his article examines recent critical approaches to Shakespeare and the senses. Historicizing the senses has posed certain methodological challenges: what is the relationship between subjective sensory perceptions and broader cultural understandings of sensation? Does the sensate have a history? Recent work on each of the five senses demonstrates that the answer is yes. And, surprisingly, Shakespeare and his literary works are at the center of the field. As an important figure of the English literary canon, yet one about whom we know so very little, Shakespeare’s sensory archive is both omnipresent and illusive. Shakespearean sensations thus provide a way of grappling with the larger methodological stakes of this field. This article examines a wide range of critical approaches to Shakespeare’s sensory archive and ends by considering possible paths for further research.
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