The social function of sex scandal is regulatory, not emancipatory. The Queen Caroline Affair, in which the future George IV persecuted his wife for alleged infidelity, largely cleaved to a domestic narrative that denied the unruly otherness of the queen’s body and of the public embodied in her. This privatizing tendency, attributable to Caroline’s opponents and supporters alike, is treated critically in James and Leigh Hunt’s Examiner and satirically in Percy Shelley’s drama Oedipus Tyrannus or Swellfoot the Tyrant. Shelley’s imagery of consumption, digestion and excretion helps him envision, albeit with difficulty, a public-spiritedness that would replace a culture of scandal with one founded on loving sacrifice.