Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: theatre

  • Bad blood: The drama of bloodshed

    Emily BoyleDublin, Ireland In some professions, bloodstained clothing is a normal part of the job. The two jobs that come to mind principally are a butcher and a vascular surgeon, although the latter would probably prefer not to be associated with the former! In vascular surgery not every operation results in bloodstained scrubs, although for…

  • Bigger than a black box

    Valeri Lantz-Gefroh Texas, United States   Teaching in very different classrooms – at the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and dozens of top medical schools, hospitals, and universities. I am an actor, director, and acting teacher. And my theater is a medical school in Texas. “Wait, what?” My life in the last…

  • Ending one’s life on the stage

    Angela BelliNew York City, New York, United States Writers and physicians often share the same sensibilities and skills required to describe the disease process and its wider effects. But while the literary artist, unlike the physician, relies on his imagination to realize the experience of his fictional characters, he can also engage the imagination and…

  • “Breath of life you’ll be to me”—The portrayal of tuberculosis in the opera La Traviata

    Judith WagnerMunich, Germany The white half-round of the stage is illuminated with an eerie blue light. The only prop is a large clock on the right-hand side. A dark figure is seated beside it. The door on the left opens and the heroine—clad all in red—enters the stage. Strings accompany her appearance with a low…

  • Anatomical ghosts in The Merchant of Venice

    Mauro Spicci Antonio and the dangers of self-diagnosis In the last few years the steadily growing number of attempts to read Shakespeare’s plays from a medical perspective has been justified by the idea that they are not simply the immortal fruits of a genius, but also documents reflecting the historical, cultural, and social background of…