Rome was a recurring theme throughout Shakespeare's career, from the celebrated Julius Caesar, to the more obscure Cymbeline. In this book, Paul Innes assesses themes of politics and national identity in these plays through the common theme of Rome. He especially examines Shakespeare's interpretation of Rome and how he presented it to his contemporary audiences. Shakespeare's depiction of Rome changed over his lifetime, and this is discussed in conjunction with the emergence of discourses on the British Empire. Each chapter focuses on a play, which is thoroughly analysed, with regard to both performance and critical reception. Shakespeare's plays are related to the theatrical culture of their time and are considered in light of how they might have been performed to his contemporaries. Innes engages strongly with both the plays the most current scholarship in the field
Paul Innes is Senior Lecturer in Drama and Literary Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK. His publications include Epic, A Dictionary of Class and Society in Shakespeare and Shakespeare: The Barriers Removed.