The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals

ISBN 9781138710160
Published August 11, 2020 by Routledge
360 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Shakespeare’s plays have a long and varied performance history. The relevance of his plays in literary studies cannot be understated, but only recently have scholars been looking into the presence and significance of animals within the canon. Readers will quickly find—without having to do extensive research—that the plays are teeming with animals! In this Handbook, Karen Raber and Holly Dugan delve deep into Shakespeare’s World to illuminate and understand the use of animals in his span of work. This volume supplies a valuable resource, offering a broad and thorough grounding in the many ways animal references and the appearance of actual animals in the plays can be interpreted. It provides a thorough overview; demonstrates rigorous, original research; and charts new frontiers in the field through a broad variety of contributions from an international group of well-known and respected scholars.

Table of Contents


Part 1. Animal Metaphors: History, Theory, Representation

Headnote 1

Chapter 1 Rebecca Ann Bach, "Avian Shakespeare"

Chapter 2 Daniel Brayton, "Shakespeare’s Fishponds: Matter, Metaphor, and Market"

Chapter 3 Bryan Alkemeyer, "’I am the dog’: Canine Abjection, Species Reversal, and Misanthropic Satire

in Two Gentlemen of Verona

Chapter 4 Crystal Bartolovich, "Learning from Crab: Primitive Accumulation, Migration, Species Being "

Chapter 5 Karl Steel, "Animal Behavior and Metaphor, in Shakespeare and His Fellow Dramatists"

Part 2. Scales of Meaning

Headnote 2

Chapter 6 Ian MacInnes, "Cow-Cross Lane and Curriers Row: Animal Networks in Early Modern England"

Chapter 7 Benjamin Bertram, "’Everything exists by strife’: War and Creaturely Violence in Shakespeare’s Late Tragedies"

Chapter 8 Lucinda Cole, "Zoonotic Shakespeare: Animals, Plagues, and the Medical Posthumanities"

Chapter 9 Joseph Campana, "Flock, Herd, Swarm: A Shakespearean Lexicon of Creaturely Collectivity"

Part 3. Animal Worlds/ Animal Language

Headnote 3

Chapter 10 Keith Botelho, "Swarm Life: Shakespeare’s School of Insects"

Chapter 11 Nicole Jacobs, "‘Where the Bee Sucks’: Bernardian Ecology and the Post-Reformation Animal"

Chapter 12 Liza Blake and Kathryn Vomero Santos, "What Does the Wolf Say?: Wolvish Tongues and Animal Language in Coriolanus"

Chapter 13 Bruce Boehrer, "Shrewd Shakespeare"

Part 4. Training, Performance, and Living with Animals

Headnote 4

Chapter 14 Elspeth Graham, "The Training Relationship: horses, hawks, dogs, bears and humans"

Chapter 15 Todd Borlik, "Performing The Winter’s Tale in the ‘Open’: Bear Plays, Skinners’ Pageants, and the Early Modern Fur Trade

Chapter 16 Julian Yates, "Counting Shakespeare’s Sheep with The Second Shepherd’s Play"

Chapter 17 Laurie Shannon, "Silly Creatures: King Lear (with Sheep)"

Part 5. Animal Boundaries and Identities

Headnote 5

Chapter 18 Nicole Mennell, "The Lion King: Shakespeare’s Beastly Sovereigns"

Chapter 19 Jennifer Reid, "‘Wearing the Horn’: Class and Community in the Shakespearean Hunt"

Chapter 20 Steven Swarbrick, "On Eating--the Animal That Therefore I Am: Race and Animal Rites in Titus Andronicus"

Chapter 21 Rob Wakeman, "’What’s this? what’s this?’: Stockfish and Piscine Sexuality in Measure for Measure"

Chapter 22 Karen Raber, "My Palfrey, Myself: Toward a Queer Phenomenology of the Horse-Human Bond in Henry V and Beyond"

Chapter 23 Erica Fudge, "‘Forgiveness, horse’: The Barbaric World of Richard II"


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Karen Raber is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of Shakespeare and Posthumanist Theory (2018) and Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture (2013), and editor with Monica Mattfeld of Performing Animals: History, Agency, Theater (2017).

Holly Dugan is an Associate Professor of English at The George Washington University. She is the author of The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England (2011).