Of Beasts and Men: Animal Bloodsports in Early Modern England.
Abstract: Of all the sites of conflict that occupy theatre historians, early
modern England is one of the most vexing on account of its Janus-faced popular culture: on
the one hand, we have the "monumentals" of English drama, Shakespeare, Marlowe and Jonson;
on the other, we have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for blood. Between the years of 1500
and 1700, a variety of combat-based sports inv... read moreolving animals made up a sizable portion of
the entertainments on offer to English citizens. Bear-baiting, monkey-baiting, cock-fights,
dog-fights, and bull-baiting are just a few examples of the many "barbaric" spectacles
which English men and women from every class flocked to see, but they are among those most
often glossed over in theatre histories of this period. Such bloodsports do not fit into
our commonly accepted view of the English Renaissance as a time of humanistic triumph over
the medieval, but like it or not, they were major sources of entertainment for people of
all classes, and operated hand-in-hand with the famous theatres of Southwark, the Rose and
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Drama.
Advisor: Downing Cless.
Committee: Laurence Senelick, Erika Rundle, and Kevin Dunn.
Keywords: Theater history, History, and Theater.read less