Rape, Massacre, The Lucrece Tradition, and Alarum for London

  • Georgina Lucas University of Nottingham
Keywords: Rape, Massacre, Renaissance Drama, Alarum For London, Lucrece


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.

Author Biography

Georgina Lucas, University of Nottingham

Georgie Lucas (Georgina.Lucas@Nottingham.ac.uk) is a teaching associate in early modern literature in the school of English at the University of Nottingham.