have been used in an indoor performance due to their sulfurous smell (128).
(27.) Marlowe would return to this notion of an assault on the playhouse fabric in Tamburlaine, Part Two, in which the protagonist orders his soldiers to "raise cavalieros higher than the clouds, / And with the cannon break the frame of heaven" (2.4.102-3). Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great, ed. J. S. Cunningham (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1981).
(28.) Brian Gibbons, "The Question of Place," Cahiers Elisabethains 50 (1996): 33-43, 42; qtd. in Gabriel Egan, Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism (London: Routledge, 2006), 152-53.
(29.) Marlowe's interest in extending spatial bounds has also been discussed by various critics including Stephen Greenblatt (Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare [Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1980], 193-222) and Emily C. Bartels (Spectacles of Strangeness: Imperialism, Alienation, and Marlowe [Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1993]), though with a less specific focus on the performative sphere.
(30.) Virgil, AEneidos of Virgill, A2r.
(31.) See Virgil, AEneidos of Virgill, I3v.
(32.) Donald Stump, "Marlowe's Travesty of Virgil: Dido and Elizabethan Dreams of Empire," Comparative Drama 34.1 (2000): 79-107, 94
(33.) Marlowe, Tamburlaine, Part 2, 2.4.121, emphasis mine.
(34.) Carla Mazzio, "The History of Air: Hamlet and the Trouble with Instruments," South Central Review 26.1 (2009): 153-96,179.
(35.) The term "world" was commonly used in early modern English to denote the object of cosmography, the study of the earth and the heavens. Oxford English Dictionary online, s.v. "world, n., 8," accessed December 14, 2015, http://www.oed.com.
(36.) Compare with Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus: A- and B-texts (1604, 1616), ed. David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1993), prologue.21-22.
(37.) Stephen Gosson, The schoote of abuse (London: Thomas Woodcocke, 1579), A6r-6v.
(38.) Robert S. Miola compares Cassius braving the storm in Julius Caesar 1.3 to Aeneid 5.685-96, and also suggests that the image of the storm that Cassius summons in 5.1 evokes the tempests of the Aeneid, indicating "the same grand workings of destiny." Miola, Shakespeare's Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983), 88, 111.
(39.) James, 119; and Marilynn Desmond, Rending Dido: Gender, Textuality and the Medieval "Aeneid" (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994), 32.
(40.) Richard Wilson, Free Will: Art and Power on Shakespeare's Stage (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2014), 347; William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, ed. John Wilders, Arden Shakespeare (London: Routledge, 1995) (hereafter cited parenthetically as Antony and Cleopatra)-, and Plutarch, The lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes, trans. Thomas North (London: Thomas Vautroullier and John Wight, 1579), NNNN5r-5v.
(41.) Wilson, Free Will, 347.
(42.) Holly Dugan, The Ephemeral History of Petfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England (Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 2011), 20-21.
(43.) Jonathan Gil Harris, '"Narcissus in thy Face': Roman Desire and the Difference It Fakes in Antony and Cleopatra," Shakespeare Quarterly 45.4 (1994): 408-25, 411-12.
(44.) For an account of how Hamlet's claim may also represent a response to contemporary antitheatricalism, by framing the play as "wholesome," see Carolyn Sale, "Eating Air, Feeling Smells: Hamlet's Theory of Performance," Renaissance Drama 35 (2006): 145-68, 146-47. Sale's claim that Shakespeare was countering contemporary charges that the theater was a site of contagion is especially intriguing in relation to Antony and Cleopatra, since perfume was regularly used during this period as a cure for infectious diseases, specifically the plague. See William Bullein, Thegouernment of health (London: Valentine Sims, 1595), C6v; Thomas Lodge, A treatise of the plague (London: Thomas Creede and Valentine Simmes for Edward White and Nicholas] L[ing], 1603), C4r; and Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, 18.
(45.) Mary Thomas Crane, "Roman World, Egyptian Earth: Cognitive Difference and Empire in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra," Comparative Drama 43.1 (2009): 1-17, 2.
(46.) Harris notes that critics have also interpreted such qualities as a sign of Cleopatra's stereotypically "leaky" femininity, in accordance with early modern humeral theory ("Narcissus in thy Face," 409). See Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1993), especially 23-63.
(47.) See William Fulke, A goodly gallerye (London: William Griffith, 1563), G2v; and also Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 79-81.
(48.) Wilson, Free Will, 310-11. Compare with Hamlet, 3.2.367-73.
(49.) Jones notes that "the two phenomena of the storm and the earthquake are fundamentally related in early modern writing" (Shakespeare's Storms, 87), with the earthquake identified by early modern thinkers as a type of storm: see 97-98.
(50.) For an alternative reading of the mechanical effects that Shakespeare is invoking, see Wilson, Free Will, 343.
(51.) Mazzio, "History of Air," 175-76, 170.
(52.) Crane, "Roman World, Egyptian Earth," 11. See also Janet Adelman, Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's Plays, "Hamlet" to "The Tempest" (New York: Routledge, 1992), 177.
(53.) Wilson, Free Will, 324-25.
(54.) Dugan, Ephemeral History of Perfume, 22.
(55.) Hamilton, "Re-Engineering Virgil," 119.
(56.) Roland Greene, "Island Logic," in Hulme and Sherman, "The Tempest" and Its Travels, 138-48, 138.
(57.) William Shakespeare, The Tempest, ed. Peter Hulme and William H. Sherman, Norton Critical Editions (London: W. W. Norton, 2004), 4.1.154 (hereafter cited parenthetically as Tempest)', and Wilson, Free Will, 33.
(58.) As with Dido, Queen of Carthage, it is likely that this storm was created primarily or exclusively through sound effects, rather than through the use of fireworks: see Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 128.
(59.) Jones, Shakespeare's Storms, 127-28.
(60.) See also William Shakespeare, The Tempest, ed. Stephen Orgel, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987), 102n; and Elizabeth Fowler, "The Ship Adrift," in Hulme and Sherman, "The Tempest" and Its Travels, 37-40, 38.
(61.) Jerry Brotton, "Carthage and Tunis, The Tempest and Tapestries," in Hulme and Sherman, "The Tempest" audits Travels, 132-37, 136.
(62.) Brotton, "Carthage and Tunis," 132.
(63.) John Melton, Astrologaster; or, The figure-caster (London: printed by Barnard Alsop for Edward Blackmore, 1620), E4r.
(64.) Seneca, Natural Questions, trans. Thomas H. Corcoran (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2014), 1:180-1, italics mine. See also Mazzio, "History of Air," 159.
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|Author:||Preedy, Chloe Katherine|
|Publication:||Marlowe Studies: An Annual|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2015|
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