Humanities

Contagion through the lens of Shakespeare

Relating COVID-19 to contagion

Relating COVID-19 to contagion

Contagion and the Shakespearean StageOpens in new window(Palgrave Macmillan), is a collection of essays that explores what constituted contagion in the minds of early theater-goers in the absence of modern germ theory. 

The essays are co-edited byMary Floyd-WilsonOpens in new window, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor and chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

The essays consider how playwrights and early modern audiences understood what constituted contagion at this time in the absence of modern germ theory. Some contributors examine proto-scientific theories, such as miasma. 

With COVID-19 becoming a very real part of everyone’s lives right now, there are lessons individuals can learn from examining these essays that everyone can apply to how we are all feeling today in the midst of this pandemic. 

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