A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Dido Queen of Carthage. Christopher Marlowe. London: Hurst Robinson, 1825.
  • DIDO: Speaks not Æneas like a conqueror?
    O blessed tempests that did drive him in!
    O happy sand that made him run aground!
    Henceforth you shall be our Carthage gods.
    Ay, but it may be, he will leave my love,
    And seek a foreign land call'd Italy:
    O that I had a charm to keep the winds
    Within the closure of a golden ball;
    Or that the Tyrrhene sea were in mine arms,
    That he might suffer shipwreck on my breast,
    As oft as he attempts to hoist up sail!
    I must prevent him; wishing will not serve.--
    Go bid my nurse take young Ascanius,
    And bear him in the country to her house;
    Æneas will not go without his son;
    Yet, lest he should, for I am full of fear,
    Bring me his oars, his tackling, and his sails.
    What if I sink his ships? O, he will frown!
    Better he frown than I should die of grief.
    I cannot see him frown; it may not be:
    Armies of foes resolv'd to win this town,
    Or impious traitors vow'd to have my life,
    Affright me not; only Æneas frown
    Is that which terrifies poor Dido's heart:
    Not bloody spears, appearing in the air,
    Presage the downfall of my empery,
    Nor blazing comets threaten Dido's death;
    It is Æneas' frown that ends my days.
    If he forsake me not, I never die;
    For in his looks I see eternity,
    And he'll make me immortal with a kiss.