In Bellum Ciuile 5, JuliusCaesar – who has already cut a swathe through Italy and conducted a destructive campaign in Spain – finally ends up battling with nature itself, when he attempts to sail from Brundisium to Dyrrachium. In the confident expectation that with Fortune on his side a storm will prove no obstacle to his desires, he embarks upon the sea in a tiny boat, amidst the protests of the owner, the lowly Amyclas ( BC .5.476–721). Before setting off, however, he attempts to impress and bribe the humble sailor:
Ralph Knevet's Supplement of the Faery Queene (1635) is a narrative and allegorical work, which weaves together a complex collection of tales and episodes, featuring knights, ladies, sorcerers, monsters, vertiginous fortresses and deadly battles – a chivalric romp in Spenser's cod medieval style. The poem shadows recent English history, and the major military and political events of the Thirty Years War. But the Supplement is also an ambitiously intertextual poem, weaving together materials from mythic, literary, historical, scientific, theological, and many other kinds of written sources. Its encyclopaedic ambitions combine with Knevet's historical focus to produce an allegorical epic poem of considerable interest and power. This new edition of Knevet's Supplement, the first scholarly text of the poem ever published, situates it in its literary, historical, biographical, and intellectual contexts. An extensive introduction and copious critical commentary, positioned at the back of the book, will enable students and scholars alike to access Knevet's complicated and enigmatic meanings, structures, and allusions.
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
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
style of government
which had been so controversially introduced by JuliusCaesar and
would be continued by Augustus, since ‘In the Republic, only Roma,
the Roman people, could be said to rule the world, not an individual
45 Pliny, Natural History 2.93–4: admodum Faustus Divo Augusto iudicatus ab ipso
…. namque his verbis in gaudium prodit is: ‘…. eo sidere significari vulgus credidit Caesaris animam inter deorum inmortalium numina receptam …’ haec ille in
publicum; interiore gaudio sibi illum natum seque in eo nasci interpretatus est. et,
si verum fatemur, salutare
‘the God of shepheards Tityrus … / Who taught me homely, as I
can, to make’ (81–2), seeming to align his plaints with the genre of
pastoral elegy. Theocritus’ first idyll, we remember, was focused on
an elegy for the legendary shepherd Daphnis, himself a singer ‘whom
the Muses loved’ (Idyll 1.141).40 Virgil imitates this eclogue twice,
both in Eclogue 5’s elegy for a ‘Daphnis’ probably (and traditionally read as) representing JuliusCaesar, which makes no reference to
Daphnis as a poet, and in Eclogue 10, where the poet Gallus laments
his imagined or metaphorical
want to cry ‘Why keep me waiting, Fortune? Enter the lists! Behold, I am ready for you!’ (64.2–4)
Though Sextius is long dead (he lived in the time of JuliusCaesar), he is ‘alive’ and ‘free’ in several senses. As a ‘real Stoic’, who knows the true value of things, he is free from subjection to Fortune and the body, and to enjoy such mental freedom is to be most alive. Since he has actually died, he has been liberated from the trammels of the body in a more literal and Platonic sense, too. As Seneca explains in the very next letter (65), while pondering the
Metaphor and mental space in Ralegh’s History of the World
JuliusCaesar, IV.iii.218–21. The boat departing at high tide will get you clear of the
shoals. Here too, there is a compression of time to the small scale of one tidal cycle.
What differs is the mapping of roles in the tidal scenario. In Raleigh’s figure, the ebbing
tide is one’s life itself, one’s failing energy. In Shakespeare’s, the tide is a moving target, a
passing opportunity that one must move energetically to exploit.
(b) overwhelms the integration principle that would otherwise
Kempe, The Education of Children (1588), sig. D1r. This contention might be
compared with that of Ralegh himself: ‘it is well knowne, that Rome (or perhaps all the
world besides) had never nay so brave a Commander in war as JuliusCaesar: and that
no Roman armie was comparable unto that which served under the same Caesar.’ See
19 I am indebted for these references to Rapple, Martial Heroism, 80–1.
20 For an age which had been profoundly (and violently) exercised by a prolonged interrogation of Early Stuart sovereignty, an indication of Ralegh
and 2 – Vives’ identification of Daphnis as Christ and Servius’ identification of Daphnis as JuliusCaesar. In his hymn to the newly deified
Daphnis, Virgil’s Menalcas institutes a cult, teaching his community
how to worship the new god. (More than half of his song (ll. 65–80)
is devoted to the altars he will set up and the annual feasts he will
institute in Daphnis’ honour.) In this he resembles Colin, especially
when viewed through the lens of Vives’ Christian interpretation, by
which Daphnis is in fact the same god represented by Colin’s Cupid