Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

A collection of Victorian profanities [infographic]

Euphemisms, per their definition, are used to soften offensive language. Topics such as death, sex, and bodily functions are often discussed delicately, giving way to statements like, “he passed away,” “we’re hooking up,” or “it’s that time of the month.”

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Shakespeare and the natural world [infographic]

It is probable that Shakespeare observed, or at least heard about, many natural phenomena that occurred during his time, which may have influenced the many references to nature and science that he makes in his work. Although he was very young at the time, he may have witnessed the blazing Stella Nova in 1572.

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Tick tock goes the Shakespeare Death Clock [infographic]

Along with the many creative ways that Shakespeare killed off his characters, there are even more ways to represent those deaths in the form of fun illustrations. Not a stranger to death himself, Shakespeare was living and working in a time where rampant disease and social violence were daily norms.

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The emergence of lawfare [infographic]

The security of individual nations and the wider world is protected through many means, force or diplomacy, culture or environment. Law is increasingly deployed as an alternative to military force, although its use dates back as far as international law itself. Even private sector and other non-governmental attorneys play a leading role in lawfare.

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Mental health in older age [infographic]

All over the world, populations are changing. People are living longer, and older people are forming a larger percentage of the global population. Baby boomers are retiring and improved health care has extended life expectancy. At the same time, as globalisation and urbanisation break apart familiar social and family structures, more older adults are living alone or without social support.

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A dozen ways to die in Shakespeare’s tragedies [infographic]

In early modern England, social violence and recurring diseases ensured death was a constant presence, so it is only natural to find such a prominent theme in Shakespeare’s plays, especially his tragedies. His characters died at the hands of one another more often than from natural causes, whether stabbing, poisoning, or beheading (or a combination of the three!).

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A timeline of the dinosaurs [infographic]

Dinosaurs, literally meaning ‘terrible lizards’, were first recognized by science, and named by Sir Richard Owen (who preferred the translation ‘fearfully great’), in the 1840’s. In the intervening 170 years our knowledge of dinosaurs, including whether they all really died out 65 million years ago, has changed dramatically. Take a crash course on the history of the dinosaurs with our infographic.

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

Homer: inspiration and controversy [Infographic]

Although a man named “Homer” was accepted in antiquity as the author of the poems, there is no evidence supporting the existence of such an author. By the late 1700s, careful dissection of the Iliad and Odyssey raised doubts about their composition by a single poet. Explore more about the “Homeric question” and the influence of these epics in the infographic below.

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From reconstruction to globalization: Shakespeare as he is today

How do we understand Shakespeare today versus one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred years ago? Through efforts like archaeological digs and excavations, studies of word spelling and linguistic patterns, researchers and experts can reconstruct an early modern theatre experience: plays performed in original pronunciation inside facsimile Elizabethan theatres.

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Shakespeare around the world [infographic]

As Shakespeare’s work grew in popularity, it began to spread outside of England and eventually extended far beyond the Anglophone world. As it was introduced to Africa, Asia, Central and South America, his plays were translated and performed in new and unique ways that reflected the surrounding culture.

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Disparity in the restaurant industry [infographic]

If someone were to tell you that the restaurant industry is one of the lowest paying sectors in the US economy, the types of jobs that might come to mind include those in the fast food segment. Not surprisingly, workers from all parts of the restaurant industry—tipped and non-tipped—live in poverty.

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Shakespeare and sex in the 16th century [infographic]

Sex was far from simple in 16th century England. Shakespeare himself wed a woman eight years his senior, a departure from the typical ages of both partners. While some of his characters follow the common conventions of Elizabethan culture (male courtship and the “transfer” of a woman from the care of her father to her husband), others show marked indifference toward appropriate gender roles and sexuality.

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Oxford Classical Dictionary

Innovations from the ancient world

Beginning over two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks and Romans innovated a surprising array of concepts that we take for granted today. It’s hard to imagine where we’d be without the Greek alphabet, Euclid’s geometric concepts, Roman concrete, and more.

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A history of the International Space Station [infographic]

The International Space Station was originally conceived as our base camp to the stars – the first step in a long journey of human civilisation exploring new planets, asteroids, and galaxies, and perhaps even helping us to meet other forms of life in the universe along the way. The International Space Station is an incredible feat in human engineering, politics, and bravery.

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