Email Plaintext

I’m interested in viewing emails without “opening” them up. In other words, I’d like to view the the “plaintext”, or text that an email is composed of – being able to see the html or whatever else lies in the plaintext. The whole point is to not use any html, javascript, or whatever else would be “activated” by the computer once the email is opened – in effect, veiwing the entire email in text without the process of starting a virus.

Is this possible? Which programs or applications can do this? How can we do this?