Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello, tells of a famed military leader, 'The Moor of Venice', who is tricked into believing that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful. This belief eventually leads her to kills both her and himself.
In a famous speech from the play, just after he discovers Desdemona's alleged infidelity, Othello bids farewell to his former glories with the words,
"O farewell, farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th-ear-piercing fife; The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats Th'immortal Jove's dread clamors counterfeit, Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone." (Act 3, scene 3)
This passage lends the phrase, 'pomp and circumstance' to the English language, but also shows how Othello sees Desdemona's apparent betrayal as the end to all of his former happiness and success. There is no logical reason for her actions to impact on his military career but he connects the loss of her with the loss of all that is positive in his life. The Princess has lost the bond of trust between herself and the tigers, lost the tigers themselves, and now lost her outlet in music; without any of the elements which gave her purpose she is left bereft. Carter reuses the phrase relating to the shaman on page 264; it also appears in Wise Children (1991).