This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the subject of rhetorics of bodily disease and health, medieval to early modern. As the cover illustration for this chapter illustrates, writers from antiquity to early modernity often created bodily metaphors, analogies, and allegories demonstrating links they perceived between the microcosm and macrocosm. To avoid interpreting King Lear in terms of its apparent message of the haunting connections between evil, women, and chaos, Rees argues that the ethical critic needs to confront the rhetorical demonizing of women in the play in order to combat it. In addition to his treatment of Burton, he focuses on many who discuss the passions such as Sir Thomas Elyot, Levinus Lemnius, Francis Bacon, Edward Reynolds, Ren Descartes, Thomas Wright, Thomas Walkington, and Timothy Bright.