Plants

Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

According to one of the few half-credible eighteenth-century legends about William Shakespeare, the poet planted a mulberry tree on the grounds of his stately Stratford home New place. In early modern culture, old trees served as venues for imagining intergenerational subjectivity. Human vanity, of course, is the chief reason why mulberry trees were brought to England in the first place. Rather than incriminate Shakespeare as a willing participant in the early anthropocene, the mulberry legend foregrounds a humbling biological fact: trees outlive people. The adoration of Shakespeare’s mulberry also coincided with the mid-eighteenth-century reappraisal of nature and natural religion. The temptation to compare Shakespeare’s mulberry with the “True Cross” is irresistible. Michael Drayton’s antiquarianism, his deep history, fosters a perspective not far removed from deep ecology. Mankind’s tampering with ecology has unleashed invasive species, genetically modified organisms, mass extinction, and global climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication The Shakespearean International Yearbook
Subtitle of host publicationSpecial Section, Shakespeare and the Human
EditorsTiffany Werth
Place of PublicationAbingdon & New York
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Pages123-145
Number of pages23
Volume15
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781315264233
ISBN (Print)9781472468482
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2015

Publication series

NameShakespearean International Yearbook
ISSN (Print)1465-5098

Fingerprint

Materialism
William Shakespeare
Legend
Vanity
Temptation
History
Poet
England
Ecology
Genetically Modified Organisms
Stratford
Deep Ecology
Invasive Species
Climate Change
Nature
Natural Religion
Venues
Subjectivity
Extinction
Imagining

Cite this

Borlik, T. (2015). Plants: Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”. In T. Werth (Ed.), The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Special Section, Shakespeare and the Human (1 ed., Vol. 15, pp. 123-145). (Shakespearean International Yearbook). Abingdon & New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315264233-8
Borlik, Todd. / Plants : Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”. The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Special Section, Shakespeare and the Human. editor / Tiffany Werth. Vol. 15 1. ed. Abingdon & New York : Routledge, 2015. pp. 123-145 (Shakespearean International Yearbook).
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Borlik, T 2015, Plants: Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”. in T Werth (ed.), The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Special Section, Shakespeare and the Human. 1 edn, vol. 15, Shakespearean International Yearbook, Routledge, Abingdon & New York, pp. 123-145. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315264233-8

Plants : Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”. / Borlik, Todd.

The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Special Section, Shakespeare and the Human. ed. / Tiffany Werth. Vol. 15 1. ed. Abingdon & New York : Routledge, 2015. p. 123-145 (Shakespearean International Yearbook).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Borlik T. Plants: Shakespeare’s Mulberry: Eco-materialism and “Living on”. In Werth T, editor, The Shakespearean International Yearbook: Special Section, Shakespeare and the Human. 1 ed. Vol. 15. Abingdon & New York: Routledge. 2015. p. 123-145. (Shakespearean International Yearbook). https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315264233-8