Dido, Queen of Carthage

This past weekend I went and saw Christopher “Kit” Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, maybe it was just the production that I saw but although called a short play, it ran about an hour, it felt like a full length play. Dido was the first Marlowe that I’ve actually seen as I have only read Doctor Faustus and enjoyed it. After seeing Dido I am not sure why there are any groups of people who claim that Marlowe faked his death and wrote under a new name William Shakespeare  I have not seen anything really compelling about the real argument, as do most scholars in the world today. Since just like today people are influenced by other people’s work, just look at the television and movies that are popular today. Marlowe may have been someone who influenced Shakespeare but that is about as far as the argument can do.

Dido, Queen of Carthage is based on Virgil’s Aeneid and focuses on Dido. It begins with a scene which to me seemed superfluous with all the gods talking to one another. Then we are treated with the actual play where Dido and Aeneas deal with each other, with Dido falling in love with Cupid’s help with Aeneas. The whole play is about how the gods play an ever present role in our lives and the only way that we can escape them is through death. The play asks the question do we really control our lives or does something thing else control it. This is a similar though that Shakespeare would have later saying “All the world’s a stage and men and women merely actors players”


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