From March 16-April 25, 2015, Edward G. Miner Library will host the National Library of Medicine’s exhibit, “And There’s the Humor of It” Shakespeare and the Four Humors.”
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) created characters that are among the richest and most humanly recognizable in all of literature. Yet Shakespeare understood human personality in the terms available to his age—that of the now-discarded theory of the four bodily humors—blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm. These four humors were thought to define peoples’ physical and mental health, and determined their personalities, as well. “And There’s the Humor of It” Shakespeare and the Four Humors explores the language of the four humors that bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope, and fear—the emotions conveyed so powerfully in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies.
There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, March 25, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Miner Library. The exhibit’s co-curator, Theodore Brown, Ph.D., Professor of History and Medical Humanities and Phelps Professor of Public Health and Policy at the University of Rochester, will give opening remarks.
This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
We gratefully acknowledge support from the University Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies Human Values in Health Care Cluster.