What is a Carnal Emblem?

carnal embrace

What exactly is a carnal embrace? Septimus is asked by Thomasina to define this act. He tells her that the act is the insertion of a male genital into a female’s genitals. Thomasina is confused, but she does not give up hope. Septimus explains that the act is sexual intercourse. This article explores the concept of carnal embrace in more detail.

The play is set in the Victorian period. At a stately manor, Septimus teaches an English lesson to his students. He sits on a plain, large table and a tortoise named Septimus sits on the table. One student asks Septimus to explain the term. Septimus does not answer the question of what it means to hug meat, but tells the student about the bad poem Mr. Chater had written.