Excrement and Ecstasy: The Devotional Body in Early Modern Lit

Autumn 2018-2019

22110

Beatrice Bradley

This course asks why writers in the seventeenth century turn to bodily metaphor and erotic language to describe their interactions with the divine. We will investigate the materiality of the body in early modern poetry—where it is frequently depicted as in orgasmic frenzy, failing, and even producing excrement—and its involvement with religious devotional practice. Authors of focus will likely include William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. (Poetry, Pre-1650, 1650-1830)