Virgil’s Dido and Jupiter, the models for the allegorical representations of queen Elizabeth I in Marlowe’s "Dido, Queen of Carthage"
Martín Ibisate, Ane
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Dido, Queen of Carthage has been hitherto ignored by the academia and in fact, it has not been until the last century that the play has started to acquire the recognition it deserves. More specifically, this dissertation’s approach will be focused on the stain that the author’s Elizabethan political and religious background left on the play. Queen Elizabeth was a monarch whose imperial project created admiration as well as rejection among her subjects. Marlowe, who was among the last ones, employed the play Dido, Queen of Carthage in order to express allegorically the risks that the marriage between Elizabeth and the Duke of Anjou could mean to the crown. In addition, due to his atheist influences, this play also displays a critique to the divinization of the queen. The hypothesis that this dissertation presents is that Marlowe probably found in Virgil Aeneid’s Dido and Jupiter the models in order to represent allegorically Queen Elizabeth as imperator and a divinity, and avoid being punished. In order to demonstrate that they were the best suitors for the playwright’s purposes, this dissertation aims at showcasing the connections between Virgil’s models and Elizabeth.