Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Killed By Kindness

Posted by Elyse Bruce on April 13, 2010

Thomas Heywood, the English dramatist, is most famous for his plays dealing with contemporary English life. Heywood’s best play, A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603), is one of the finest examples of domestic tragedy in the English drama.

However, the phrase is goes back to Ancient Greece where Draco, the Athenian legislator met with his death in 590 BC.  His death was due completely to his popularity. 

Greeks used to wave their caps and cloaks about as a sign of approval and if they were particularly impressed and overly enthusiastic, they would toss their clothing at the object of their enthusiasm and excitement.  Draco was enormously popular with the population and on this particular occasion, Draco was smothered to death in the theatre of Ægina from all the caps and cloaks showered on him by the spectators.

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