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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Carnal Knowledge


Wendy Doniger explores how the concepts of carnal knowledge and carnal ignorance–the result of sexual betrayal, infidelity, and lies about sexual identity–are expressed in the Hebrew Bible, ancient Sanskrit literature, Shakespeare, and contemporary Hollywood film. In particular, she investigates the tension between carnal knowledge and carnal ignorance as it is expressed in the mythology of the bedtrick (that is, sex with someone who pretends to be someone else).

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