"By Jupiter, forgot”: Volscians and Scots in Shakespeare and Arbella Stuart

Authors

  • Lisa Hopkins Sheffield Hallam University

Keywords:

Coriolanus, Arbella Stuart, Virgil, Scotland, Union

Abstract

This essay examines the representation of Volscians in two texts, Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and a letter of Lady Arbella Stuart’s referring to Virgil’s Camilla.  It argues that for both authors, it matters that the relationship between the Volscians and the Romans could trope that between the Scots and the English.  In the month in which Queen Elizabeth died, Arbella Stuart reached for a Volscian as a way to connect herself to Scotland; five years later, in the wake of James’s failed attempt to achieve political and constitutional union between England and Scotland, Coriolanus uses the Volscians to question that project.

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Published

2021-11-22

Issue

Section

Articles