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Medicine Matters in Five Comedies of Shakespeare

From the Renaissance Context to a Reading of the Plays


Luisa Camaiora and Andrea A. Conti

The book examines the presence of medicine matters in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and documents how the theme of medicine can acquire particular importance for the interpretation of the plays: namely, it matters. Andrea A. Conti provides information on certain aspects of the medical context of the Renaissance, effecting the essential connections with previous and subsequent periods and furnishing the necessary background for the understanding of the state of the art of medicine at the time. Luisa Camaiora presents a close reading of the comedies, and identifies for each a specific and dominant medical facet, then proposed as a structural key for the analysis of the plays. The medical motifs enucleated determine the critical perspective for the discussion of the dramatic characters and events and for the interpretation of the overall meaning and significance of the single works. Features and references related to the sphere of medicine, identified in the comedies, are also commented upon and examined in the context of this medical reading of the plays.

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natur, wissenschaft und die künste

nature, science et les arts

nature, science and the arts

Edited by

Julia Burbulla, Bernd Nicolai, Ana-Stanca Tabarasi-Hoffmann, Philip Ursprung & Wolf Wucherpfennig

Nature, Science and the Arts is an international scholarly series dealing with the history of cultural interplay between arts, humanities, natural sciences and technology, both on the level of theoretical reflection and in artistic enunciations. It is not restricted to any particular epoch, society, medium or region. By publishing contributions to this new interdisciplinary research area, the series illuminates the traditional connection between two ways of interpreting the world, a connection that has been largely marginalized since Wilhelm Dilthey’s strict dissociation between humanities and natural sciences.

Julia BurbullaAllumfassende Ordnung. Gartenkunst und Wissenschaft in Gotha unter Ernst II. von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg (1772–1804).ISBN 978-3-0343-0038-4. 2010.

James KingBeyond The Great Wave. The Japanese Landscape Print, 1727–1960.ISBN 978-3-0343-0317-0. 2010.

Sabine Flach, Daniel Margulies & Jan Söffner (eds) Habitus in Habitat I. Emotion and Motion.ISBN 978-3-0343-0530-3. 2010.

Sabine Flach & Jan Söffner (eds)Habitus in Habitat II. Other Sides of Cognition.ISBN 978-3-0343-0531-0. 2010.

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