The Great Playwrights Ranked By Cause of Death -The Toast

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John Leavitt’s previous work for The Toast can be found here.

18. Tennessee Williams – Tried to open eye drop bottle with teeth, choked on cap.

17. Joe Orton – Bludgeoned to death by partner during domestic dispute.

16. Jean-Paul Sartre – Infected papercut.

15. Arthur Miller – Frowned for too long, too deep.

14. Noël Coward – Appeared in public without an ascot.

13. Samuel Beckett – Looked back, became pillar of salt.

12. T. S. Eliot – Shrinking sickness.

11. Oscar Wilde – Smothered by rain of flower petals.

10. Bertolt Brecht – Just vanished into the darkness one day. Just poof – gone.

9. Molière – Giants.

8. Lillian Hellman – Executed by Nazis, replaced with robot duplicate.

7. Eugene O’Neill – Gunned down in bank heist.

6. Anton Chekov – Failed to fire gun at right time.

5. Henrik Ibsen – Carried away by large, monstrous swan after visiting aunt.

4. Euripides – Dramatic Irony.

3. Christopher Marlowe – Syphilis from visiting time travelers.

2. Graham Greene – His old nemesis, The Red Spider Of Stalingrad.

1. William Shakespeare – Ran afoul of the Fairy Queen, cursed with a mortal life.


John Leavitt is a cartoonist, writer, director, and illustrator, His cartoons and illustrations have appeared in: The New Yorker, The Chronicle Review, The New York Press, The Common Review, The Journal Of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Narrative Magazine and elsewhere. He has worked with Molly Crabapple to produce posters for The Electronic Frontier Foundation and others.

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