Shakespeare found 74 different ways to kill off his characters, and audiences today still enjoy the same reactions – shock, sadness, fear – that they did over 400 years ago when these plays were first performed. But how realistic are these deaths, and did Shakespeare have the science to back them up? In the Bard’s day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead or dying body on the way home from the theatre was a fairly likely scenario. Death is one of the major themes that reoccurs constantly throughout Shakespeare’s canon, and he certainly didn’t shy away from portraying the bloody reality of death on the stage. In this book, Kathryn Harkup turns her expertise to Shakespeare and the varied and creative methods he used to kill off his characters.