poised on the Shakespeareantragic threshold (probably facing forwards).
To cross that threshold, as with Macbeth and especially King
Lear, is to privilege apocalypse at midnight, the horror of
seeing the devil in the face (God having turned His face away). Here, it
is not yet midnight (and it will never be), but five minutes to, thanks
to the rear-guard action fought on behalf of the retreat, or
relation to Shakespeare’s Othello and Antony and Cleopatra , respectively. See Hillman, French Origins of English Tragedy , pp. 76–7, and French Reflections in the ShakespeareanTragic , pp. 97–105.
16 See T. E. Lawrenson, ‘La mise en scène dans l’ Arimène de Nicolas de Montreux’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance , 18 (1956), 286–90. La Diane , too, affords some spectacular effects, for instance, in Elymant’s protracted conjuring sequence (Montreux, La Diane , II.ii.1838–1991).
17 La Diane , therefore, is double the length of the standard