Shakespeare and the four humors – new library exhibit

Shakespeare by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library

A traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine will be on display in the Gallery November 24, 2014 – January 3, 2015.

And there’s the humor of it: Shakespeare and the four humors” explores the role played by the four humors – blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm – in several of William Shakespeare’s most beloved plays.  In Shakespeare’s time, the four humors were used to define people’s physical and mental health, and determined their personality as well.

In addition to the panels from the National Library of Medicine the Health Sciences Library will also be displaying the following in the Gallery:

  • Artifacts related to bleeding – In the Elizabethan world, blood was seen as having great power.  Bleeding was used to treat inflammation, fever, and all sorts of diseases and injuries.  View lancets and other  artifacts related to bleeding.
  • Browse some of Shakespeare’s works – Copies of The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew will be available.  Take a quick break from studying to read some Shakespeare!
  • Take a selfie – With Shakespeare or with a Shakespeare quote.  Be sure to use our hashtags – #CUHSLFourHumors #CUHSLibrary

This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and the Folger Shakespeare Library.