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Edited Collection


This volume highlights the crucial role of Roman female characters in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries by exploring with an unprecedented thoroughness and variety of perspectives the diverse issues connected to female identities in the early modern English plays set in ancient Rome. Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries puts Shakespeare’s Roman world in dialogue with a number of Roman plays by writers as diverse as Matthew Gwinne, Ben Jonson, John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Thomas May, and Nathanael Richards. Thus, the collection seeks to challenge conventional wisdom about the plays under scrutiny by specifically focusing on their female rather than male characters, as well as sharpening our awareness of the fact that the Roman world on the early modern stage cannot be straightforwardly and simplistically equated with Shakespeare’s, with a view to leading to a more accurate and engaging assessment of the extent to which Shakespeare himself is actually representative of the vibrant and variegated ways of appropriating the classics on the early modern stage and page.

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Medieval Institute Publications






Roman plays, women, gender, reception studies, classical antiquity, early modern drama


Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Performance Studies | Renaissance Studies | Theatre History


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PDF: 97815801514203
EPUB: 9781501514050

Citation for Published Book

Lovascio, Domenico, ed. Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2020.

Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries