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Rewriting Shakespeare in A Poem upon the Death of O. C.
Alex Garganigo

I saw him dead' is probably the best-known line in Andrew Marvell's Poem upon the Death of His Late Highness the Lord Protector. Recognising the intertextuality and the irony of 'I saw him dead' can help to re-evaluate Marvell's relationship to Oliver Cromwell, which involved more hostility and resentment. Mirrors are obviously an important motif in Shakespeare's history plays but the Cromwell elegy's allusions to the Henriad suggest that Marvell is doing something different. Marvell has frequent recourse to Falstaff and Prince Hal in his later satire on religious bigotry, The Rehearsal Transpros'd, which invokes Shakespeare repeatedly, and 1 Henry IV more than any other play. In The Rehearsal's four allusions to 1 Henry IV and single allusion to Merry Wives Marvell consistently assumes the position of Hal in relation to both Falstaff and Henry IV, whom he associates with Parker.

in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell