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Title: "Is There No Meat Above?": The Story of Starvation, Cannibalism, Corpse Drugs and Divine Matter in 'The Sea Voyage'
Contributor(s): Noble, Louise (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: 'The Sea Voyage' performs the story of meat in which the imagery of meat is repeatedly literalized. The play's preoccupation with meat and how it should be understood draws our attention to the role of stories in our lives and their ideological possibilities. Fletcher and Massinger remind us that how we understand our place in the world, our histories, and our beliefs, have to do with stories. A story of shipwreck and survival, complete with the predictable hardships of starvation and deprivation, provides the figurative energy for what unfolds in the play. Within this frame meat constitutes the essential food for the starving castaways. The story of meat that the play performs is underpinned by that much older story of meat that, for centuries, provided hope and salvation for believers: the story of Christ's body as meat in the Eucharist sacrament. This is reinforced by the numerous references to Roman Catholic accoutrements and rituals in the play. However any attempt to read meat as divine matter is repeatedly denied by the play's insistence on a purely culinary reading of meat. In this paper I argue that, if we consider the ingested Eucharist sacrament as divine meat for the shipwrecked soul, then 'The Sea Voyage' performs an alternative story in which meat becomes simply food for the shipwrecked body. In these terms then the story of meat in 'The Sea Voyage' is an overwhelmingly Protestant one.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association (Special Issue: Refereed Proceedings of the 2007 AULLA Conference: Cultural Interactions in the Old and New Worlds), p. 255-262
Publisher: Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISSN: 0001-2793
Field of Research (FOR): 200503 British and Irish Literature
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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