Monday, April 23, 2012

Shakespeare's Most Disturbing Deaths

I'm not sure what definition of "disturbing" the Huffington Post used, but the usual suspects are all here in their list of Shakespeare's Most Disturbing Deaths.

Lavinia of course, and Cordelia. Dedemona. All disturbing in their own different ways.

Macbeth?  Well, I suppose.  We see Macduff walking around with his head later.  That's pretty disturbing.

Hamlet's dad.  Hamlet's dad?  He doesn't even die in the course of the play!  He makes the list because of the ghost's *description* of how he died.  Ummm.....that's a bit of a cop out.

Cleopatra? After admitting that she dies happily (and voluntarily)? You put her on your list of disturbing deaths just because "we think it'd be a pretty bad way to go"?  I call shenanigans.

What do you think? In their padding of a few questionable entries, did they miss any better, more disturbing deaths? 

This posting marathon, in celebration of Shakespeare Day, is brought to you by nothing but my time, my resources, and my love for the subject. While we'll always be the original Shakespeare blog, it takes a significant amount of effort to make us the best in the digital universe.  If you've not yet seen how you can show your support, now's a great opportunity.  If you've already done so, thanks very much!


Cass said...

I would think Antony's death more disturbing than Cleopatra's, considering how badly he botches his suicide and that it goes through a few almost-comic moments before he actually dies.

I would put Cloten on that list. Dude not only gets beheaded, but his headless corpse then figures as a key plot point.

Oooh, and Suffolk! Beheaded by pirates, and then Margaret carries his head around for a while, which is just all kinds of messed up.

(Also did you notice they totally screwed up the summary on Aaron's death?)

Christian H said...

What about Falstaff, Bardolph, and Nym? Not "disturbing" in the sense of "gross," but in the sense of "out of keeping with what seems to be the genre and tone" and/or "unjust and cruel." Bardolp and Nym are executed in what sometimes looks like a comedy (people are supposed to be granted last-minutes pardons in this kind of play!), and Falstaff dies on the heels of his rejection in 2 Henry IV.

Kate P said...

I know you touch on drowning in another post, but I'll never forget the first (of many) times I read Hamlet (9th grade!) and was just floored when Ophelia drowned.

Enjoying all the posts. :)

Gwen said...

I would say the death of the King of France in Love's Labour's Lost is pretty disturbing--not because it's particularly painful or emotional (he's never on stage and is earlier described as "decrepit, sick, and bedrid") but because of the way it completely changes the tone of the play.