It is well known that Shakespeare lived in an age of monarchy and wrote powerfully in his English history plays about the duties of the sovereign.
In this lecture, Jonathan Bate will tell another, forgotten story: of how Shakespeare was also fascinated by Roman political models, especially the theory of civic duties expounded by Cicero, who appears as a character in Julius Caesar. He will also show how Shakespeare looked to Horace for a model of the public role of the writer.
Professor Bate is Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. He is a British academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar. He specialises in Shakespeare, Romanticism and Ecocriticism. He is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, and Honorary Fellow of Creativity at Warwick Business School.
All of Professor Bate's Gresham lectures can be accessed here.