Totting up the deaths by this and that in Shakespeare’s plays

This pie chart shows the relative numbers of deaths — due to different causes — that happen on stage in William Shakespeare’s plays. In this tallying, death by being-baked-into-pie is as frequent as death-by-hanging. (The pie death occurs in Titus Andronicus.)

shakespeare deaths

The chart was, reportedly, assembled in connection with a new play in which all those deaths — 74 in total — are re-enacted in a single play written by persons other than Shakespeare. The play, called “The Complete Deaths“, produced by the British company Spymonkey, is scheduled to premiere in May 2016. (Thanks to Alice Dreger and Deborah Blum for bringing this to our attention.) One critic professes to be full of huff about this.

Others have attempted to compile and to some extent analyze some of the death-by-Shakespeare data. One effort is documented in this medical study:

Faints, fits, and fatalities from emotion in Shakespeare’s characters: survey of the canon,” Kenneth W. Heaton, British Medical Journal, 333(7582), December 26, 2015, pp. 1335–1338.

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