Labienus and Sceva: Two Classical Supporting Characters and Their Early Modern Dramatic Life in Fletcher and Massinger’s The False One
This note explores the early modern dramatic reception of two characters, Titus Labienus and Cassius Scaeva, featuring in Julius Caesar’s Commentaries and subsequently reincarnated in Fletcher and Massinger’s The False One (ca 1620). I investigate the ostensible reversal in the depiction of status and dramaturgical importance of the two characters in the play as compared to the Commentaries. Since Lucan’s Civil War, accepted as a major source of the play, marginalises Labienus and elevates Scaeva’s exploits into a major scene, this note considers the extent to which Lucan’s epic poem conditions the dramatic portrayal of Labienus and Scaeva.
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