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The Accommodated Animal – Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Accommodated Animal: Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales

Laurie Shannon


Shakespeare wrote of lions, shrews, horned toads, curs, mastiffs, and hellhounds, but the word “animal” itself only appears very rarely in his work, which was in keeping with sixteenth-century usage. As this book reveals, the modern human/animal divide first came strongly into play in the seventeenth century, with Descartes’ famous formulation that reason sets humans above other species: “I think, therefore I am.” Before that moment, animals could claim a firmer place alongside humans in a larger vision of belonging, or what the author terms cosmopolity. With Shakespeare as her touchstone, the ... More

Keywords: Shakespeare, human/animal divide, Descartes, reason, cosmopolity, early modern writers, classical natural history, Genesis, stakeholdership, prerogative

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780226924168
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226924182.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Laurie Shannon, author