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Shakespeare's Medical Language: A Dictionary

Sujata Iyengar

DOI: 10.5040/9781623562823

ISBN: 9781472520401

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Physicians, readers and scholars have long been fascinated by Shakespeare's medical language and the presence of healers, wise women and surgeons in his work. This dictionary includes entries about ailments, medical concepts, cures and, taking into account recent critical work on the early modern body, bodily functions, parts, and pathologies in Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's Medical Language will provide a comprehensive guide for those needing to understand specific references in the plays, in particular, archaic diagnoses or therapies ('choleric', 'tub-fast') and words that have changed their meanings ('phlegmatic', 'urinal'); those who want to learn more about early modern medical concepts ('elements', 'humors'); and those who might have questions about the embodied experience of living in Shakespeare's England. Entries reveal what terms and concepts might mean in the context of Shakespeare's plays, and the significance that a particular disease, body part or function has in individual plays and the Shakespearean corpus at large.