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Fear of Imminence and Virtual Ethics: Staging Rape in the Middle Ages

Fear of Imminence and Virtual Ethics: Staging Rape in the Middle Ages

Chapter:
(p.67) 3 Fear of Imminence and Virtual Ethics: Staging Rape in the Middle Ages
Source:
Murder by Accident
Author(s):
Jody Enders
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226207858.003.0004

This chapter analyzes the issues of fear of imminence and virtual ethics in relation to two incidents of rape in the Middle Ages connected to the theater. These are the 1395 gang-rape of a woman by a group of men who spent the night on the scaffolding erected for the following day's theatrical production and the 1485 case of an actor who allegedly forced himself sexually upon his wife after returning home from his performance as a devil. This chapter suggests that these cases highlight the difficulties of agents' declarations of their intentions.

Keywords:   fear of imminence, virtual ethics, rape, Middle Ages, theater, gang-rape, actor, intentions

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