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What Shakespeare Stole From Rome


Brian Arkins

What Shakespeare Stole From Rome analyses the multiple ways Shakespeare used material from Roman history and Latin poetry in his plays and poems. Three important tragedies deal with the history of the Roman Republic: Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra. From the tragedies of Seneca, Shakespeare took the theme of evil in the ruler, as in Richard III and Macbeth. The comedies of Plautus lie behind the early play The Comedy of Errors. From Ovid, Shakespeare took nearly all his Greek mythology, as in the miniature epic Venus and Adonis. Shakespeare, who knew Latin very well, introduced some 600 new Latin-based words into English.
CONTENTS: Shakespeare’s Knowledge of Classics - Reading Roman History - The Impact of Heavy Seneca - The Impact of Light Plautus - The Pervasive Presence of Ovid - The Matter of Virgil - The Uses of Latin - Greek Themes in Shakespeare.