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Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

Edited by: Domenico Lovascio

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Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries explores the crucial role of Roman female characters in the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. While much has been written on male characters in the Roman plays as well as on non-Roman women in early modern English drama, very little attention has been paid to the issues of what makes Roman women ‘Roman’ and what their role in those plays is beyond their supposed function as supporting characters for the male protagonists. Through the exploration of a broad array of works produced by such diverse playwrights as Samuel Brandon, William Shakespeare, Matthew Gwynne, Ben Jonson, John Fletcher, Philip Massinger, Thomas May, and Nathaniel Richards under three such different monarchs as Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I, Roman Women in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries contributes to a more precise assessment of the practices through which female identities were discussed in literature in the specific context of Roman drama and a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which accounts of Roman women were appropriated, manipulated and recreated in early modern England.

Author Information

Domenico Lovascio, Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy.
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Audience: Medievalists, scholars of English Literature and Gender Studies

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