The Merciless Phantom

By: Nick Jones


Black boils, high fever, painful swellings , delirium , and bleeding in the lungs . These are all symptoms of the Black plague this is the disease that caused many deaths in Europe but also gave inspiration to a well known writer, Shakespeare

How It All Started

This whole plague started in China and because of big population and overcrowding it spread across the country like wildfire in California and created this disease . Because China was a big trading it spread across Europe faster than the blink of an eye many areas tried to quarantine the plague but to no avail the plague took from 25-30 million deaths and kept Europe in fear until the 1600's until it supposedly disappeared for several centuries.

Bubonic plague

The Bubonic plague or "black death" is caused by a bacteria called Yersinia Pestis it attaches to fleas then they are on rats and several other animals that spread to cloth and people . They then spread it to more people and the vicious cycle continues . Many people in the Elizabethan era tried to cure it for example , barbers doubled as surgeons , churches and monasteries took the people with the plague in and gave them blessings and food and shelter , and you cant forget about the creepy physicians they only work for a good amount of money so pretty much only royalty or high ranking generals or politicians. This merciless phantom took 25 million lives and more it has spread fear across Europe for generations until it finally disappeared in the 1600s .

The Phantom Returns

Recently here in America there have been 11 cases of the Bubonic plague or "Black Death"

It struck fear in Americans just like 9/11 but thankfully not as many people died and all of the cases quarantined . Many people are confused how the people got the plague or even how it still exists especially in America. No one is sure except for doctors, the doctors that investigated the cases say the only possible way that it could still exist unless there were pathogens that were centuries old and miraculously popped this year .

The Bard

One famous victim of the plague was Shakespeare he didn't contract the disease himself almost his whole family suffered and died he lost 3 sisters {Joan, Margaret, and Anne} he also lost his brother Edmund what made him made him the most distraught was he lost his only son Hamnet and it completely destroyed him. Not only that but he lost many of his close friends and colleagues not only that but for a full 5 years total the theaters were closed and he had nothing to perform .

The End

The Plague has disappeared for now, but all we know is that the merciless phantom is creeping around the metaphorical corner and we have to be careful. Unlike the people in the 1300"s we have technology and the plague wont catch us off guard as bad as the Europeans we have things called hospitals that have actual things called quarantine rooms (if you didn't notice that was sarcasm) so we can quarantine future victims unlike Europe a few hundred years ago . Remember The Merciless Phantom is never truly gone ;].


Unkown, U. (n.d.). William Shakespeare Biography. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

Stanley, D., & Vennema, P. (1992). Bard of Avon: The story of William Shakespeare (pp. 35-38). New York: Morrow Junior Books.

Finding Shakespeare - Curating digital stories from Shakespeare's work, life, and times. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2015, from