December 6th, 2014 → 6:51 am @ // No Comments

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?
No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.”  – Macbeth

I was listening to a RadioLab podcast yesterday where the guest mentioned that in Shakespeare’s day, theatres used actual blood in their performances.  There was no such thing as prop blood (let alone chocolate sauce!), so if a play like Titus Adronicus required a bucket of blood to be spilled, a bucket of actual blood was acquired (generally from a slaughterhouse) and spilled in the production.  The guest went on to mention how, in the 16th century, really, people were quite familiar with the smell, sight, taste, and feel of actual blood – unlike today.

First, let me just say gross.

Second, let me add that I disagree in one sense – even today there are groups of people who are familiar with blood and have lots of it on their hands:  white police officers, when they are faced with unarmed black men.

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