One way or another, nearly all of Shakespeare's countrymen and women (including the playwright himself) spent at least parts of their lives as servants of someone else. But until now that fact has gone largely unregarded. This book remedies the oversight, by showing how the ideals and practices of early modern service affect dozens of characters in almost all Shakespeare's plays, in ways that enrich our understanding of familiar figures like Iago and Falstaff and enhance the significance of lesser-known people and events across the canon.

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