Views & Reviews Medical Classics


BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 20 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1610
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care, University College London
  1. p.greenhalgh{at}

    The eponymous hero of this 19th century Italian opera is a tragic, lonely, and self absorbed figure, embittered by society’s prejudice against his physical disfigurement and paranoid from a curse brought on by mocking the misfortune of a man whose daughter was dishonoured. He’s also a working class single parent with difficulty forming relationships; add to that a pathological grief reaction to his wife’s untimely death and a stifling attachment to his teenage daughter, Gilda. Rigoletto may have a day job as a court jester, but he would make a meaty long case …

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