This sequence is devoted to relevant images of the European literary and political models to which Shakespeare is indebted for essential elements of his plays: plots, characters, ideas. Their authors include Ovid, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Marguerite de Navarre, Rabelais, Ronsard, Montaigne, Lope de Vega, etc. The powerful influence of the cultures of classical Greece and Rome recognizable in Shakespeare, such as Plutarch’s Lives, were often transmitted to Elizabethan England indirectly via translations and imitations particularly ones derived from Italy and France, cultures to which Elizabethans had significant access and language mastery. Their influence and that of their more prominent contemporary authors served to define many of the principal elements of Elizabethan culture, reflected inevitably in the stage effects of its drama, such as the characters known as Machiavels. The best introduction to this massive indebtedness may be found in Geoffrey Bullough’s Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958 onwards). Another, more current coverage of relevant background literature is Stuart Gillespie, Shakespeare’s Books: a Dictionary of Shakespeare Sources (Bloomsbury, 2016). However, beyond literature, an additional source of models for Shakespeare involved direct allusions to prominent European contemporaries, as in Love’s Labour’s Lost, with its allusions to the French court of Henri IV, or Measure for Measure’s reflection of traits from the Viennese career of the Emperor Maximilian II, or Much Ado’s reincarnation of the Bastard Don John of Austria during his residence in Messina.