‘Infelix Dido’: a creative re-visioning of Virgil’s queen of Carthage and a critical exploration of pity and pathos in Gavin Douglas’s Eneados.

Stewart-Pointing, Eleanor (2020) ‘Infelix Dido’: a creative re-visioning of Virgil’s queen of Carthage and a critical exploration of pity and pathos in Gavin Douglas’s Eneados. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Both components of this project emerge in response to Virgil’s Aeneid. The fifty-thousand-word critical thesis explores aspects of pathos and pity in the Eneados, Gavin Douglas’s pioneering 1513 translation of Virgil’s Aeneid and Maphaeus Vegius’s supplementary ‘Thirteenth Book’. Chapter 1 examines the ways in which Douglas intensifies the pathos inherent in Virgil’s text yet also, via the translated text and accompanying prologues, alerts readers to its potentially dangerous and seductive qualities. Aeneas’s pietas is the subject of chapter 2, and the ways in which Douglas’s expansive conception of pietas as, amongst other things, ‘reuth’, as well as the slippage of the term towards both piety and pity, complicates some of the tensions inherent in Virgil’s text. Chapter 3 explores the function and significance of numerous laments in the first twelve books of the Eneados and the extent to which Douglas’s translations reproduce or even amplify their pathos via his own particular lexis of grief. The conclusion turns to the laments for Turnus in Douglas’s translation of Vegius’s ‘Thirteenth Book’ and the ways in which some of the tensions between pathos, pity and pietas might be resolved.

The creative element – a book-length collection of poems – re-envisions Virgil’s Dido, the figure who attracts arguably the most troubling pathos and sympathy in the Aeneid but who has been granted only limited attention by contemporary writers. Most of the poems are in Dido’s voice, expanding upon her story as related in the Aeneid, with particular reference to her Mediterranean crossing, as explored via a series of metaphors for the sea. Also included are sonnets based upon particular Latin and Phoenician terms, some of which – perhaps somewhat paradoxically – allow for a broader and more contemporary frame of reference and, alongside the narrative poems, help to bring the classical myth more vividly into 21st-century vernacular.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2024 11:27
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 11:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94586
DOI:

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