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”.

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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