What is it about sex, death and Shakespeare? The ‘star-cross’d’ love of Romeo and Juliet is always headed for the tomb. Cleopatra’s culminating act is when she puts the asp to her breast, and dies with ‘joy of the worm’. Othello smothers Desdemona on the unstained sheets of their marital bed, smelling and kissing her sleeping form as though the whole gruesome thing were a cleansing act of love.

Professor Simon Palfrey is co-author of ‘Shakespeare’s Dead’, which explores the stages of death in Shakespeare’s playworlds. Join him for a talk that will explore Shakespeare’s take on the deepest love affair of all.

About The Author

Simon Palfrey

Simon Palfrey is professor of English literature at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. As well as his new novel, ‘Macbeth, Macbeth’ (written with Ewan Fernie) his books include ‘Doing Shakespeare’; ‘Shakespeare’s Possible Worlds’; ‘Poor Tom: living King Lear’; and ‘Shakespeare’s Dead’ (with Emma Smith), a book to accompany the major 2016 Bodleian Library exhibition.