The Marlowe Society

Marlowe's Works

Marlowe's Works
Dido Woodcut

Dido

Dido, Queen of Carthage

History:

History:

Interpretation:

Interpretation:

Plot:

Plot:

References:

References:
Quote: Dido, Queen of Carthage, IV.2.4 and 8-10

Iarbus:
Eternal Jove, great master of the clouds, ...
Hear, hear, O hear Iarbus' plaining prayers,
Whose hideous echoes make the welkin howl,
And all the woods 'Eliza' to resound!.
Dido, Queen of Carthage, IV.2.4 and 8-10

Dido, Queen of Carthage

Dido, Queen of Carthage

Act IV Scene 2

Location: The Sacred Altar

Iarbus Prays to Jove

After suffering the painful sight of the "adulterers surfeited in sin" (IV.1.20) emerging from the cave, Iarbus concludes he is being punished by Jove (Jupiter), and is now found offering up a sacrifice whilst praying that the God "redress these wrongs and warn him to his ships, / that now afflicts me with his flattering eyes" (IV.2.21-2).

Marlowe here is closely following his source. Whilst Virgil for the most part mentions Iarbus only in passing as merely one of Dido's many spurned suitors, he does pick out the king's fury when Fame spreads news far and wide of Dido and Aeneas' liaison. Iarbus' immediate reaction in the Aeneid is to offer up a range of sacrifices and offerings to Jove; indeed it is this plea that alerts Virgil's Jupiter to the situation, and has him immediately dispatch his messenger to remind Aeneas of his Italian destiny.

Anna's Pleas are Spurned

Anna's love of Iarbus is solely Marlowe's sub-plot, and the second half of this scene has her coming across the king at prayer and imploring him to switch his passions to her more receptive heart: "Away with Dido, Anna be thy song" (IV.2.45). Iarbus however knows that he is a hopeless case, and demands she leave him to his "silent thoughts" and "sorrow's tide" (IV.2.38,42). Iarbus storms out, Anna vainly calls after him.

 
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