How Shakespeare Spun Tragedy And Comedy From An Epidemic

In Act 3 of “Romeo and Juliet,” Mercutio delivers the line “a plague on both your houses.” And while it’s a cutting insult, living with the constant dread of illness was, in those days, a part of daily life. Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how an epidemic influenced the Bard’s “words, words, words.” His article in The New Yorker is “What Shakespeare Actually Wrote About the Plague.”