Chapter 1, "Technology, language, physiology", explores how the imprint was conceptualised in early modern English culture, and how it was used as a conceptual tool in theories of art, knowledge and reproduction. Technologies and metaphors of impression, it argues, were integral to ideas (both old and new) about language and rhetoric, epistemology and sensory experience, the mind-body relationship, and the transformative impact of drama on audiences and readers. Following a discussion of the material and social relationships between the reproductive technologies of sealing, coining and printing, the chapter considers the lexicons of the language of impression and investigates early modern metaphor theory. Finally, it examines medical and spiritual beliefs that suggest the human subject was understood to think, sense, communicate and breed by giving and receiving physiological impressions.