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Humoring the Body – Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage

Gail Paster


Though modern readers no longer believe in the four humors of Galenic naturalism—blood, choler, melancholy, and phlegm—early modern thought found in these bodily fluids the key to explaining human emotions and behavior. This book proposes a new way to read the emotions of the early modern stage so that contemporary readers may recover some of the historical particularity in early modern expressions of emotional self-experience. Using notions drawn from humoral medical theory to untangle passages from important moral treatises, medical texts, natural histories, and major plays of William Shakes ... More

Keywords: humors, Galenic naturalism, blood, choler, melancholy, phlegm, early modern thought, bodily fluids, human emotions, human behavior

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780226648477
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226648484.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gail Paster, author