Culture Magazine

Digging Up Shakespeare

By Gerard @presurfer
Digging Up Shakespeareimage credit
South African anthropologist Francis Thackeray, the director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, has asked permission to open the graves of William Shakespeare and his family to determine, among other things, what killed the Bard and whether his poems and plays may have been composed under the influence of marijuana.
But while Shakespeare's skeleton could reveal clues about his health and death, the question of the man's drug use depends on the presence of hair, fingernails or toenails in the grave. Thackeray conducted a study which found evidence of marijuana residue on pipe fragments found in Shakespeare's garden. Some Shakespearian allusions, including a mention of a 'noted weed' in Sonnet 76, spurred Thackeray's inquiry into whether William Shakespeare may have used the mind-altering drug for inspiration.The Presurfer

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