Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shakespeare and Suicide

R.I.P. Tony Scott.  My condolences to your loved ones.
One of my biggest clients has been in business forever with Scott Free, the production company fronted by directors Ridley and Tony Scott, so Tony Scott's suicide over the weekend hit home. I'd met him (and his wife Donna, a sharp lady) and had worked the development side of some of his projects, including the upcoming Potsdamer Platz.
One of my colleagues posted a lovely tribute to Tony on Facebook and ended it with "See you in the Danger Zone," a reference to Scott's movie Top Gun. (Plans for a sequel were in the works.) He was well liked and the tributes are pouring in.
News reports are now saying that Tony had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. And so the ancient debate emerges again--is suicide an act of dignity or an act of despair?
Speaking as someone who has known people who took their own lives or contemplated the act, I'd say it's complicated and personal but if nothing else, for God's sake leave a note.
The question "why?" will haunt those left behind and an answer to that question will help, if only a little.
Suicide is a dramatic act and Shakespeare used it a lot as a plot device, particularly in Hamlet. I found this article that takes Shakespeare's plays and his fictional suicides as a point of departure to discuss a whole range of topics relating to the act. You can find that article here.