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In our examination thus far we have dealt with the greater number of names in the list of speakers, and have noticed that the principal ones are derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth's History; that occasionally, as in the case of Guanhumara and Walgan, the author of the play prefers the Anglo- French equivalents Guenevora, Gawin.

There remain the following characters for a word of explanation: Fronia, "a Lady of her [Gueneuora's] trayne"; Angharad, "sister to the Queene"; Conan, "a faithfull Counseller" [to Mordred]; Gilla, "a Brytish Earle"; Cador "Duke of Cornwall"; Hoel, "King of little Brittaine"; Gildas, "a noble man of Brytain".

Cf. Hist. Brit. (San-Marte) IX. v. (p. 125):

Rex igitur potitus victoria, Cadorem ducem Cornubiae jussit persequi illos.

Ibid IX. ii, 5-8 (p. 123):

Communi tandem assensu illato, mittuntur Armoricam nuncii ad regem Hoelum, qui ei calamitatem Britanniae

notificarent. Erat autem Hoelus filius sororis Arturi ex Dubricio rege Armoricanorum Britonum generatus.

lbid IX. ix. 10–13:

[Arturus] duxit uxorem Guanhumaram ex nobili genere Romanorum editam: quae in thalamo Cadoris ducis educata, totius insulae mulieres pulchritudine superabat.

Ibid IX. xii, 48 (p. 132):

Lot rex Norwegiae: Aschillius rex Dacorum.

Aurelius Conan is one of the kings of Britain succeeding Arthur (Hist. Brit. XI. iv. 7). In Geoffrey he does not play the rôle of adviser to Mordred.

Gildas is, of course, the well-known historian of British antiquity. Vid. Geoffrey I. i. 3.

Angarad: The name occurs in Geoffrey II. 8, as Angarad, who is a daughter of Ebraucus.

Gilla may be Gillapatriae, an Irish leader under Mordred (San-Marte XI. ii. 50).

Fronia, Gilla and Gildas thus appear to be creatures of Hughes' own imagination.

But Geoffrey of Monmouth is not the only source of "The Misfortunes of Arthur". It has been shown, in a preceding chapter, that Hughes is one of the chief representatives of the Senecan school, of which Sir Philip Sidney was a distinguished admirer. But Hughes was not satisfied with copying Seneca. He borrowed from him — to-day we should say, plagiarized; and, in his borrowing or plagiarizing he went farther than any other known author so far that we cannot avoid pointing to Seneca as a very considerable source of "The Misfortunes of Arthur".

Dr. J. W. Cunliffe1) was the first to point out the extent of Hughes' indebtedness to the Roman playwright.

1) "The Influence of Seneca on Eliz. Trag.", App. II.


Cunliffe's verdict, after a thorough and exhaustive examination, is to the effect that "the first act is little than a mosaic of extracts from Seneca, pieced together with lines of Hughes' own invention". "Gorlois", he says, "quotes a number of lines from the opening speech of the ghost of Tantalus in Thyestes. The model chiefly followed in the following scenes is Agamemnon, Guenevora being moulded on Clytemnestra, and Mordred on Aegisthus"**. "Fronia, in scene ii, and Conan, in scene iv, repeat the lines of the Nurse in the Agamemnon, Hippolytus, Medea, and Hercules Oeteus, and the servant in the Thyestes; and Conan also plays the part of Seneca in the Octavia."** "The dialogue between Mordred and Conan in scene i on kingly rights and duties, is borrowed partly from that between Seneca and Nero in the Octavia, partly from that between Agamemnon and Pyrrhus in the Troas." 1)

As many as 120 parallel passages are drawn up by Cunliffe, comprising about 300 lines out of a total of 2192. Most of these cover the first act. They have all been embodied in the notes to our text.

Comparison of these instances with their equivalents in the "Tenne Tragedies of Seneca, Translated into English Imprinted 1581", demonstrates not only a more literal, but, invariably, a more graceful, rendering creditable to Hughes.

1) Ibid. pp. 52 seq.

III. The Authors.

a) Thomas Hughes.

The obscurity which veils the life of Thomas Hughes, the principal author of "The Misfortunes of Arthur", may be said to be quite as dense as that which dims the biography of William Shakspere. Yet we are possessed of a few facts which, although meagre, are sufficient for our purpose, the importance of the man and the nature of his work. For these facts we are indebted to the brief article on Thomas Hughes by Arthur H. Bullen, in the Dictionary of National Biography, and the accompanying bibliography.

The dates of Hughes' birth and death are unknown to us. Cooper's annals of the University of Cambridge, however, disclose our dramatist's name with the additional note that he was born in Cheshire, matriculated at Queen's College in Nov. 1571, proceeded B. A. 1575-6, and on the 8th of Sept. 1576, was elected a fellow of his college under royal mandate.

This is a distinguished University career, but no more than is to be expected from a writer whose work betrays on every page a thorough familiarity with the classical drama and the Latin history of Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is not surprising, then, that, on leaving Cambridge, he became a member of the society of Gray's Inn, to associate with such brilliant legal wits and writers as William Fulbecke,

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