Christopher Marlowe, The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage

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Dido Queen of Carthage is heavily indebted to Books I and IV of Virgil’s Aeneid, an Augustan-era poem describing Rome’s foundation by the Trojan prince Aeneas following that city’s legendary fall. Marlowe supplements his engagement with this classical epic, which was widely read in sixteenth-century England, with material drawn from Virgil’s rival Ovid’s iconoclastic Metamorphoses, Amores, and Heroides. In fact, Dido is often said to be distinctly “Ovidian” in tone: a characterisation that emphasises the play’s overt eroticism, irreverent treatment of the gods, and playfully ironic approach. Furthermore, Marlowe’s dramatization of Aeneas’ love affair with the Carthaginian queen Dido introduces elements that are entirely his invention, including a subplot that depicts…

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Citation: Preedy, Chloe Kathleen. "The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 August 2021 [, accessed 10 December 2023.]

7958 The Tragedy of Dido, Queen of Carthage 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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