Contagion through the lens of Shakespeare

Contagion and the Shakespearean Stage (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 by Mary Floyd-Wilson, 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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