The Myth of Rome in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries by Warren ChernaikThe Myth of Rome in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries by Warren Chernaik

The Myth of Rome in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

byWarren Chernaik

Hardcover | April 29, 2011

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 560 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


When Cleopatra expresses a desire to die 'after the high Roman fashion', acting in accordance with 'what's brave, what's noble', Shakespeare is suggesting that there are certain values that are characteristically Roman. The use of the terms 'Rome' and 'Roman' in Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, or Jonson's Sejanus often carry the implication that most people fail to live up to this ideal of conduct, that very few Romans are worthy of the name. Chernaik demonstrates how, in these plays, Roman values are held up to critical scrutiny. The plays of Shakespeare, Jonson, Massinger and Chapman often present a much darker image of Rome, as exemplifying barbarism rather than civility. Through a comparative analysis of the Roman plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and including detailed discussion of the classical historians Livy, Tacitus and Plutarch, this study examines the uses of Roman history - 'the myth of Rome' - in Shakespeare's age.
Title:The Myth of Rome in Shakespeare and his ContemporariesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:306 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.79 inPublished:April 29, 2011Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521196566

ISBN - 13:9780521196567


Table of Contents

1. The Roman historians and the myth of Rome; 2. The wronged Lucretian and the early Republic; 3. Self-inflicted wounds; 4. 'Like a colossus': Julius Caesar; 5. Ben Jonson's Rome; 6. Oerflowing the measure: Antony and Cleopatra; 7. The city and the battlefield: Coriolanus; 8. Tyranny and empire; 9. Ancient Britons and Romans; Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

"Indeed, The Myth of Rome succeeds best as a rich comparative study that surveys Roman stories and motifs in many plays."
-PETER PAROLIN,University of Wyoming