National Library of Medicine Exhibit on Display

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) is pleased to present the latest traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and the Folger Shakespeare Library:

And there’s the Humor of it:
Shakespeare and the Four Humors
July 26 – September 2, 2016, Upper Level, EHSL
four humors poster

Mark your calendar for a special Evening Ethics discussion:

“Melancholia Revisited: Humoral Psychology in Shakespeare’s Plays” with Mark Matheson, D. Phil
Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 5:30PM – 7PM
History of Medicine Room, EHSL

Light refreshments will be served.  CME credit is offered.

Check out the Blog Post and Facebook Event. Download and post the flyer in your department.

And there’s even more … In addition to the exhibit and the evening ethics discussion, there will be self-directed scavenger hunts, coloring pages, crossword puzzles, personality quizzes, word searches, and a jigsaw puzzle here at the library for your enjoyment.  Come on over and check it out!

 About the Exhibition:

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) created characters that are among the richest and most humanly recognizable in all of literature. Yet Shakespeare understood human personality in the terms available to his age—that of the now-discarded theory of the four bodily humors –blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm. These four humors were understood to define peoples’ physical and mental health, and determined their personality, as well.

The language of the four humors pervades Shakespeare’s plays and their influence is felt above all in a belief that emotional states are physically determined. Carried by the bloodstream, the four humors bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope, and fear—the emotions conveyed so powerfully in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies. Curator Gail Kern Paster explains “The four humors were an early typology for human personality. Shakespeare uses them, even as he transcends them, to create the vivid characters whose emotions continue to fascinate and delight us.”

“And there’s the humor of it”: Shakespeare and the four humors explores the role played by the four humors in several of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays through beautiful imagery and rare books from both the National Library of Medicine and the Folger Shakespeare Library, and examines more modern interpretations of the four humors in contemporary medicine.

For more information, please download the exhibition brochure and visit the website.

by: Joan Gregory, Associate Director for Information Resources and Facilities & Shelli King, Executive Secretary