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Death By Shakespeare

  • Fester Einband
  • 368 Seiten
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Shakespeare found 74 different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions - shock, sadnes... Weiterlesen
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Beschreibung

Shakespeare found 74 different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions - shock, sadness, fear - that they did over 400 years ago when these plays were first performed. But how realistic are these deaths, and did Shakespeare have the science to back them up?In the Bard's day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre was a fairly likely scenario. Death is one of the major themes that reoccurs constantly throughout Shakespeare's canon, and he certainly didn't shy away from portraying the bloody reality of death on the stage. He didn't have to invent gruesome or novel ways to kill off his characters when everyday experience provided plenty of inspiration. Shakespeare's era was also a time of huge scientific advance. The human body, its construction and how it was affected by disease came under scrutiny, overturning more than a thousand years of received Greek wisdom, and Shakespeare himself hinted at these new scientific discoveries and medical advances in his writing, such as circulation of the blood and treatments for syphilis. Kathryn Harkup, best-selling author of A for Arsenic and expert on the more gruesome side of science, turns her expertise to Shakespeare and the varied and creative methods he used to kill off his characters. Is death by snakebite really as serene as Shakespeare makes out? How can Juliet appear dead for 72 hours only to revive in perfect health? Can you really kill someone by pouring poison in their ear? How long would it take before Lady Macbeth died from lack of sleep? Readers will find out exactly how all the iconic death scenes that have thrilled audiences for centuries would play out in real life.

Serious scholarship meets horrid histories. Kathryn Harkup located Death by Shakespeare within the contexts of science and medicine, health and safety, crime and punishment, and in the process gives us tour de force descriptions of Juliet's deep coma, Cleopatra's asp, Ophelia's drowning and the carnage at Agincourt, among other celebrated exits. It's a good read - never morbid, and full of insights into the Tudor way of death and how far we've come.

Vorwort
An in-depth look at the science behind the creative methods Shakespeare used to kill off his characters

Autorentext

Kathryn Harkup



Zusammenfassung
William Shakespeare found dozens of different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions - shock, sadness, fear - that they did more than 400 years ago when these plays were first performed. But how realistic are these deaths, and did Shakespeare have the knowledge to back them up? In the Bard's day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre were high. It was also a time of important scientific progress. Shakespeare kept pace with anatomical and medical advances, and he included the latest scientific discoveries in his work, from blood circulation to treatments for syphilis. He certainly didn't shy away from portraying the reality of death on stage, from the brutal to the mundane, and the spectacular to the silly. Elizabethan London provides the backdrop for Death by Shakespeare, as Kathryn Harkup turns her discerning scientific eye to the Bard and the varied and creative ways his characters die. Was death by snakebite as serene as Shakespeare makes out? Could lack of sleep have killed Lady Macbeth? Can you really murder someone by pouring poison in their ear? Kathryn investigates what actual events may have inspired Shakespeare, what the accepted scientific knowledge of the time was, and how Elizabethan audiences would have responded to these death scenes. Death by Shakespeare will tell you all this and more in a rollercoaster of Elizabethan carnage, poison, swordplay and bloodshed, with an occasional death by bear-mauling for good measure.

Produktinformationen

Titel: Death By Shakespeare
Untertitel: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts
Autor:
EAN: 9781472958228
ISBN: 978-1-4729-5822-8
Format: Fester Einband
Herausgeber: Bloomsbury
Genre: Naturwissenschaften allgemein
Anzahl Seiten: 368
Gewicht: g
Größe: H216mm x B135mm
Jahr: 2020