“Amend Thy Face”: Contagion and Disgust in the Henriad

  • Ariane M. BalizetEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Focusing on the character of Bardolph—who appears in more of Shakespeare’s plays than nearly any other character in the canon—Balizet explores the discourses of illness, profligacy, and disease that define the threat this figure poses to the future King Henry V. Throughout the Henriad, Bardolph’s red face is attributed to various moral and physical ailments, ranging from shame and alcoholism to syphilis and even plague. Drawing upon theories of disgust, histories of infectious illness, and plague literature, Balizet contends that Bardolph’s execution exemplifies a royal victory over contagion through the political application of disgust.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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