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Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre$
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Lisa S. Starks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430067

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.001.0001

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Queer Fidelity: Marlowe’s Ovid and the Staging of Desire in Dido, Queen of Carthage

Queer Fidelity: Marlowe’s Ovid and the Staging of Desire in Dido, Queen of Carthage

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter 3 Queer Fidelity: Marlowe’s Ovid and the Staging of Desire in Dido, Queen of Carthage
Source:
Ovid and Adaptation in Early Modern English Theatre
Author(s):

Daniel G. Lauby

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430067.003.0004

This chapter examines the staging of Ovidian desire in Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage. Much attention has been paid to Ovidian appropriations in Marlowe’s plays and poems as well as to their portrayals of homoeroticism. However, this chapter uses the theory of rhizomatic projection to look beyond linguistic allusion and stylistic imitation to the staging of queer desire that extends beyond the homoerotic and operates against a backdrop of the play’s Virgilian framework and Ovidian adaptation history. A complicated kind of fidelity emerges from the tension between conservative and queer ideologies that take shape through performance and memory. Nonetheless, this chapter argues that the play’s staging of desire through queer erotics, gender reversals, and bodily dissonances ultimately does demonstrate fidelity to Ovid’s ideologies, demonstrating an Ovidian mode that reverberates throughout the rest of Marlowe’s plays and poems.

Keywords:   Marlowe, Fidelity, Dido, Queen of Carthage, Queer, Rhizomatic Projection, Gender, Desire, Memory, Erotics, Bodily Dissonance

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