How about a book on the subject of suicide in Shakespeare? On that subject alone, how many suicides can you name? I saw it and figured Brutus, Cassius, Othello, Romeo and Juliet…then had to think about it. Ophelia, maybe?
The book focuses on patterns of suicide present in six Shakespearean tragedies: “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “King Lear,” “Timon of Athens,” “Othello” and “Julius Caesar.”
No mention of R&J. Interesting. What about Lear? Is he going to talk about what happens strictly in the last scene? I can’t honestly remember whether Regan poisons Goneril and then kills herself, or it’s the other way around. And are we to take Kent’s “My master calls me, I must not say no” as his impending suicide? That’s how I’ve always assumed it.
The inclusion of Hamlet makes me assume that he’s speaking of Ophelia, although I think her state of mind would make any conclusions about suicide somewhat questionable.
What of Macbeth? Does it ever clearly say that Lady M kills herself? I’m looking at the MIT version of the text right now and it goes straight from “The queen my lord is dead” right into to-morrow and to-morrow, with no real explanation in between.