There is also an unsettled quality, at the least, in the Dido moments of Romeo, Hamlet, and Mark Antony.
Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops, And all the haunt be ours.
When Jessica and Lorenzo, the poetic lovers of The Merchant of Venice, interlace the sounds and letters of their lines, Dido wordplay again has a role, but here the reference adds to our understanding of the literary lovesickness and great intimacy of this pair.
Lorenzo: In such a night STOOD DIDO with a WILLOW in her hand Upon the WILD sea banks and waft her love To come again to Carthage.
she replies, "Almost, sir" acknowledging her share in the Dido madness (172-73).
Cymbeline, then, features multiple elements of the cultural pattern of the diamond--comparison of the diamond with a woman and her sexual anatomy, hints of the story of widow Dido, visual diminution, a hint of madness, and verbal play upon the letters of the word diamond.
30) The word dido itself can refer to sexual anatomy, male or female, and it too appears in the refrains of ballads, along with related sexually charged words such as fiddle, diddle, and dildo.
Is there something that links the rooster's call at dawn with chanted allusions to the desperate story of Dido and Aeneas?
Marlowe has little choice but to diminish Aeneas further, clearly casting Dido as the play's heroine (Gill 1977:152).
He then gathers tackling, oars and sails from Iarbas (22) and resolves to depart immediately, only to be drawn into a second confrontation with "a nearhysterical Dido, swiftly changing tactics to hold back a stolid, unimaginative Aeneas" (Gill 1977:153).
Dido ceases her usual manipulation and becomes more Virgilian, calling Aeneas a "Serpent that came creeping from the shoare" (5.
When Aeneas eventually leaves, the audience is expected to show a similar response to Marlowe's Dido as to Virgil's heroine.
Furthermore, Marlowe's characterization of Dido differs considerably from that of the Aeneid and it is worth considering whether Marlowe would have made such a change if his intention were simply to adapt Virgil.
Epic Transgression and the Framing of Agency in Dido, Queen of Carthage.
Dido, Aeneas and the Concept of Pietas' Greece & Rome 19 (2):127-135.