A bullfight is above all about the demonstration of style, technique and courage displayed by its participants. While there is usually little doubt about the outcome, the bull is not viewed as a sacrificial victim -- it is instead seen by the audience as a worthy adversary, deserving of respect in its own right.
In this public spectacle, highly trained men known as bullfighters (in exceptional cases, women), perform with, and ceremonially kill, selectively bred bulls. Identified as a "corrida de toros" in Spanish, the bullfight takes place in a large outdoor arena or bullring known as the "plaza de toros."
In the cultures of Spain, Southern France, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, bullfighting is an integral part of national culture. The aesthetic of bullfighting is based on the interaction of the man and the bull. Rather than a competitive sport, the bullfight is considered a ritual to be judge by aficionados, based on artistic impression and command. Ernest Hemingway astutely observed in his book, Death in the Afternoon: "Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honor."
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