“The Dog is me and I am myself”: Canine Thespians in Shakespaws


  • Sheila Cavanagh




Shakespeare has been linked with a number of unexpected items, animals, and concepts in the centuries since his plays were written. This note explores intersections between Shakespeare and dogs, with a particular emphasis on the film Shakespaws, where dogs “perform” scenes from Shakespeare. While thespian canines may seem unusual, there are numerous instances where dogs and other animals  appear in Shakespearean scholarship and other aspects of the Shakespearean world.

Author Biography

Sheila Cavanagh

Sheila T. Cavanagh is Professor of English at Emory University and Director of the World Shakespeare Project and The Emory Women Writers Resource Project.  Author of Wanton Eyes and Chaste Desires: Female Sexuality in The Faerie Queene (Indiana 1994) and Cherished Torment: The Emotional Geography of Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania. (Duquesne 2001), she has written many articles on early modern literature and pedagogy. She served as the Global Shakespeare Centre/Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and the Masse-Martin/NEH Distinguished Teaching Chair, and is on the Board of the Society of Woman Geographers. She is writing a monograph entitled Multisensory Shakespeare for Specialised Communities.