When Antony died, Cleopatra considered it best for her to die too, rather than becoming a subject to mockery at the hands of the Roman mob. According to some historians, she tested various types of poisons on her slaves in order to sift out the one that was the least painful of all. Consequently, she chose an asp or cobra. It is said that she held a cobra close to her breast and forced it to strike. Some historians also believe that she might have taken hemlock. In either case, she died of poison, which is why we have her on our list of ten famous figures who took the poison.
4. Thomas Chatterton
It is commonly believed that poets and writers are sensitive beings and that they feel everything very deeply, probably this is why they are able to put them into words in such effective manner. Next on our list of list of ten famous figures who took the poison, we have a sensitive poet who took his own life. Thomas Chatterton was a well known romantic poet but he went by the name of Sir Thomas Rowley that he claimed was a 15th Century priest. He created this fictitious character because his work was so good that nobody believed he had written it. So, he reckoned this was the best way to get over it. When he was 17 years old, he moved to London to try his luck in the writing business. Unfortunately, he could not make it big. Disappointed, the writer killed himself by drinking arsenic.
3. Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel was World War II’s famous general and is specifically known for being Hitler’s favorite (until things went wrong). Hitler depended on Rommel when the Western allies were planning to invade the occupied France. He wanted Rommel to stop this from happening. This was next to impossible, since there was no way to stop them. By this time, Rommel had realized that they had lost the war; however, Hitler even to this point believed that he could handle the situation and turn it in his favor. In 1944, there was an attempt made to kill Hitler. However, he survived the attack and was now even surer of his success. There is no proof if Rommel was actually involved in the attempt to kill Hitler but it was widely believed that he had known about it. Hitler knew of this and wanted to punish him. Rommel was asked by two generals to make a choice – they asked him to either turn in and be labeled as a traitor or take poison and become a hero. He chose the latter, which is why you have found him right here on our list of ten famous figures to have taken the poison. He committed suicide by taking cyanide capsules.
2. Adolf Hitler
One of the most talked about deaths with regard to famous figures is that of Adolf Hitler. He surely makes it to our list of list of ten famous figures who took the poison. Although, his death still remains a mystery but some historians believe that it occurred due to poison. The dictator, who was responsible for genocides of hundreds and thousands of men and women, committed suicide at the end. Hitler and his wife, Eva, together committed suicide on 30th April, 1945. It is said that they ingested a strong poison called cyanide.
Socrates is one of the most famous philosophers of all times. In 399 BC, when the Greek philosopher was 70 years of age, he was killed by poisoning. Although technically speaking it does not count in suicidal deaths but the tale of Socrates’ death is so powerful that it had to be included. Another reason for including this in our list of ten famous figures who took the poison is that he drank the poison with his own hands. Yet, it was not a suicide. The famous Greek philosopher was found guilty of heresy in a trial that took place in Athens. He was sentenced to death by taking hemlock. And the condition was that he had to drink the hemlock himself. Hemlock is one of the strongest poisons that if ingested causes paralysis of the various systems of the body. As a result of this, the respiratory system also paralyzes and causes death. When the great Greek philosopher took hemlock, he started to feel his legs grow heavy and then his death occurred after a while. The painting above shows how he was surrounded by his students and adherents at the time of his death.
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