Dark Doings

The moody Hamlet is often called the melancholy Dane. Melancholy means gloomy, but it literally refers to  “black bile.” You might recognise its root parts in melan ( a dark pigment) and chole (gall or ill temper). In medieval times, bodily “humours” were thought to influence our moods, black bile being one of these fluids.

Dark doings, Hamlet, Literature
as Hamlet, looks at Yorick’s skull by baslow – Image credit