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Primitivism and The Animal in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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abstract
The recent turn toward environmental studies in humanities scholarship, has contributed to an influx of Shakespearean scholarship that centers on the "natural." Macbeth has long been identified as Shakespeare's most `natural' play. The text is riddled with references to weather, animals, and nature which have made it a popular text to explore from an ecocritical perspective. While a good deal of scholarly work has considered notions of the uncanny and the animal in Macbeth, few scholars have connected these ideas with notions of the primitive, a concept worth exploring as a connection to a `natural,' or undeveloped, sentiment that resonates with the emergence of a green Shakespeare. Macbeth offers a primitivism in which the primitive figure confronts the early modern subject as opposed to being summoned from a retrospective sentimentality. To illuminate this reading, I look primarily at encounters with figures embodying the primitive sensibilities the early modern subject would have been expected to have surmounted, namely, the ability to reason and act in accordance with morality rather than instinct.
subject
baboon
Macbeth
Okavango
primitivism
species
uncanny
contributor
Neal, Jamie Paige (author)
Harlan, Susan (committee chair)
Overing, Gillian (committee member)
Valbuena, Olga (committee member)
date
2012-09-05T08:35:19Z (accessioned)
2012-09-05T08:35:19Z (available)
2012 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37438 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Primitivism and The Animal in Shakespeare's Macbeth
type
Thesis

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