Hebenon

Hamlet, [1.5.69]. “Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole/ With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial/ And in the porches of my ears did pour/ the leperous distilment”.

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Unknown, possibly invented plant or poison. According to the Foldger edition (Louis B. Wright and Virginia Lamar) Shakespeare may have adapted this from Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta II.iv. [102-103]: “the blood of Hydra, Lerna’s bane, The juice of hebon, and Cocytus’ breath.” Other candidates: yew, ebony, and henbane.

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