The Violence of Meat: Titus Andronicus, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the Fate of the Animal

  • Eric S. Mallin
Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare book series (RESH)


Titus Andronicus, a grotesquely gory early Shakespeare tragedy, prefigures The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (dir. Tobe Hooper, 1974) with disturbing appropriateness. Aside from in the parallels of the depraved family as horrid aggressor and victim in both texts, the patriarchal clan in Texas and Rome perpetrates and suffers crimes of dismemberment as a sign of being consumed and socioeconomically “cut off.” Hooper’s seminal work and Shakespeare’s first tragedy both indirectly but crucially engage with an ecology of animal welfare as the tragic source: animal slaughter haunts the violence in the works. The depredations compel philosophical and political meditation about the vanishing line between human and animal.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric S. Mallin
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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