Shakespeare’s plays are peppered with characters from across the social spectrum, from kings and nobility down to servants, soldiers and shepherds. Speaking to Rhiannon Davies, theatre director and author Stephen Unwin explores the bard’s portrayal of working people, and investigates how far his characters reflected the reality of living and working in Elizabethan England.

Stephen Unwin is the author of Poor Naked Wretches: Shakespeare's Working People (Reaktion Books, 2022)


Rhiannon DaviesSection editor, BBC History Magazine

Rhiannon Davies is section editor for BBC History Magazine and our Tudor ambassador, writing a fortnightly newsletter in which she shares the latest Tudor news, anniversaries and content with her audience. She also regularly appears on the award-winning HistoryExtra podcast.