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Title page for ETD etd-11122015-184432


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ludwig, Claudia G.
Author's Email Address claudia.g.ludwig@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-11122015-184432
Title Studying the Child Actors of the Children of the Chapel through Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Professor Leah Marcus Committee Chair
Professor Mark Wollaeger Committee Member
Keywords
  • antitheatricalist
  • Ascanius
  • Thomas Tusser
  • Thomas Clifton
  • Salomon Pavey
  • Salathiel Pavy
  • metatheatrical
  • Henry Clifton
  • Ganymede
  • Cupid
  • Virgil
Date of Defense 2015-06-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This thesis argues that Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage is a metatheatrical critique of the conditions of performance in the children’s acting companies of early modern England. Dido, based on books 1, 2, and 4 of Virgil’s Aeneid, tells the story of the love affair between Dido and the Trojan hero Aeneas. However, this play also contains additional scenes to Virgil’s source text, such as 1.1, which sets up the power dynamics in the play to follow through the interactions between Jupiter, the King of the Gods, and Ganymede, his boy lover. This thesis analyzes the power disparities among other child characters, such as Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, and Venus’s son, Cupid, and adult characters, such as Dido, Aeneas, Venus, the Goddess of Love, and Juno, the Queen of the Gods. These relationships among fictional characters mirror those between the child actors of the Children of the Chapel, who played these characters, and the adults, such as Queen Elizabeth, whose statues governed them, the company managers who controlled them, the audiences who commodified them, and the antitheatricalists who criticized them. This thesis concludes that Marlowe evokes the power imbalances between children and adults in the early modern period through Dido, Queen of Carthage.
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