We are told that Shakespeare ‘had little Latin and less Greek’, but this does not prevent him from being one of the great Renaissance figures. The Renaissance was about humanism, and the revival of Greek and Latin learning was part of this. But the spirit of humanism did not belong only to those who were learned in the Greek and Latin classics in their original tongues. Shakespeare read Plutarch in the English translation by North, but his imagination was fired by the stories of human achievement and suffering he found there in order to produce his masterpieces about ancient times, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Coriolanus; and about modern times, the cycle of English history plays; and the tragedies that rivalled and surpassed the great achievements of the Athenian drama; and the comedies that sprang from the domestic drama of Menander.