Gilberta Golinelli

"Like a cook, placing the dishes": Performance of "Eating" Practices in Titus Andronicus

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Eating Habits; Cannibalism; Food; Popular and Material Culture.

In recent years, Shakespearean scholars have demonstrated that "Titus Andronicus" was and is still able to work on stage and on a popular level. They have shown how it originates from the successful revenge tragedy of late sixteenth-century England and Europe and from a popular culture able to understand and give (new) values to the empty but violent rhetoric of the play thanks to recognizable contemporary popular discourses and cultural practices on/of the human body that visibly interfere with the play-text. In line with recent studies on this topic, I will interrogate "Titus Andronicus" ' uses of eating and cooking metaphors and practices. I argue that they originated in the rhetoric of the revenge tragedy, but that they were also re-signified thanks to the intersection of classical knowledge, popular imagination and discourses on food and eating practices, which mainly involved the human body and its by-products. Concerns and topics of a popular culture that, as Peter Burke reminds us, was "everyone's culture".

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