In the 15 plays classified as tragedies, there are 13 definite and 8 possible suicides, ie, a total of 21 incidents for evaluation. Among the 13 overt suicides, at least 7 are depicted as being admirable under the circumstances at the time. Also, in various ways, 4 of these 13 were assisted, and at least 3 others contain an imitative element. Overall, the action of taking one’s life is presented in a neutral or even favorable light, and the audience is left with a mingling of pity and admiration for the victim, not reproach. —Larry R. Kirkland (“To End Itself By Death: Suicide in Shakespeare’s Tragedies,” Southern Medical Journal)
Just ploughing through a list of articles on Antony and Cleopatra. This one caught my eye.
Kirkland, Larry R., Southern Medical Journal, 00384348, Jul99, Vol. 92, Issue 7