Rome was in Shakespeare’s mind long before he wrote Julius Caesar. Titus Andronicus—most probably a collaborative work—was among his earliest plays, but is more of a historical fantasia, complete with horror-movie effects, and is understandably set aside by Paul Cantor in his latest book, Shakespeare’s Roman Trilogy.1 Elsewhere, the first history tetralogy has numerous references to classical Rome, including, in Richard III, the legend that Julius Caesar built the Tower of London, while Henry V presents its hero-king...

 

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