The Animals in Chester's Noah's Flood
This essay analyses the catalogue of animals in the Chester Noah’s Flood play. The analysis demonstrates that the catalogue is created to conform to late medieval and early modern conceptions of the utility of animals (as food and as labour) as well as to gender roles (men handle animals, women handle birds). Moreover, Noah’s wife is deeply characterized by the specific creatures she brings on the ark; they are figures of disorder and illegality. Finally, the essay explores issues of animal/human relationships, arguing that the play (rather unusually for the time) promotes kindness to animals, perhaps in response to early Protestant ideas.
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