Shakespeare and bioethics


Shakespeare may appear to be unimportant and irrelevant in bioethics. Yet the latest editorial published in The Lancet suggests the Bard is more significant for the discipline than some may think. 

“Shakespeare has appeared in 1200 Lancet publications… A keen observer of people, events, and ideas, Shakespeare excelled in the ability to distil their essence into characters and situations that remain recognisable today. In such contexts, familiarity with the human experience overpowers the unfamiliarity of language, and invites audiences to interpret the situation based on personal experience: be that as politician, sociologist, or clinician.” 

Shakespeare, say the Lancet's editors, was a playwright with a profound grasp on human morality:

“At their heart, Shakespeare's plays and poems explore humanity. Tales told with empathy about the struggles of human nature and passions; how all can be lost by poor choices or calamitous circumstance or, sometimes, gained by fortuitous external intervention. Just like the tales at the heart of health care.”



MORE ON THESE TOPICS | ethics, medicine and the humanities

This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

 
 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 
comments powered by Disqus