ark afloat.jpg (17633 bytes)

A Publication of


From The Ark No. 188 Summer 2001

Was Shakespeare anti-Vivisection?

We can see from the passage below that the great Dr Samuel Johnson was!

In his 1765 edition of Shakepeare’s plays, Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) writes a note on Cymbeline Act I, scene 5, lines 18f:


I will try the forces
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
We count not worth the hanging, but none human.


Your Highness
Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.

Johnson’s Note:

‘There is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I cannot forbear to push it forward into observation.  The thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race of men that have practised tortures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings.’

Sent in by Ark member Louis Coulson. With thanks.

Return to The Ark No. 188

For questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare

| Home Page | Archive | Ark Table of Contents | Comments on Topical Issues  | Debate - Discussion | Links | Prayers | Programs | Selected Articles and Reports |

The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare - Providing Christian education, research, study, instruction, teaching, theology, forum and publications concerning animal rights, welfare, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, Bible, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion as they relate to bioethics, vivisection, animals, creature, creatures, hunting, pets, factory farming, fur, creation, conservation, environment, rodeos, bullfighting, cockfighting, cruelty, lifestyle, ethics, St. Francis, acquinas, Vatican, vegan, vegetarian, veganism, vegetarianism, environment, ecosystem, The Ark, ark

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting
Since date.gif (991 bytes)