'Dido enflambyt': the tragic queen of Carthage in Gavin Douglas' Eneados (1513)

Hinnie, Lucy Rhiannon (2012) 'Dido enflambyt': the tragic queen of Carthage in Gavin Douglas' Eneados (1513). MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2954203


This thesis aims to provide a new analysis of Gavin Douglas’ portrayal of the Dido episode in his vernacular Eneados of 1513.

Previous readings have readily excused Douglas’ strict adherence to the tradition of the ‘Virgilian’ Dido as symptomatic of nothing more than a loyal and accurate translation of his source text, with others going so far as to attest that Douglas creates an overtly sympathetic figure (such as J. Derrick McClure) or rather one who circumvents a didactic outlook on desire (such as Sarah Couper in her 2001 thesis). I disagree with this assertion of a sympathetic author and wish to argue that the addition of Douglas’ Dido to the trajectory of her character’s development over time is in fact a retrograde step, made by Douglas deliberately in light of his attitudes to humanism and the trajectory of literature in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth-century. I aim to exemplify what Douglas does with Dido’s narrative and suggest why he chooses to do this, using both a theoretical stance and close textual analysis.

Utilising the work of critics such as Marilynn Desmond, Priscilla Bawcutt and Helen Cooney, I will trace the development of the Dido narrative up to and including the 1513 Eneados, extending and complementing the work of Desmond’s monograph by locating Douglas in a distinctly Scottish tradition. A comparison of Douglas’ Dido and Robert Henryson’s ‘Testament of Cresseid’ will be executed to establish this tradition, following a section on the relevant work of Geoffrey Chaucer, with whom Douglas sets himself up in direct opposition, in particular through his Legend of Good Women and House of Fame. From these comparisons, I will draw conclusions as to whether a modern, and more instinctive reading of Douglas’ Dido can be sustained in light of the evidence presented. Particular attention will be paid to the notion of Douglas as a humanist and Cooney’s proposed ‘crisis of allegory’ contemporaneous with his work. Finally, consideration will be given to the inclusion of Maphaeus Vegius’ thirteenth book in the Eneados and the representations of Lavinia therein, and the implications thereof for the narrative of Dido.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Gavin Douglas, historicist, Dido, Aeneid, Virgil, Eneados
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Supervisor's Name: Van Heijnsbergen, Dr. Theo
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Miss Lucy Rhiannon Hinnie
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3673
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2012
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 14:36
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/3673

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