Shakespeare and the Classics

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Shakespeare and the Classics demonstrates that the classics are of central importance in Shakespeare's plays and in the structure of his imagination. Written by an international team of Shakespeareans and classicists, this book investigates Shakespeare's classicism and shows how he used a variety of classical books to explore crucial areas of human experience such as love, politics, ethics and history. The book focuses on Shakespeare's favourite classical authors, especially Ovid, Virgil, Seneca, Plautus and Terence, and, in translation only, Plutarch. Attention is also paid to the humanist background and to Shakespeare's knowledge of Greek literature and culture. The final section, from the perspective of reception, examines how Shakespeare's classicism was seen and used by later writers. This accessible book offers a rounded and comprehensive treatment of Shakespeare's classicism and will be a useful first port of call for students and others approaching the subject.