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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Young Marcellus
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0926  Wednesday, 25 April 2001

[1]     From:   Robert Peters <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 16:22:48 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[2]     From:   David Wilson-Okamura <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 09:41:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[3]     From:   John Jowett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 15:25:07 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[4]     From:   Stephen Michael Buhler <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 11:42:00 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[5]     From:   Arthur D L Lindley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 09:53:18 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[6]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 00:15:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[7]     From:   Peter Groves <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 15:18:24 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[8]     From:   Gary Allen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 01:47:06 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

[9]     From:   Tom Rutter <
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        Date:   Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:00:14 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Peters <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 16:22:48 +0200
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

>Can anyone shed any light on the meaning of the epithet "young
>Marcellus" in the following extract from the DNB life of Anne of
>Denmark:

It is Marcellus, Marcus Claudius (42 BC - 23 BC), the  nephew of the
emperor Augustus. Vergil refers to the "young Marcellus" in his Aeneid
in 6. 860 ff.

This is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

"Marcellus was the son of Gaius Claudius Marcellus and Augustus' sister
Octavia. In 25 he was married to the emperor's daughter Julia, an event
that seemed to mark him as heir. His ambitions brought him into conflict
with Agrippa. Marcellus served under Augustus in Spain in 25, but he
died two years later, when he was a curule aedile. Great hopes had been
built on him, and he was celebrated by many writers, especially by
Virgil in a famous passage in the Aeneid. He was buried in the mausoleum
of Augustus, and Augustus himself pronounced the funeral oration."

(Hey, took me only 15 minutes to find out by using the Encyclopaedia
Britannica Online and Altavista. It is a great place, this Internet.)

Robert Peters
robertpeters@t-online.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Wilson-Okamura <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 09:41:06 -0500
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

At 09:19 AM 4/24/01 -0400, Steve Sohmer wrote:

>Can anyone shed any light on the meaning of the epithet "young
>Marcellus" in the following extract from the DNB life of Anne of
>Denmark:
>
>"Henry Frederick, prince of Carrick, and afterwards prince of Wales, was
>fondly loved by his mother [Anne], whom, at least in the days of his
>later boyhood, he was said greatly to resemble (Chamberlain to Carleton,
>13 Nov.  1611, ap. Birch). When he died in 1612 -- the young Marcellus
>of English history --she passionately mourned his premature death ...."

That would be Octavian's nephew and son-in-law, Gaius Claudius Marcellus
(44-23 BC). The lad was to have succeeded Augustus, but predeceased him,
much to everyone's disappointment; see further Virgil's famous panegyric
at the end of the parade of heroes (in Aen. 6).

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Jowett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 15:25:07 GMT
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

'Young Marcellus' was the adopted son of Augustus, who died at the age
of 19.  He appears as a vision in the Aeneid, where Anchises explains
'Fate shall allow the earth one glimpse of this young man - One glimpse,
no more.  Too puissant had been Rome's stock, ye gods, In your sight,
had such gifts been granted it to keep'.

Prince Henry was lamented as a Marcellus in funeral poems by Chapman and
Webster.  'Young Marcellus' in most precisely an allusion to Chapman's
'An Epicede' ll. 617-24:

If yong Marcellus had to grace his fall,
Sixe hundred Herses at his Funerall;
Sylla sixe thousand; let Prince Henry haue
Sixe Millions bring him to his greedy graue.
And now the States of earth, thus mourn below
Behold in Heauen, Loue with his broken Bow;
his quiuer downwards turn'd, his brands put out
Hanging his wings; with sighes all black about.

John Jowett
The Shakespeare Institute,
Church Street, Stratford upon Avon,

PS: Queen Anne's passionate mourning at the death of Henry relates to
the death of Marcellus in that when Virgil read the passage describing
Marcellus to Augustus and Marcellus's mother Octavia, Octavia fainted
with grief.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Michael Buhler <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Apr 2001 11:42:00 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

I would imagine that plenty of SHAKSPERians understand the allusion in
the DNB entry for Prince Henry.  It derives from Virgil's *Aeneid*, near
the end of Book 6: Aeneas is being guided by his father Anchises through
the underworld's Blessed Groves, where he meets souls who will be reborn
as some of Rome's most renowned figures.  The last spirit Aeneas sees,
however, will not achieve the greatness for which he may have seemed
destined:

Atque hic Aeneas (una namque ira videbat
egregium forma iuvenem et fulgentibus armis,
sed frons laeta parum et deiecto lumina voltu):
"quis, pater, ille . . . ?"

"ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, nec ultra
esse sinent . . .
heu! miserande puer, si qua fata aspera rumpas!
tu Marcellus eris."

[6.860-63, 869-70, 882-83--adapted from Loeb edition]

And then Aeneas (for he saw coming with him
a young man of admirable beauty, with splendid armor):
"Who, father, is he . . . ?"

"The Fates will barely show him to the earth, but no longer
let him live . . .
O child whom we lament, if only you could break through your harsh
        destiny!
You will be Marcellus."

Anchises identifies the soul as the son of Caesar Augustus' sister
Octavia and designated heir to the empire.  He showed great promise as a
youth and was widely revered, but died at the age of 20.  Prince Henry's
death  at the age of 18 prompted several observers at the time
(including John Webster, in a memorial elegy) to draw the parallel.  The
DNB's reference continues that tradition and also reflects how central
the *Aeneid* was in English education.

Regards,
Stephen M. Buhler
Department of English
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur D L Lindley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 09:53:18 +0800
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

According to my copy of the Everyman Classical Dictionary: M. Claudius
Marcellus, son of Octavia, adopted by Augustus Caesar, probably as his
intended heir; died prematurely in 23 B.C.; commemorated by Virgil in
Aeneid vi, 860-86.

Arthur Lindley

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 00:15:37 -0400
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

Marcellus was the nephew of Augustus, son of Mark Antony's wife Octavia
and her first husband, also named Marcellus, and the emperor's marked
fondness for him identified him in many Romans' eyes as the probable
successor to his illustrious, childless uncle.  But he died young, only
19, and was lamented by Vergil at the end of Book 6 of *Aeneid*, whence
presumably Shakespeare took the allusion.

David Evett

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 15:18:24 +1000
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

>Can anyone shed any light on the meaning of the epithet "young
>Marcellus" in the following extract from the DNB life of Anne of
>Denmark:

It refers to someone of great promise who dies young; the allusion is to
the <Aeneid> via Dryden's elegy on John Oldham.

Peter Groves

[8]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gary Allen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 25 Apr 2001 01:47:06 EDT
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

Steve Sohmer asks:

Can anyone shed any light on the meaning of the epithet "young
Marcellus" in the following extract from the DNB life of Anne of
Denmark:

"Henry Frederick, prince of Carrick, and afterwards prince of Wales, was
fondly loved by his mother [Anne], whom, at least in the days of his
later boyhood, he was said greatly to resemble (Chamberlain to Carleton,
13 Nov.  1611, ap. Birch). When he died in 1612 -- the young Marcellus
of English history --she passionately mourned his premature death ...."

Surely that's a reference to the Emperor Augustus' nephew (and
son-in-law) who was widely expected to be his heir, but who died young.
The EB has a brief summary of his life at:

http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/2/0,5716,52032+1+50786,00.html

Gary

[9]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Rutter <
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Date:           Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:00:14 +0100
Subject: 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0918 Query: Young Marcellus

Not sure about this, but it could be Augustus Caesar's short-lived
nephew, who was briefly married to Caesar's daughter Julia. See
Suetonius's 12 Caesars.

Tom Rutter, University College London

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