Volume 2022 Number 3
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


With the aim of introducing medical humanities to medical colleges in Iraq, the researcher, who teaches English to medical students at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, initiated the idea of a performance of Shakespeare’s most popular play . The main aim was to promote empathy and compassion for medical students after realizing that biomedical sciences have detached them from these feelings. Through activities in the English Language lectures, students, particularly 2nd and 3rd year, reflected on stories and passages in a way that lacked any connection or empathy. In one of the units of their English coursebook, there are two pages dedicated to Shakespeare’s play . With the idea of the pair of star-crossed lovers, who suffer misfortunes brought upon them by causes quite independent of any flaw of character or immorality of conduct in both or either of them, the researcher found in the play a work of art that can create empathy and compassion in the readers as well as the audience, and hence came the idea of the performance. The researcher chose an abridged version of the play found on the Internet. To link the play with science to avoid objection from the scientific institution, the researcher added a scene taken from a speech by the scientist Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi comparing the secret communication of bacteria with this Shakespearean play. The paper is about the reception of the idea of the play by the students at the medical college, who were overjoyed when they read the call for actors for the play and immediately a huge number of them showed interest in taking part in the performance. Though the performance was supposed to take place in mid-March, it was postponed because of the end-of-term exams. The paper deals with the manners of building empathy and compassion among the medical college community. Finally, the paper tries to show the importance of introducing literature and arts to medical students with the aim of giving more emphasis to the study of humanities disciplines in medical colleges in Iraq in the future.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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