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On Shakespeare and cutaneous diseases

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  • On Shakespeare and cutaneous diseases

    Disorders with dermatologic features are intractable and rife in Shakespeare's world. For this reason, they occupy an unusual position in culture. "The plague" and "leprosy" are popular insults and epithets-indictments of not external pathogens but of moral failure. It may be no surprise to identify, as a present-day reader, syphilis and the plague in early modern England, but what about other dermatologic conditions at the time? "The plague," "leprosy," "the pox," and "measles" are commonly...

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