“Come, Eros, Eros!”: Re-reading Emotion and Affect in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra
This chapter focuses on our attention on the producers of these shows the London livery companies or trade guilds that sponsored the mayoral pageants as expensive promotional entertainments favoring overseas commerce and fostering a foreign-infused taste for goods where Africans, showcased within the spectacle, became the metonyms for prized imports. Eighty-five percent of the twenty-seven Elizabethan mayors were "invested in overseas trading companies", and the extravagance of the Jacobean shows signaled the moment "when the London merchant elite was consolidating the power and controls it had been nurturing for well over fifty years". From the sixteenth century, the education offered the audience through the mayoral street shows pointed forward to levels of racial objectification that were routinely rehearsed and disseminated in the public sphere of the London civic pageant. The chapter highlights this production of racial knowledge as the consequence of managing fear and through which a confident commercial London could claim unified civic interests.