Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: July ::
Re: Seizure Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0634  Thursday, 9 July 1998.

[1]     From:   Susan Medina <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Jul 1998 15:26:44 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Seizure Question

[2]     From:   Billy Houck <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Jul 1998 16:23:27 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0631  Epilepsy

[3]     From:   Nick Sharp <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 09 Jul 1998 09:31:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0631  Questions, Questions, Questions


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan Medina <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jul 1998 15:26:44 EDT
Subject:        Re: Seizure question

It may not be as helpful as others, but there are two texts I can think
of with characters that have seizures.  Caesar in Julius Caesar is said
to be prone to seizures.  I don't recall him actually having a episode
in the play, but it is mentioned.  Also, Christ was rumored by some to
have been epileptic.  This is pointed up in the novel, The Last
Temptation of Christ.  Epilepsy, of course, was seen by many in past
eras as a sign of contact with the divine-being "touched by the gods".
As far as medical texts contemporary with Shakespeare that discuss this,
I'm afraid I can be of no help.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jul 1998 16:23:27 EDT
Subject: 9.0631  Epilepsy
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0631  Epilepsy

>My question is about Othello's seizure.  Can anyone suggest some helpful
>background reading for me and my students on how seizures (epilepsy??)
>were "read" or understood popularly and in medical treatises?  And does
>anyone know another play that features a character with a seizure?

Paul Zindel's THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN IN THE MOON MARIGOLDS is
the only other play with seizures I can think of right off. When we did
OTHELLO here last spring, some of the kids in the cast were (or had
family members who were) epileptic, and warned about offensive
stereotypes of twitchy, mouth foaming tongue-biters.

Also, Shakespeare apparently coined the adjective "epileptic" in King
Lear.

Billy Houck

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Sharp <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 09 Jul 1998 09:31:14 -0400
Subject: 9.0631  Questions, Questions, Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0631  Questions, Questions, Questions

In response to Jan Stirm's question regarding seizures, I would suggest
trying Toronto's Early Modern English Dictionaries Database (EMEDD) at
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/english/emed/patterweb.html.

When I entered "falling" followed by "sickness" in the "patterweb"
search engine, I got several useful citations from Bullokar's 1616 word
list, and other, later entries.

The phrase "falling sickness" comes, of course, from JULIUS CAESAR
I.ii., where Cassius uses it to characterize Caesar's seizure in the
forum.

Nick Sharp
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.