Elizabethan Melancholy

An epidemic of melancholy was sweeping through England during the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. It seemed to target the educated class in particular. The extensive concern with this malady finds its reflection appearing frequently in Hamlet. What follows is an examination of some of the ways the medical, psychological, social and moral aspects of melancholy are reflected in Shakespeare's play.

1.  Introduction
2.  Black Bile and other Humors
3.  On the Causes of Melancholy
4.  Some Cures for Melancholy
5.  Melancholy as Ethical Vice
6.  Three Common Faces of Melancholy
     a.  The Forlorn Lover
     b.  The Political Malcontent
     c.  The Intellectual
7.  Performing Melancholy
8.  Romantic Melancholy