An Unexpected Journey “from the naves to the chops”: “Macbeth”, Animal Trade, and Theatrical Experience
Keywords:Macbeth, posthumanism, early modern animal trade, historical phenomenology
The paper proposes to appreciate the play’s butcheries as an incision into the unstable character of the category of the human. The vividness of the “strange images of death” is thus analysed with reference to the cultural poetics of Elizabethan theatre including its multifarious proximity to the bear-baiting arenas and execution scaffolds. The cluster of period’s cross-currents is subsequently expanded to incorporate the London shambles and its presumed resonance for the reception of Macbeth. Themes explored in the article magnify the relatedness between human and animals, underscore the porosity of the soon to turn modern paradigms and reflect upon the way Shakespeare might have played on their malleability in order to enhance the theatrical experience of the early 17th century. Finally, the questionable authority of Galenic anatomy in the pre- Cartesian era serves as a supplementary and highly speculative thread meant to suggest further research venues.
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