Shakespeare lived his professional life amid the London streets and died a prominent figure in the town of Stratford. The language of his plays is shot through with the concerns of London "freemen" and their wives, the diverse commercial class that nevertheless excluded adult immigrants from country towns and northern Europe alike. This book combines London historiography, close reading, and recent theories of citizen subjectivity to demonstrate for the first time that Shakespeare's plays embody citizen and alien identities despite their aristocratic settings. The book points out where the city shadows the country scenes of the major comedies, shows how London's trades animate the "civil butchery" of the history plays, and explains why England's metropolis becomes the fractured Rome of tragedy.

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