Abstract

abstract:

I argue in this article for a reconsideration of Shakespeare's play in light of the phenomena of eating mummified flesh in early modern medicinal practice. At various junctures in Julius Caesar, characters imagine consuming Caesar's sanctified flesh as an act of revenge, dissolution, or medical regimen. As this article shows, however, such an act is never empirically neutral. Rather, Shakespeare's drama explores the intractable animus that inheres in the corpse, particularly in the material of Caesar's flesh. In attending to the preternatural discourses surrounding this type of consumption, the article provides a new lens for understanding the period's fascination with—and desire for—a panacea that enfolds imprecation and special consideration of the preternatural properties of the human body.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2161-2188
Print ISSN
2161-2196
Pages
pp. 215-238
Launched on MUSE
2018-08-31
Open Access
No
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