Word: Naked

NAKED: Without clothes (NAKEDNESS, noun form)
Interestingly, when I looked up the word NAKEDNESS in the OED, among
the four choices I was given was ‘fig leaf.’

This term is used in a number of ways throughout the Qur’an, the story
of Genesis in the New American Standard Bible, and though the word is
not directly used in The Winter’s Tale, nor in Rousseau’s Confessions,
its implications still hold weight.

Whether we examine the term in light of the Qur’an or the Bible, the
same idea is iterated: Since the story of Genesis offers itself as
predating all humanity, there was no such thing as nakedness, and for
that matter, no such thing as clothing, since clothing, or the fig leaf
or whatever we choose, must necessarily cover up our nakedness, until
Adam and Eve had their eyes “opened, and they knew that they were
naked. (3:7)” In both accounts of man’s fall from grace, this
realization causes the humans to cover themselves. Nakedness thus
becomes not only the figurative vulnerability to sin, but the physical
manifestation of the knowledge of sin. It is the catalyst for shame,
and ever has been; shame at knowing what the implications of nakedness
are, at the knowledge of sex, and so on. In fact, so much is intimated
at in The Winter’s Tale when Polixenes says to Hermione, “Temptations
have since been born to’s (1.2.l78)” referring to the women that have
tempted them since he and Leontes were boys, and free from all but
original sin. Though he jests, he implies that women are the root of
this knowledge of sex, they are the temptresses, just as Eve tempted
Adam. They are perhaps, the awakeners of that sad knowledge of

Post by Amanda Morales

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