The book considers the London theatrical culture which took shape in the 1570s and came to an end in 1642.Places emphasis on those plays that are readily available in modern editions and can sometimes to be seen in modern productions, including Shakespeare. Provides students with the historical, literary and theatrical contexts they need to make sense of Renaissance drama. Includes a series of short biographies of playwrights during this period. Features close analyses of more than 20 plays, each of which draws attention to what makes a particular play interesting and identifies relevant critical questions. Examines early modern drama in terms of its characteristic actions, such as cuckolding, flattering, swaggering, going mad, and rising from the dead.