The Last Enemy: Music, Art and Literary References.


Hello everyone and welcome to the ninth post of 33 on the art, music and literary references of the Inspector Morse episodes. For my review of this episode click here. I have recently updated the reviews with the new information I have written on this post.

Once I have finished with each series I will post a downloadable excel sheet for each category; music, art and literary references. This would allow everyone who downloads said excel sheets to print them off for personal use. Hopefully, having these print outs next to you while you watch the episode will be of help in identifying your favourite pieces of music from all three series. In the same vein the downloadable excel sheets will I hope help in your enjoyment and appreciation of the art and literary references used in all three series.

Of course I am not infallible (I know I was shocked to realise that trait in myself😉 ) so if you should spot an error or omission then please let me know and I will update my post with the new information.

The time of the pieces of music et cetera are based on the British DVD versions of the shows. However, the times shown should not be to dissimilar from other countries versions or should be easy to pinpoint what I am referring to and when.

The Last Enemy. (Series 3, Episode 2)


(Chronologically this is episode 9)

Only one piece of classic music in this episode the rest being incidental music by Barrington Pheloung. There is also a piece of Reggae music in the episode but I have no idea what it is.


The classical piece is Franz Schubert‘s (1797-1828) ‘String Quintet in C Major‘.

Wonderful piece of music.

Literary References


Morse is entering the Master’s lodgings and the secretary, Carol Sharp, asks if he is Chief Inspector Morse. Morse answers, “I am he“. This is a quote from the Bible. ((Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53). The quote ‘I am he’ is about the betrayal of Jesus.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where they entered a garden. Now Judas, His betrayer, also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples. So Judas brought a band of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. They arrived at the garden carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was coming upon Him, stepped forward and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.

Jesus said, “I am He.”

And Judas His betrayer was standing there with them. When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.”


The following quote is when Morse visits the Master, Sir Alex Reece, (we of course meet the young Alex Reece in the Endeavour pilot episode).

Image result for Christopher Brandon endeavour

The young Alex Reece played by Christoper Brandon.

Morse says, “As Virgil pointed out, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

This refers I believe to Virgil’s opus The Aeneid.

“Virgil acknowledges this at the outset of the poem, The Aeneid,  in a rare programmatic utterance:Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem! What a tremendous struggle it was to found the Roman nation! It is Virgil’s way of saying “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” For every step Aeneas takes forward, there is something he has to leave behind. And Virgil highlights not only the glory of Rome, but the enormous personal cost it conceals.”

Man’s Fate in the Aeneid by David M Halperin


At the police station Morse says to Lewis, “Fortes fortuna iuvat.” Lewis answers, “Fortune favours the brave. My old school motto.”


Morse says, “By their works shall we know them.” This alludes to the New Testament, Matthew 7:15, “by their fruits you shall know them.”


Morse and Lewis are walking along the canal at Thrupp discussing where to find the missing head. Morse relates to Lewis the story of Orpheus‘s death. Feeling spurned by Orpheus for taking only male lovers, the Ciconian women, followers of Dionysus, first threw sticks and stones at him as he played, but his music was so beautiful even the rocks and branches refused to hit him. Enraged, the women tore him to pieces during the frenzy of their Bacchic orgies. His head and lyre, still singing mournful songs, floated down the swift Hebrus to the Mediterranean shore.


Morse states while talking to Lewis at the Police Station, “The man of virtue puts right the wrongs that have been done to him.” I don’t think this is an exact quote from any classical work. Aristotle did believe that via his ‘Virtue Ethics‘ that one should do the right thing to the right person for the right reason


Morse and Lewis are walking to the car to try and find Arthur Drysdale. Morse says to Lewis, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death“.

Regarding the episode’s title, we learn from the episode that it relates to a passage in the New Testament, Corinthens 15:25/26/27

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.…”

It would seem that the line, “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” has been changed in various editions of the bible. The King James version translates it as, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” The word abolished appears in the New American Standard bible. The use of the word ‘abolished’ certainly, to me, changes the effect and meaning of the King James version. Interesting, but a theological discussion for another time.


When Drysdale is found he says to Morse, “Like Laius on the road to Thebes.” This relates to the story of Oedipus who marries his mother and kills his father to put it bluntly and succinctly. We of course have encountered this story before in the Morse episode, ‘Dead of Jericho‘.


Drysdale and Morse quote from The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson;

“I FLED Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

But with unhurrying chase,

 And unperturbèd pace,

Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat—and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet—

‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

To read the full poem click here.


Drysdale again quotes from the above poem,

“Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds

From the hid battlements of Eternity”


Drysdale again quotes from the above poem;

“My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,

Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.

Yea, faileth now even dream

The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist”


All the art that can be seen in this episode, the Master’s lodgings and Chief Superintendent Strange’s office are all mundane, insipid prints painted by unknown artists. I had noticed in a previous episode but more so this time that all but two of the paintings on Strange’s wall are of ships at sea and naval battles. Was James Strange in the navy before joining the police? I don’t remember this being mentioned in the Endeavour series. If anyone knows tell me in the comments.

So, the end of another post which I hope you all enjoy. The next episode to get the art, music and literary references work over will be ‘Deceived by Flight‘.


Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. A busy time ahead made even busier by my writing a book on the TV series, Lewis.

3 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris, regarding the question of Strange’s naval affinities, he was a submariner. I can’t remember exactly whether that’s stated outright or heavily implied, but at one point he has a model submarine in his office.

    Great work, Chris.

  2. Was just watching the DVD of Hitchcock/Truffaut and Martin Scorsese referred to “You may leave the religion but the Hound of Heaven is always there.” I was wracking my brain for where I had heard it, and finally went to wikipedia, and they said it was used in The Last Enemy. Honestly, the stuff I’ve heard about first on Morse or Lewis!

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