The Glee of Vulnerability: Becoming Kin with Edward Albee’s Goat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? blurs the boundaries between human and animal to unveil the transgressive impulses and perplexing emotions that define and disrupt our most intimate bonds. Albee substitutes the human with an anthropomorphized animal at the center of an epiphanic recognition scene where the human forms a queer kinship with the animal, thus breaking ties with his human kin. How do the human and animal become kin whilst the bonds of kinship between humans break apart? What subjects the animal to bodily harm in the hands of humans blinded by passion, rage, and grief? Albee’s turbulent tale of love and loss provides us with a context to think about the interplay of kinship and the ethics of vulnerability and violence. Here, Albee’s unsettling provocation of conventions of the tragic genre is put into dialogue with Judith Butler’s ethics of vulnerability and her reading of Emmanuel Levinas’s ethical philosophy of the face.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEdward Albee as Theatrical and Dramatic Innovator
EditorsDavid A. Crespy, Lincoln Konkle
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISBN (Electronic)9789004394711
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019

Publication series

NameNew Perspectives in Edward Albee Studies


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