Revolting diets: Jack Cade's "Sallet" and the politics of hunger in 2 Henry VI.
Why does Cade, already legible as a stray, reveal himself as one capable of being betrayed for a thousand crowns? Why does he claim to be vanquished by famine after deliberately provoking Iden to violence? While we might assume that Cade is desperate, perhaps even demented by hunger, there is more to his statements than confusion and defeated ambition. (2) Indeed, by juxtaposing the status of the stray with the fate of the outlaw, Cade parodies the commonplace association between poverty and criminality and mocks the social imperative to determine exactly what kind of starving man qualifies as a member of the deserving poor. Hunger, he suggests, is an experience irreducible to either aid-worthiness or criminality. It assumes a political valence that transcends the apparent triumph of property rights over trespass, as neither Iden's altruistic inclinations toward "a poor famish'd man" nor his heraldic victory over a "monstrous traitor" can write the end of Cade's story (44, 66-67). (3)
This essay addresses how forms of alimentary scarcity and excess inform political positions that challenge traditional associations between poverty, vagrancy, and hunger on the one hand, and disorder, sedition, and insurrection on the other. Reading the treatment of hunger in the medical literature of the period, I take hunger to be a diet--a method of regulating life. I use "hunger" to refer to both an individual's experience of food scarcity and a systemic insufficiency of food supply. (4) But because hunger seldom operates independently of other forms of deprivation, I also use "hunger" synecdochically to refer to material deprivation of the basic means of subsistence. Building on Ernst Bloch's understanding of hunger as the inaugurating experience of utopian politics, I posit that the often contradictory and deliberately gestural, open-ended politics of the play's impoverished figures amounts not so much to seditious disorder but to what Bloch calls the Not-Yet-Conscious of legitimate political alternatives. (5) In contrast with the consumptive riot that subtends the nobles' internecine struggles, the political articulations of the play's many hungry people (though veiled in parody and far from unified) demand new options for the acquisition, distribution, and consumption of resources. The sturdy beggar Simpcox and his wife make visible a state of "pure need," demanding a critical reexamination of the supposed link between poverty and disorder; the rebels' creative calculus of food distribution articulates an imperative to share; and Jack Cade's "theft" from Alexander Iden's walled garden suggests that the frayed connection between the English and their island habitation might be repaired. The scarce diet of the dispossessed, in other words, goes well beyond the negative politics of rebellion, offering a way to restore order to both individual and political bodies.
Traditionally, critics understood 2 Henry VI to be defending the interests of the higher ranks by rendering the grievances of the commons ridiculous. (6) According to this view, popular resistance in the play is incoherent and therefore inefficacious, more intrinsically disordered than politically disordering. More recently, critics have argued that Shakespeare advances a more progressive agenda through the commoners' protests, an agenda characterized alternately as leveling or proto-democratic. (7) Rather than reading deprivation as an experience that produces exclusively disordered behavior, or ascribing to the commoners a specific, unitary, and potentially anachronistic political agenda, I wish to attend to the disparate political articulations of the play's hungry figures as expressions of what Bloch calls "anticipatory consciousness"--a consciousness of that which has yet to happen--of political alternatives still in the offing. (8)
Understanding hunger as a kind of diet allows us to situate the deprivation experienced by the commoners in 2 Henry VI (bearing in mind its involuntary nature) in the context of contemporaneous ideas about bodily health, regulation, and the dangers of alimentary excess. As one of the six Galenic "non-naturals," what one ate was intimately associated with other forms of regulating life; (9) and indeed, the very term "diet" refers to a variety of habitual practices that govern health, including sleep, hygiene, and exercise. (10) Diet also comprehends forms of abstinence including fasting, a method of self-regulation that often conferred a sense of agency on its practitioners. (11) Though it would seem that involuntary deprivation might fall outside the purview of "diet" in this conventional sense, the medical literature of the period suggests the contrary. In The Breuiary of Helthe (1547) Andrew Boorde classifies hunger as the third of four types of abstinence, occupying a single continuum with elective fasting for medicinal or spiritual purposes. (12) Though Boorde warns that excessive fasting can dry out the body and induce melancholy, he also emphatically states that "there is nat so great a detriment to mans body as is replecion or surfetynge." (13) As a diet therefore, hunger is linked more concretely to the constitution or imposition of order on the body than to disorder.
By contrast, Renaissance authors often represent material excess as a greater threat to corporeal, moral, and political well-being. In The Castel of Helthe (1561), Thomas Elyot writes that "excesse of meates is to bee abhorred." (14) He condemns gluttony for everything from tooth decay to moral decadence and social disorder, lamenting "what abuse is here in this realme in the continual gourmandise and dayly feeding on sondry meates at one meale in the spiryte of gluttony." (15) While Elyot indicts both "meane" and "noble" persons for mealtime excesses, he identifies gluttony and mealtime heterogeneity as far greater threats to the stability of the realm than scarcity. (Shakespeare takes up this premise in Coriolanus, where the citizens complain that their "leanness ... is an inventory to particularize [the patricians'] abundance" [1.1.16-22].) Edward Forset, who like Elyot, took interest in both dietary and political theory, writes that the state, like the body, must "also be dieted, neither glutted with excesse, nor scanted with penurie." (16) Forset condemns ambitious courtiers for their unruly appetites, calling them "Parasites" who seek "to aduance their owne good, howsoeuer their Soueraigne be thereby either impouerished or dishonored." (17) Where the selfish machinations of social climbers bring dishonor and poverty to the realm, poverty is the result, not the source, of disorder.
2 Henry VI includes several examples linking the nobles' politically erratic conduct to forms of dietary excess. The Queen perversely conflates excess and scarcity in the context of her adulterous love as she anticipates being deprived of Suffolk's presence; her grief, she says, is "but surmised whiles thou art standing by, / As one that surfeits thinking on a want" (3.2.347-48). A Lieutenant criticizes Suffolk "For swallowing the treasure of the realm" and for having "grown great, / And like ambitious Sylla, over-gorg'd / With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart" (4.1.74, 8385). York, the architect of Cade's rebellion, calls himself a "starved snake" (3.1.343) and goes to "nourish a mighty band" in Ireland in order to depose King Henry (347-50). The ambitious appetites of these nobles must be distinguished from hunger, as they seek to eclipse what is sufficient or necessary in pursuit of greater wealth, influence, and power. (18) Whereas the nobles' stomachs are, as King Henry observes, "high" (2.1.53), such a condition tends to be brought on by "anger or feare ... or by surfetynge, or suche lyke." In contrast, the absence of food cools the body and brings on melancholy humors. (19) Dietary abstinence, whether voluntary or involuntary, and notwithstanding its own dangers, surfaces regularly as the most effectual corrective to appetitive excess.
The discursive parameters by which hunger qualifies as diet infuse it with a regulatory function that operates in individual, social, and political spheres. We can see this function at work in several literary examples from the period. In The Taming of the Shrew Petruchio starves his termagant wife into orderly conduct that appears alternately submissive and empowered. In King Lear Edgar's exile as Poor Tom of Bedlam brings him face-to-face with the unknowing King in a shared state of dispossession; only by experiencing the material deprivation his "unaccommodated" disguise brings can Edgar restore order at the play's bleak end (3.4.106). In Spenser's Faerie Queene, the knight of Temperance faints from hunger--the predictable result of not eating while on a three-day tour of Mammon's Cave--but learns through the experience how best to manage his nominal virtue and accomplish his errand. But we needn't look beyond the first Henriad for examples of hunger spurring action deemed, at least in context, laudable. In the first part of Henry VI, the French King Charles and his nobles openly mock "the famish'd English" for their heavy diets, supposing lack of food will undermine their siege of Orleans (1.2.9-12). Soon, however, they are astonished at the fortitude of the hungry soldiers who, "like lions wanting food, / Do rush upon us as their hungry prey" (27-28). The French wonder how such "Lean rawbon'd rascals" could have "such courage and audacity" (35-36), and predict that "hunger will enforce them to be more eager" (38). Hunger turns, in the span of a few lines, from a strategic liability to an emboldening asset. In each of these cases, the emptiness of hunger spurs something more than the desire for food: agency within the household, the restoration of the broken state, the tempering of disordered spaces, martial solidarity and efficacy--all motivations that drive characters to look beyond themselves.
This venture beyond the self represents one aspect of what Ernst Bloch describes in his Principle of Hope (1986) as the political work of hunger. Beginning with the provocative claim "We start out empty," Bloch observes that hunger betokens our dependence on the rest of the world, a dependence fueled by our desire to end the emptiness. Hunger, in other words, is the "main drive" that leads to a "rejection of deprivation, that is, to the most important expectant emotion: hope." (20) While we needn't follow Bloch's trajectory from hunger to a specifically Marxist strain of utopian thought, we can nevertheless bring to bear several facets of the hope he describes on interpretations of hunger in early modern texts. (21) While hope seeks the preservation of the self, writes Bloch, that self-preservation "ultimately means the appetite to hold ready more appropriate and more authentic states for our unfolding self, unfolding only in and as solidarity." (22) Hunger thus not only precipitates a refusal of deprivation but also extends the self toward solidarity with others. While genuine hunger seeks self-preservation through a collaborative venture beyond the self, appetitive greed, having met the immediate needs of self-preservation, seeks self-aggrandizement by depriving others. That Bloch's theory of hope allows for considerable indeterminacy where political alternatives are concerned makes it a suitable framework for interpreting 2 Henry VI, a framework that frees us from polarized critical views of the commoners as either self-defeatingly silly or authentically leveling or democratic. If we allow that anticipatory consciousness is never completely detached from the events and ideas of the past, and if we explore the rich possibilities of precisely the chaotic polyvocality with which critics have struggled, we might begin to discern the rough shapes of political alternatives informed by a diet of hunger.
In a climate of inequitable access to resources and unfair adjudication, the appearance of false beggars in Shakespeare's play comes as no surprise. The humiliation of Saunder Simpcox, a sturdy beggar who "miraculously" regains his sight at Saint Albans, highlights the feckless misrule of the upper ranks more than the disorder of the lower ranks. But this tale of sightlessness and discernment also exposes the injustice of the structures that mediate contact between the great and the meek--structures designed to keep poverty hidden in plain sight. One such structure was the English Poor Law, a massive corpus of statutes aimed at systematizing the relief of the poor. While the Law made the plight of the poor "a legitimate public issue," it assumed that poverty was inevitable and focused more on isolating the undeserving from the deserving poor than on reducing the scope of poverty in general. (23) Andreas Hyperius, whose Regiment of Pouertie (1572) influenced the English Poor Law of the late-sixteenth century, recommends "diligent searche," including detailed questioning of the allegedly poor, their family members and neighbors, as well as physical search of their lodgings and surroundings, to verify that they are "oppressed in deed with famine and penurie." (24)
The process by which Cardinal Winchester and the Dukes of Suffolk and Gloucester expose Simpcox's fraud mirrors these recommended methods of verifying the aid-worthiness of the poor. The nobles ask Simpcox questions about his blindness and lameness, ultimately catching him in the lie as he identifies the colors of Gloucester's cloak and gown and leaps over a stool to avoid being beaten (2.1.93-150). Their interview also shows how such procedures obscure the category of poverty and impede its relief. Even as Simpcox is relieved of his affected blindness, his interrogators reveal their own failed apperception as their desires obscure their view of the beggars' actual poverty. The credulous king, who took Simpcox's sight for a miracle, is disillusioned; the opportunistic Mayor of St. Albans, who looked to profit from even a false miracle, is disappointed; the strict Gloucester, who orders that Simpcox be whipped all the way to his home, is no nearer to effecting justice. (25) When Mrs. Simpcox swears, "we did it for pure need" (2.1.153), she suggests that the category of poverty--what Hyperius calls, similarly, "verie penurie"--is not reducible to merit or fraud; it requires recognition in and of itself. If the Simpcoxes' need remains hidden from the nobles and town officials, Mrs. Simpcox's parting claim makes it visible to the audience, heralding what Bloch might call a "preconscious awareness" of need unoccluded by categorical absurdities or self-interest.
Like Mrs. Simpcox's ultimately unverifiable claim, Jack Cade's rebellion is important not for the political legibility it lacks but for its openness to imagining the politically unimaginable. When Dick the Butcher requests "that the laws of England may come out of [Cade's] mouth" (4.7.6-7), he establishes Cade in the traditional role of the monarch as lex loquens, or speaking law. (26) The disappearance of the old law in favor of Cade's bucal "parliament" entails the disappearance of those policies that functioned, like the Poor Law, as deprivation. Cade affirms this break when he insists, "Away, burn all the records of the realm, my mouth shall be the parliament of England ... And henceforth all things shall be in common" (13-19). The will to burn all the records (not to mention kill all the lawyers) is a will to erase the judicial memory of the realm, leaving the new king to establish a new law informed by and uttered from the site of experienced hunger. (27)
Accordingly, Cade's first pieces of policy concern access to food: "There shall be in England, seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; the three-hoop'd pot shall have ten hoops, and I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass" (4.2.65-69). While Cade's proposal may look ridiculous, it represents an unequivocal "No to deprivation." (28) Breaking down the direct link between money and food and suggesting that his horse graze in the city's busiest commercial district, Cade seeks to free the satisfaction of biological needs from the contingencies of economic fortune. His dieting of the realm suggests a kind of dieting on the realm: the abolition of money, subsidized eating and drinking, and standard apparel provided to all irrespective of rank (72-75). Even Cade's laughable program for filling the pissing conduit with claret invites contemplation of a system where food and drink are, like water, a kind of public commons (4.6.1-6). Together, these policies use the commensality of hunger (a shared diet) and the hope it generates to foreground a vision of sharing of plenty. (29) Even if Cade's policies are ludicrous--their utopian character strained in juxtaposition to his fantasies of totalitarian rule, their highest potential sullied by the hasty violence the rebels perpetrate on the nobles, their leveling aspirations undone--their preconscious awareness of alternatives is nonetheless loosed on the occupants of the theatre, many of whom likely kept modest diets like Cade's own of "toasted cheese."
Whatever hunger Cade has known prior to his flight from the law, the hunger he experiences after three days in hiding is rendered more vividly. Having renounced ambition, he enters Iden's walled garden and confesses, "now I am so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years, I could stay no longer" (4.10.5-6). By metaphorizing his life as a leasehold he can no longer occupy, Cade once again rhetorically disrupts the relation between the satisfaction of biological needs and economic circumstances. This time, however, he reverses the previous calculus where everyone eats irrespective of fortune. Here, no economic or legal advantage can secure sustenance to prolong life; a thousand-year lease is useless if the leasehold contains nothing to eat. The sense of contingency in the word "if" conveys hunger's indifference to economic and legal status: even if he were a rich man, even if he had a legitimate claim to land, hunger could find him. Cade's hunger is not the unique companion of the criminal and the downtrodden; it threatens everyone. In this sense, Cade's status as an outlaw becomes startlingly irrelevant, and hunger a matter of universal concern not merely from an administrative perspective but from a personal, experiential one.
Cade continues to telescope his hunger outward when, starving, he gives up his cover and climbs over the garden wall "to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet another while" (4.10.7-8). Unexpectedly attentive to the healthful effects of a raw diet (when any food at all could save his life) he notes that such a meal "is not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather" (9). (30) But the generalized phrasing of "a man's stomach" suggests that Cade is not only thinking of himself. While his hunger has driven him into Iden's garden, it also drives him beyond himself to a wider commensality. This, in turn, may help to make sense of his pun on "sallet" as both food and a soldier's helmet: "many a time, but for a sallet, my brain-pan had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry and bravely marching, it hath serv'd me instead of a quart pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet' must serve me to feed on" (11-15). While a soldier's sallet may defend a private body with private interests, it also marks Cade as one among many who have been "dry and bravely marching." By identifying with those whose stomachs are heated and with soldiers--perhaps, as Fitter suggests, soldiers in the audience who had gone unpaid for their service to the Queen--Cade again broadens the commensality of hunger beyond his own criminally-induced starvation. (31) The particularity of his hunger dissolves into the systemic injustices of which it is symptomatic: injustices that extend from the ranks of ambitious lords to those of dispossessed veterans.
Cade's hunger and the multiple valences of "sallet" evoke the hunger that, according to Bloch, drives one beyond the immediate concerns of self-preservation into solidarity with others. They also bring him, recumbent and foraging, into direct contact with the soil of the garden--soil that might offer him the means to live but of which Iden is "lord." Reading this confrontation between the "lord of the soil" and Cade (who Clifford tells us knows only to live by "spoil" [4.8.39]) in terms of emerging ideas of property is certainly useful, but Cade's curse that the garden "wither" and become a "burying-place" captures the deadlock of a system that offers only these two options for habitation: lordship and spoil (4.10.63-65). While Jack Cade's "sallet" may fail to revive him in time to deliver on his promised violence to Iden, it nevertheless offers a way out of the deadlock, suggesting that a healthful subsistence can come from English soil. Indeed, the immaterial "sallet" is, as Cade says, merely a word, but it is a word that gestures toward an alternative (if inchoate) form of human habitation in which the soil is subject neither to lordship nor to spoil. "Sallet" reverberates like Mrs. Simpcox's claim of "pure need" and like the distributive vision of the rebellion; all three are hopeful visions which, though overwritten by violence, cannot be contained by it.
Even if 2 Henry VI does not tell the triumphant story of a successful rebellion, it offers a glimpse of what it means to seek alternatives to a political system characterized itself by deprivation, gridlock, and greed. When Cade claims to have been vanquished by "famine and no other," he echoes Mrs. Simpcox's defiant claim of "pure need," striving to make visible what others would keep hidden. He highlights the systemic failures of justice identified by the rebels: the fact that staying alive is linked to having money; the fact that means to live are treated as property rather than as a commons; that laws are made to safeguard the interests of the powerful. And he demands the ongoing renewal of the "No to deprivation," a principle of an as-yet-imagined order informed by the ordering, if revolting, diet of hunger. Despite the punishment of the Simpcoxes, the dispersal of the rebels, and the murder of Jack Cade, their stories circulate within the world of the play, deciding in favor of what Bloch calls "real possibility," pushing back against the tides of destiny and stagnation in a "countermove against all these deadly manifestations from the family of Nothing and against the circulation of Nothing." (32) It is precisely in their inconsistency and frequent absurdity that these countermoves reveal their relevance, gravity and urgency.
I am grateful to Gitanjali Shahani and Kimberly Coles for convening an excellent seminar on Diet and Identity at the SAA in 2011, and to the members of that seminar, especially Robert Appelbaum, Stephanie Chamberlain, and Timothy Zajac, for their insightful comments on this essay.
(1.) All Shakespeare quotations come from G. Blakemore Evans et ah, eds., The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997).
(2.) Michael Harrawood suggests that Cade conflates food with fighting in a state of confusion about his situation, resulting in the breaking apart of the similes that hold class status and ambition together. "High-Stomached Lords: Imagination, Force, and the Body in Shakespeare's Henry VI Plays," Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 7, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2007): 92.
(3.) Recent interpretations of this scene have tended to follow Stephen Greenblatt's argument that the confrontation between Iden and Cade is a portrait of the birth of property rights. Thomas Cartelli contends that Cade's confession of his wanted status traffics in "the normative positioning of'stray' and 'lord' ... in terms of mutual suspicion and hostility." I maintain that Cade's shift from fear to confrontation frays the connection between his economic legibility (as a "stray") and his political legibility (as one capable of being betrayed for a thousand crowns). Stephen Greenblatt, "Murdering Peasants: Status, Genre, and the Representation of Rebellion," Representations 1 (February 1983): 25; Thomas Cartelli, "Jack Cade in the Garden: Class Consciousness and Class Conflict in 2 Henry VI," in Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England, ed. Richard Burt and John Michael Archer (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994), 50.
(4.) OED, s.v. "hunger, n."
(5.) The project of recovering the politically ordering potential of hunger resonates with Patricia Fumerton's work on subjectivity and the mobility of the working poor. According to Fumerton, the stability, study, and introspection that characterize earlier ideas of early modern "self-fashioning" are not prerequisites for the development of a clear sense of self. She refutes any necessary connection between unsettled poverty and criminality. Unsettled: The Culture of Mobility and the Working Poor in Early Modern England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), xviii, 5.
(6.) According to Richard Helgerson, for instance, Shakespeare collated the events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 with those of Jack Cade's 1450 uprising in the interest of "Mockery, rather than any desire to foment rebellion." Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 212-13.
(7.) Annabel Patterson contends that not only are the commoners in 2 Henry VI capable of political thought, but the play itself actively participates in a tradition of social protest. In comparing 2 Henry VI to Coriolanus, Nate Eastman locates "ideas of republicanism and self-rule" in the play. Similarly, Chris Fitter argues that Shakespeare infuses his representation of Cade's 1450 rebellion with the radical savor of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, which "fought for a fundamental transformation of the entire sociopolitical system." Annabel Patterson, Shakespeare and the Popular Voice (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 37; Nate Eastman, "The Rumbling Belly Politic: Metaphorical Location and Metaphorical Government in Coriolanus," Early Modern Literary Studies 13, no. 1 (May 2007): 4-5; Chris Fitter, " 'Your Captain Is Brave and Vows Reformation': Jack Cade, the Hacket Rising, and Shakespeare's Vision of Popular Rebellion in 2 Henry VI," Shakespeare Studies 32 (2004): 177-79.
(8.) Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope, trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight, vol. I (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986), 74-75, 113.
(9.) See Ken Albala, Eating Right in the Renaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002).
(10.) OED, s.v. "diet, n."
(11.) Caroline Walker Bynum has shown how religious women of the late middle ages exercised control of their bodies and shaped their own religious experience through Eucharistic fasting; see Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), chap. 2.
(12.) Andrew Boorde, The Rreuiary of Helthe (London, 1547), viii r. Elyot similarly describes the dangers of excessive fasting. The Castel of Health (London: Thomas Marshe, 1561), 56r.
(13.) Boorde, The Rreuiary of Helthe, viii r-v.
(14.) Elyot, The Castel of Health, 17.
(15.) These words are echoed by Edward Wyngfield, who adds a graphic description of the torments of surfeit's dungeon, where gourmands are "tormented with sondrie painfull diseases, driuen, drawen, and finally drowned." Henry Wyngfield, A Compendious or Shorte Treatise, Gathered Out of the Chyefe and Principall Authors of Physycke (London, 1551), sig. Blv; Elyot, The Castel of Health, 45.
(16.) Edward Forset, A Comparative Discorse of the Bodies Natural and Politique (London, 1606), 43.
(17.) Ibid., 19.
(18.) In his study of the "high-stomached" nobles in the Henry VI plays, Harrawood also notices the disorder fueled by the nobles' appetites and ambitions. Harrawood argues that the language of digestive assimilation, retention, and concoction applies to the "power of imagination and of the very power that identifies and takes control of the world outside the body" ("High-Stomached Lords," 87).
(19.) Boorde, The Breuiary of Helthe, Cxxviii v.
(20.) Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1:11, 21.
(21.) Robert Appelbaum has done exactly this, elegantly, in Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). My approach to hunger as an ordering principle is informed by, but necessarily much narrower than Appelbaum's.
(22.) Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1:69.
(23.) See Joyce Oldham Appleby, Economic Thought and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), 150; John Walter and Roger Schofield, "Famine, Disease and Crisis Mortality in Early Modern Society," in Famine, Disease and the Social Order in Early Modern Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 31-32, 44.
(24.) Andreas Hyperius, The Regiment of Pouertie, trans. Henry Tripp (London, 1572), 33v.
(25.) On the failure of justice in 2 Henry VI, see Giuseppina Restivo, "Law and Nature in Shakespeare from Jack Cade in Henry VI to Gonzalo in The Tempest," in Shakespeare and the Law, ed. Daniela Carpi (Ravenna: Longo, 2003), 74-75.
(26.) In The Trew Law of Monarchies, King James writes that the status of kings precedes other estates of men and therefore states, their governments, and laws are devised by and subject to the king's authority. James VI and I, Political Writings, ed. Johann P. Sommerville, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 82.
(27.) As Smith and Holland remind us, "his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese" (4.7.12).
(28.) Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1:5.
(29.) Claude Grignon defines commensality as "a gathering aimed to accomplish in a collective way some material tasks and symbolic obligations linked to the satisfaction of a biological individual need." In the Cade rebellion, the shared experience of privation constitutes an exceptional commensality--one that does not necessarily share everyday commensality but one that is fostered by remarkable circumstances common to the group ("Commensality and Social Morphology: An Essay of Typology," in Food, Drink, and Identity: Cooking, Eating and Drinking in Europe Since the Middle Ages, ed. Peter Scholliers (New York: Berg, 2001), 24, 27-28.).
(30.) English medical writers treat the subject of raw vegetables suspiciously on the whole, but they tend to concur on the cooling effects of most herbs and greens. See Albala, Eating Right in the Renaissance, 110, 199, 249; Elyot, The Castel of Health, 18r; Wyngfield, A Compendious or Shorte Treatise, sig. C2r.
(31.) Chris Fitter argues that Cade works his status as a former soldier to elicit sympathy from veterans in the audience. "'Your Captain Is Brave and Vows Reformation': Jack Cade, the Hacket Rising, and Shakespeare's Vision of Popular Rebellion in 2 Henry VI," 207.
(32.) Bloch, The Principle of Hope, 1:200.
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|Title Annotation:||FORUM: Diet and Identity in Shakespeare's England|
|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2014|
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