The conventional discourse of the body politic assumed a peculiar resonance during the French religious wars due to the unique identification of the king with the well-being of his kingdom. The duality of this relationship was echoed in the language and imagery of corporeal rhetoric which infused the declarations of all sides during the conflict. The combined threat of heresy and civil war, and the shared imperative to defend the unity and integrity of the kingdom, lent a renewed relevance, but also a profound discord, to this rhetoric. While opinions differed about the best means to cure France's ills—the royal policy of pacification being the most controversial of them—monarchical authority was bolstered by the king's undisputed role as head of the body politic and protector of, and physician to, his realm. \u
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