Medicine and Herbal Remedies Throughout the Sixteenth Century

1310 Words 6 Pages
Shakespeare, self proclaimed poet and renowned playwright, lived in the age of the Renaissance. More specifically, the time at which the Tudor family ruled England, during these times, there were deep-rooted religious cleansings and ongoing witch hunts, that sought out anyone and everyone that did not follow suit. Shakespeare (1564-1616A.D.) was born in, and lived through the medical renaissance, which was the point between 1400 and 1700A.D. that innovated the medicines used in Europe. These treatments were eventually diffused throughout the world. The most typical consensus made by medical technicians of the time believed in the body to be maintained up by a balance of bodily humors (liquids), though during the mid 1500s new methods of …show more content…
Melancholy was affiliated with black bile, earth and a cold, dry environment. If a patient was thought to have an excess of a particular humor, measures would be taken to lessen that value, such as blood-letting (sanguine), dietary changes and bodily purging. In Tudor England, the knowledge of humors and their use in medicine become widely acknowledged and accepted, and these humors impact on a person’s temperament also became used. Stemming from beliefs in ancient Greece, the people in that era believed that one’s general mood and state of mind was affected by the overall balance of humors in their body, if a particular humor dominated then the personality it personified would become present in the individual. Elizabethan people believed that the humors gave off vapors that traveled to the brain, causing a certain behavioral pattern to surface “The "humours" gave off vapors which ascended to the brain; an individual's personal characteristics (physical, mental, moral) were explained by his or her "temperament," or the state of that person's "humours".” Thus, a person with balanced humors had a balanced disposition. Too much sanguine in a person led to an optimistic and generally positive attitude, albeit an irresponsible one. Choler made one wrathful and ambitious. A phlegmatic person had characteristics that were slothful and cowardly. Finally, a person overwhelmed by melancholy was introspective, gluttonous, and