. Colman – honest. How can we be sure that he is always to be
honest?’ With every use of the word, it sounded increasingly hollow. It
was a rhetorical ploy from the ancient world that Wedderburn would
have discovered as a schoolboy at Dalkeith, a way of assassinating
someone’s character straight out of Shakespeare’s JuliusCaesar. He
continued to chip away at the certainty of Colman’s integrity. ‘If there
are no curbs placed upon him, he might do the most absurd things,’
Wedderburn speculated. With the authority that he assumed, ‘he might
take the whole wardrobe up to
dialogue between Hiero and the poet Simonides set in 474 BCE, is the first literary work ever to investigate the tyrant's inner life. Cf. Robert S. Miola, ‘ JuliusCaesar and the Tyrannicide Debate’, Renaissance Quarterly 38 (1985), 271–89 (280 n.23); William A. Armstrong, ‘The Elizabethan Conception of the Tyrant’, Review of English Studies 22 (1946), 161–81 (174–6). See also Silvia Bigliazzi, ‘Introduction: The Tyrant's Fear’, Comparative Drama 51 (2017), 434–54; Francesco Dall’Olio, ‘Xenophon and Plato in Elizabethan Culture: The Tyrant's Fear Before Macbeth
from the Greek Anthology which was ascribed to Plato (a love
one, at that!) and one from the Anthologia Latina frequently fathered upon
JuliusCaesar, Augustus or Germanicus. Fitzgerald recounts an anecdote
from Macrobius, where Augustus turns the tables and presents a Greek
epigram to a poet expecting patronage,95 and Suetonius wrote of that same
emperor that he had a book of epigrams, ‘which he composed for the most
part at the time of the bath’.96
Fallen royal favourites were particularly likely to have such poems
attributed to them. The Earl of Essex was the
Trustie and right welbeloved Counsellors, and Trustie & Welbeloved wee greete you well. sithence wee dyd of late for the ease
of our Counsell [...]
Hand S. Two-page copy of letter from James I to Sir John Herbert, Sir JuliusCaesar et al. 16 Nov 1609.
After my hartie comendacions his Majestie hath understanding
from Sir Henry Wootton his ambassador resident in Venice [...]
Hand S. One-page letter promulgating the agreement on behaviour of English
merchant ships in Venetian waters, negotiated by Sir Henry Wotton in May. See
of JuliusCaesar or the primitive Scotland of Macbeth – those materials
had been the triumph of his art.20 With an air of resignation, Kemble
would write a terse, matter-of-fact note in his journal later that day:
This morning, between four and five o’clock, a fire broke out in Covent
Garden Theatre which, in less than two hours time, consumed it to the
ground. We have [?] not been able to discover the cause of this misfortune.21
The fire should not have been a cause of great surprise. Despite housing
irreplaceable treasures, there was a merciless inevitability
of which this Cheiftaine has none.
44.1 phantasmes] illusions. 44.7 vnbridled] unrestrained.
44.8-9] This one more bold may suggest the stabbing of
JuliusCaesar in 44BC by Marcus Junius Brutus, leader of
the conspiracy against him.
45.5 represse] put down. 45.6 pinch] corner, surround; or
perhaps bite. 45.6 embosted] exhausted. 45.7 haunches]
legs, loins. 45.9 start] jump back.
46.3 dismay] daunt. 46.5 Lethes streames] the River Lethe,
one of the rivers of Hell, the waters of which induced forgetfulness of life. 46.6 balefull stoure] dreadful battle (or
’s experiencing excessive desire like Aurelius’s.
drenched … mouth Cf. n7.
Caesar Gaius JuliusCaesar (100–44 bce), Roman general. Caesar’s ‘bisexuality’
was well known. For Caesar’s purported same-sex relationship with King Nicomedes,
Loughlin, Same-sex desire in early modern England.indd 196
The Classical Tradition in Translation
The same ill courses both pursue.
No wonder, both alike inclined
Have the same vices of the mind,
Which on it still impressed shall stay,
Hopeless of being washed away.
One bed has always both contained,
Committed royalist and early proponent of the Royal Society, Abraham Cowley wrote a tract in support of the advancement of science, lyric verse, and translations from the classics. At Cambridge Richard Crashaw became fluent in several ancient and modern languages, and began writing verse, publishing a volume of Latin sacred poetry in 1634. Apart from writing the most famous plays in English literature, William Shakespeare produced the narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, as well as Sonnets. Like all Charles Goodall's homoerotic lyrics in Poetical Recreations that were reprinted in Poems and Translations, 'Idyll 23' is recast in heteroerotic terms, transforming the poem's scornful young man into a merciless young woman. Founder of the gossip-mongering periodical Female Tattler, Thomas Baker had varying success with his plays: the popular The Humour of the Age led to the acting company's prosecution for public immorality.
Shakespeare’s Roman plays, republicanism and identity in Samson Agonistes
, especially, I’m going to claim here, JuliusCaesar and Antony and Cleopatra (although also Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus , as well as Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III … of which more elsewhere). 2 This is a negotiation undertaken by a ‘strong reader’ with his own political and related religious preoccupations, concerns which centre on notions of oratory, identity, death and immortality. These are addressed not least through the question of suicide, classical and otherwise, Samson being ‘self-killed/Not willingly but tangled in the fold/Of dire necessity’ ( SA