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“I smell false Latin, dunghill for unguem”: Odours and Aromas in Love’s Labour’s Lost

Abstract : The “smell” of Love’s Labour’s Lost could be assessed through its original staging and the context of early modern playhouses, but its olfactory content is mainly metaphorical. The pedants of the play try to impose the sweet smell of knowledge as a social marker that they oppose to the stench of ignorance characterising the lower social classes. The play is also studded with fragrant metaphors that can be traced back to the Petrarchan tradition. However, in both cases, the smells undergo a process of reversibility and the play is often steeped in scatological metaphors as well as images of pestilent air—probably reflecting the context of the plague in early modern London. More importantly, the olfactory metaphors inform us on the aesthetics of the play and give us a clue about the reversibility of language.
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https://hal.univ-reims.fr/hal-02510970
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 1:01:30 PM
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Christine Sukic. “I smell false Latin, dunghill for unguem”: Odours and Aromas in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Actes des congrès de la Société française Shakespeare, Société Française Shakespeare, 2015, Nouvelles lectures de Love's Labour's Lost, ⟨10.4000/shakespeare.3289⟩. ⟨hal-02510970⟩

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