Death By Shakespeare Book Review

Death By Shakespeare Book Review

Everybody dies, (*spoiler alert*) but in Shakespeare’s day it was a normal part of life.

We now seem to shy away from the subject of death, but in the early 17th century it was a very public affair.

Regular swathes of the Plague and other nasty diseases regularly swept through the land, killing both rich and the poor alike. With Elizabethan medicine being a gamble at best, and public executions being the best way to spend a morning, people didn’t shy away from their own mortality and delighted in the spectacle of others snuffing it.

Shakespeare wasn’t afraid to give the people what they wanted and delve into the violent, deadly on stage, his creative ways of making characters clock it (and his surprising knowledge of medicine at the time) surely contributed to his lasting popularity over the past 400 years.

This fun and informative book comes with a healthy heft of facts. Death By Shakespeare explores his most notable ways to bump people off and investigates the science behind how his characters shuffled off their mortal coils.

Can you really kill someone by pouring poison into their ear?

What happens if you’re bitten by an Asp? (Don’t try it)

How easy was it to rip Cinna the Poet apart?

Can you literally die of grief?

Full of dry wit and fun facts, this is an excellent read for those who want to know what death was like in Shakespeare’s time and how he translated it onto the stage.

This book is deliciously dark and makes merry of the morbid, do your inner emo a favour and give this book a bash, you won’t regret it.

Reviewed by Kim (Visitor Operations Supervisor)


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