English Seminar: “Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England – School of Art Communication and English English Seminar: “Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England – School of Art Communication and English

English Seminar: “Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England

“Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England

Presenter: Claire Hansen and Bríd Phillips

Abstract:

In early modern English culture, extreme or excess emotion could overcharge a heart, leading to potentially fatal heartbreak. In this paper, we examine the representation of heartbreak in early modern England through the lens of a modern medical understanding of Takotsubo Syndrome, otherwise known as “heartbreak syndrome”. This syndrome is understood to describe acute cardiomyopathy brought on by extreme emotional triggers such as grief. We will explore the links between early modern medical discourse around heartbreak with our contemporary knowledge of Takotsubo Syndrome, and then apply these ideas to instances of heartbreak in William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and King Lear. Analysis of these plays illuminates how Shakespeare utilises the image of the broken heart as both metaphor and physical manifestation, exploring diverse ways of preventing, responding to and managing breaking hearts and the causes of Takotsubo Syndrome.

Claire Hansen is a Lecturer in English at the Australian National University. She is also a researcher on the Shakespeare Reloaded project and holds an honorary virtual Fellowship with the Centre for History of Emotions (2022). Her research interests include Shakespeare and early modern drama, ecocriticism, the blue humanities and the health humanities. She is a co-chair of the Blue Humanities Lab and a co-founder of the health humanities project, The Heart of the Matter. Claire’s current project explores place-based approaches to Shakespeare and her second book, Shakespeare and Place-Based Learning, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

Dr Bríd Phillips is a senior lecturer at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. She has a PhD in Shakespearean Studies and her research has been supported by the Australian Research Council, Centre of Excellence for The History of Emotions. Recent publications include her monograph, Shakespeare and Emotional Expression: Finding Feeling through Colour, published by Routledge in 2022 and Hamlet and Emotions, edited with Paul Megna and Robert White (2019). Bríd also has an extensive clinical background in Emergency Nursing. Her research interests include: late medieval and early modern literature especially Shakespearean Studies; history of emotions; health humanities; medical humanities; narrative medicine; ageing; empathy; compassion.

 


Venue

This particular event will be held online via Zoom only.

Contact: Liam Semler (liam.semler@sydney.edu.au).

 

English Research Seminars in Semester 1

18 May

Zoom only

Claire Hansen (ANU) and Bríd Phillips (ECU), ‘“Wilt break my heart?” Manifestations of Broken Heart Syndrome in Shakespeare and Early Modern England.’
25 May

Zoom only

SPECIAL TIME 6-7.30pm

Tom Sykes (University of Portsmouth, UK), ‘Pearl of the Orientalists: Western Writers and Reporters on Manila from the Spanish Colonial Era to the Contemporary “Drug War.”’

 

Co-hosted by Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and the English Department.

1 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Julia Cooper Clark, ‘Porous Bodies and Fluid Subjectivity in the Poetry of Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Natalie Diaz.’
15 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Marc Mierowsky, ‘Daniel Defoe on Naturalization’
29 June

Woolley Common Room and Zoom

Freya MacDonald, ‘Species extinction, vanishing limbs, Instagram, and Bushfires: an ecocritical reading of existentialism in the Anthropocene in Richard Flanagan’s The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.’

AND

Kira Legaan, ‘The Body and the Page: The Challenge of Adaptation.’

Date

May 18 2022
Expired!

Time

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

More Info

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Location

Via Zoom
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