Rape, Massacre, the Lucrece Tradition, and Alarum for London
- Early Theatre: A Journal associated with the Records of Early English Drama
- Early Theatre
- Volume 20, Number 2, 2017
- pp. 49-75
- Additional Information
This article explores the conflation of rhetorical and physical acts of rape and massacre in a range of early modern drama, culminating in a case study of the two phenomena in Alarum for London (1599). Rooting its analysis in the Lucrece myth, the essay demonstrates how prominent traditions of reading rape — as an attack on the soul, and as an attack on a city — provide a rubric through which Alarum can be understood. When enacted concomitantly, rape and massacre have the propensity to destroy body and soul, individual, and the wider society to which they belong.