The question of whether Shakespeare may have been high on pot when he penned masterpieces such as “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” has been around for a while, but Entertainment Weekly reports that new evidence has surfaced that may support the claim.
“Scientists now have a bit of actual physical evidence to work with, in the form of clay pipes unearthed from the garden at Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-upon-Avon,” EW reports. “South African forensic scientists first tested these pipes in 2001, and found traces of cannabis, but these findings were brusquely dismissed by Shakespeare scholars at the time.”
The pipes have been re-examined more recently, and with advances in forensic technology since 2001, “scientists now say there can be no doubt about the traces of cannabis found in the pipes from Shakespeare’s garden,” EW reports.
That doesn’t mean Shakespeare was the one smoking the pot. But researchers did find one reference to “weed” in his writings.
“As it turns out, ‘Sonnet 76’ does contain the word,”EW notes. “The sonnet’s narrator appears to be experiencing writer’s block, and is tempted by ‘invention in a noted weed.’ You can never tell with Shakespeare, though; not only was the word’s meaning totally different back then, but the Bard loved to use all kinds of double-entendres.”