Caesar and Pompey
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Stephen Gosson, Plays Confuted in Five Actions (1582), D4v-[D5v] (EEBO-TCP, open access):
if a true Historie be taken in hand, it is made like our shadows, longest at the rising and falling of the Sunne, shortest of all at hie noone. For the Poets driue it most commonly vnto such pointes, as may best showe the maiestie of their pen, in Tragicall speaches; or set the hearers a gogge, with discourses of love; or painte a fewe antickes, to fitt their owne humors, with scoffes & tauntes; or wring in a shewe, to furnish the Stage, when it is to bare; when the matter of it selfe comes shorte of this, they followe the practise of the cobler, and set their teeth to the leather to pull it out.
So was the history of Caesar and Pompey, and the Playe of the Fabii at the Theater, both amplified there, where the Drummes might walke, or the pen ruffle, when the history swelled, and ran to hye for the number of ye</ persons, that shoulde playe it, the Poet with Proteus cut the same fit to his owne measure; when it afoorded no pompe at al, he brought it to the racke, to make it serue. Which inuinciblie proueth on my side, that Plays are no Images of trueth, because sometime they hādle such thinges as neuer were, sometime they runne vpon truethes, but make them séeme longer, or shorter, or greater, or lesse then they were, according as the Poet blowes them vp with his quill, for aspiring heades; or minceth them smaller, for weaker stomakes.
Performed c. 1581 at the Theatre, possibly by Warwick's Men, as suggested by Wiggins (entry 685).
Classical history (Harbage).
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
The conflict between Caesar and Pompey was available to English playwrights through a wide range of sorces, notably Plutarch's Lives, Appian's Civil Wars, Lucan's Civil War, Suetonius's Lives of the Caesars.
It is impossible to establish which source was used but it is possible briefly to summarise the main events of the conflict.
References to the Play
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For What It's Worth
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