Home > Catalogue > English Literature > 7 | 2020 > “Our Filthy Liues in Swines are Shewd”: Deformed Pigs, Religious Disquiet and Propaganda in Elizabethan England
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“Our Filthy Liues in Swines are Shewd”: Deformed Pigs, Religious Disquiet and Propaganda in Elizabethan England

Luca Baratta    Università degli Studi di Napoli “Parthenope”, Italia    

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abstract

This article takes into account some broadsheets published in London between 1562 and 1570, a span of time in which the birth of deformed pigs is read in the light of the conflicts that destabilised the auroral decade of Elizabeth I’s reign. In this period, both Protestants and Catholics fostered a symbolic imagery, as a result of which deformed animals (and humans) were deciphered instrumentally as signs of God’s wrath against the religious and political enemy. The pig – a dirty and obscene beast – embodied further meanings when its anatomy exceeded the laws of nature, and could be interpreted as a mirror of moral and social non-conformity.

Published
Dec. 21, 2020
Accepted
Nov. 9, 2020
Submitted
Sept. 20, 2020
Language
EN

Keywords: Elizabethan EnglandDeformed pigsMonstrous birthsReligious and political propagandaStreet literature

Copyright: © 2020 Luca Baratta. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.