Platonis opera by Plato
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Xci. 19 The question arises as to whether the nature of Furrour’s original trial prompted its theatrical representation by Knox, or, conversely, its representation was a product of subsequent theatricalization in the mind of the recorder, prompted by the traditions of drama which had intervened. In broad terms one feels conﬁdent that the original episode would have had highly theatricalized elements. 20 All of this adds weight to the notion that Knox was reporting an event in which the original protagonist himself had manipulated the public theatre.
Spottiswoode left it open as to whether Arran’s intended abduction was likely, and he did not say from whom the rumour arose. He imputed genuine passion to Arran and omitted Mary’s feelings in the matter, as he omitted Knox’s misogynistic suggestion of female fantasy. He was careful to add in his own hand the marginal note claiming that no one knew whether Mary was genuinely or justiﬁably afraid. He acknowledged that fear was caused by the queen raising troops to protect her, but qualiﬁed this by saying that only those already disposed to discontent feared tyranny, and he suggested that such a fear was a ﬁgment of their imaginations, the exact opposite of Buchanan’s claims about what was imagined and what real.
He prevented the bishops from ending their ceremony, now his play, when they wanted, and created a climactic conclusion for it by a mixture of powerful symbolic action, memorable speech and a moment of theatrical brilliance. On being required to burn his bill, ‘he tuck the bill, and chowing it, hee after spatt it in Mr Andro Oliphantis face, saying, “Now burne it or drune [drown] it, whitther ye will: ye heir na mair of me. ”’ Knox says that all the clergy then gave him some money to get rid of him, and he went away, for, Knox avers, he had no understanding of religion.