The human face of early Modern England.

Fudge, Erica (2011) The human face of early Modern England. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 16 (1) . pp. 97-110. ISSN 0969-725X [Article] (doi:10.1080/0969725X.2011.564366)


This essay traces out the context that allowed numerous early modern thinkers to deny that animals had faces. Using early- to mid-seventeenth-century writing by, among others, John Milton, John Bulwer and Ben Jonson, it shows that faces were understood to be sites of meaning, and were thus, like gestural language and the capacity to perform a dance, possessed by humans alone. Animals, this discourse argued, have no ability to communicate meaningfully because they have no bodily control, and as such they are faceless beings without individuality and without a sense of self-consciousness. The ethical implications of such a reading of the human face are far reaching.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
ISI Impact: 0
Item ID: 6065
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2010 10:39
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:20

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