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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: January ::
Re: Shakespearean Suicides
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0181  Friday, 28 January 2000.

[1]     From:   Marti Markus <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 17:49:34 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

[2]     From:   Frank Whigham <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 11:07:32 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 09:09:32 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

[4]     From:   Chyrel Remmers <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 11:29:17 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marti Markus <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 17:49:34 +0100
Subject: 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

> In consideration of the supposed suicide of Ophelia in Hamlet, as well
> as the Prince's own monologue on self-slaughter, I am looking for
> direction on other cases of suicide in Shakespeare's texts.
>
> Thanks,
> Andy Drewry

Timon of Athens, Antony, Enobarbus (sort of), Cleopatra, Portia, Brutus,
Cassius, Pyramus and Thisbe, Romeo and Juliet...

A double or triple suicide is proposed in Titus Andronicus, V.3.128ff,
but it does not take place:

"Have we [=Marcus and Lucius - maybe Young Lucius, too] done aught
amiss, show us wherein / And from the place where you behold us
pleading, / The poor remainder of Andronici / Will hand in hand all
headlong hurl ourselves / And on the ragged stones beat forth our souls
/ And make a mutual closure of our house. / Speak, Romans, speak, and if
you say, we shall, / Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall."

Suicide is, as it seems, mainly a classic, heathen (or at least Italian)
way of leaving the stage. Could it be a question of climate rather than
religion? English people head south (blind Gloucester's attempt in Lear
on the cliffs of Dover) but remain unsuccessful. Hamlet is therefore
quite safe north-north-west.

M. Marti, Basel, North-West of Switzerland

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 11:07:32 -0600
Subject: 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

Also check: McDonald, Michael, and Terence R. Murphy. Sleepless Souls:
Suicide in Early Modern England. Oxford, 1990.

Frank Whigham

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 09:09:32 -0800
Subject: 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0175 Shakespearean Suicides

Andy Drewry asks:

>In consideration of the supposed suicide of Ophelia in Hamlet, as well
>as the Prince's own monologue on self-slaughter, I am looking for
>direction on other cases of suicide in Shakespeare's texts.

I'm sure you'll be inundated with answers, ranging from Roman generals
to Veronan teenagers, but it strikes me that the most interesting is
probably Gloucester, since he fails.

Cheers,
Se

 

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