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Geographies of Embodiment in Early Modern England$
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Mary Floyd-Wilson and Garrett A. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198852742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198852742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Speaking (of) Faces

Speaking (of) Faces

The Gestural Body in Measure for Measure

(p.197) 9 Speaking (of) Faces
Geographies of Embodiment in Early Modern England

Elizabeth D. Harvey

Oxford University Press

Measure for Measure is a play that reveals how bodily and affective language is entangled with anatomical understandings of muscles, gesture, and early modern psychology. The face was the primary map for the passions and the mobility of shifting affects, as well as the body’s primary social façade; its complex ability to register or to contain emotion is embedded in the languages of intersubjective interaction, a social geography of communication. This chapter explores how passionate expression is registered as somatic speech acts through readings of facial expression and in moments of disguise (veiling, muffling, substitution). The play stages how human desire flows between and among people, how it solicits and resists legal and political regulation, and how it operates invisibly both as a felt force for the individual subject and as an uncontainable force moving between human subjects.

Keywords:   Measure for Measure, gesture, face, chiasmus, affect, John Bulwer, Pathomyotomia

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