Shakespeare uses a subtle ploy: the setting of the scene is Italy, which was the very heart of the classical world. Messina seems to exist as a peaceful town, nestled in nature. The pastoral setting is characteristic of the Renaissance movement which itself was a return to the classical glorification of nature...
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As the play unravels, it becomes evident that many conventions were selected due to their specifically classical undertones.
The beginning is reminiscent of the epic genre: the first scene starts in medias res with the announcement of Don Pedro's triumph in battle. The epic style is characterised as possessing "a hero of great national or even cosmic importance, a setting ample in scale, characters who relate their moral attitudes through set speeches, and a beginning in the middle of things...