Stage, Stake, and Scaffold: Humans and Animals in Shakespeare's Theatre

ISBN : 9780198701019

Andreas Hofele
330 Pages
157 x 233 mm
Pub date
Jan 2014
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The powerful exchanges between stage, stake, and scaffold - the theatre, the bear garden and the spectacle of public execution - crucially informed Shakespeare's explorations into the construction and workings of 'the human'. The theatre's family resemblance to animal baiting and the spectacle of punishment, its sharing of the same basic type of performance space - a theatre-in-the-round, a scaffold, stake or platform surrounded by spectators - bred an ever-ready potential for a transfer of images and meanings. The staging of one of these kinds of performance is always framed by an awareness of the other two, whose presence is never quite erased and often, indeed, emphatically foregrounded. Situating Shakespearean drama within its material environment, Andreas Hofele explores how this spill-over affects the way Shakespeare models his human characters and his understanding of 'human character' in general. His dramatis personae are infused with a degree of animality that a later, more specificall


1. 'What beast was't then': Stretching the Boundaries in Macbeth
2. A Kingdom for a Scaffold
3. 'More than a creeping thing': Baiting Coriolanus
4. Cannibal - Animal: Figurations of the (In)Human in Montaigne, Foxe and Shakespearean Revenge Tragedy
5. 'I'll see their trial first': Law and Disorder in Lear's Animal Kingdom
6. Revels' End: The Tempest and After

About the author: 

Andreas Hofele is Professor of English at Munich University. His publications include books on Shakespeare's stagecraft, late 19th-century parody and on Malcolm Lowry, as well as numerous articles on Renaissance and 20th-century themes and six novels. He is a member of the Heidelberg and of the Bavarian Academies of Science and President of the German Shakespeare Society.

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