8 Iconic Figures Who Made History While In Quarantine

8 Iconic Figures Who Made History While In Quarantine

With almost the whole world in quarantine right now, everyone is trying to stay creative and productive in some way or the other. Even though this whole quarantine situation can sometimes feel boring and overwhelming, it can also serve as a huge source of inspiration for you.

Do you know that some of the iconic figures in history did their best work that changed mankind and the world for the better while being in quarantine?

These people well and truly changed the course of history, while they were quarantining. Reading their stories might give you some inspiration and much-needed hope, that something positive might come out of all this, at the end of the day. So, are you ready to take a walk down history?

Here Are 8 Iconic Figures Who Made History While In Quarantine

1. Isaac Newton 

Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton

When the infamous bubonic plague hit England in 1665, Isaac Newton was in quarantine when he made history by discovering the Theory of Gravity. He started living in Woolsthorpe Manor, where he spent more than 18 months constantly studying, which resulted in the inception of the famous theory.

During this time, he also wrote papers that went on to take the shape of Calculus, and also developed several theories on gravity and optics. These discoveries have forever changed the face of Physics and Mathematics.

Struggling to be productive while in quarantine? Read 10 Best Ways To Better Your Life While Self Isolating

2. Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

The renowned Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo was diagnosed with polio at the tender age of six, which led to a prolonged period of bed rest. 12 years later, when she was a student, she was traveling on a bus that was involved in a head-on collision with a car. She survived but with many serious injuries, which again led to a long period of bed rest.

It was during her healing period, when she painted her very first self-portrait, by using the mirror above her bed as a reference! After that, everything is history. She went on to become an iconic painter and personality, whose paintings are revered even today.

3. William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

After his company, The Kings Men closed its doors due to the bubonic plague, it is heavily rumored that William Shakespeare wrote the iconic play, King Lear while he was in quarantine in England. During this time which was considered the most prolific time in Shakespeare’s career, all the theaters were closed due to the outbreak of the plague.

It might be because of this, that he ended up penning not just King Lear, but also Antony and Cleopatra and Macbeth at the same time! He also wrote many poems, including Venus and Adonis. 

4. Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir was a 20th-century poet and feminist, who lost her job as a teacher after the Nazis occupied Paris. She played a big part in helping the French Resistance, and penned down several works of literature at the same time! Her most notable work to date is the very famous Les Bouches inutiles, which she wrote in 1945, while confined to her home.

This play was heavily inspired by the Nazi regime and took place in the 14th century, where minorities like women, elderly and children were written off as useless and a burden, in order to save the lives of predominantly healthy and young men.

Quarantining taking a toll on you? Read Self-Isolating for Coronavirus: Here’s How to Make The Most Of It

5. Thomas Nashe

Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe

When the bubonic plague hit London in the year 1592, Thomas Nashe relocated to the countryside to avoid being infected. It was during this time in quarantine, that he wrote the much-celebrated and popular play, Summers’ Last Will And Testament.

This play outlines and revolves around his own personal experiences with the outbreak of the bubonic plague in England, and how he lived through it all.

6. Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio

Giovanni Boccaccio might not be as famous as the other names on this list, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was indeed one of the greatest writers this world has ever seen. He deserves every bit of recognition that comes his way.

In 1348, when the Black Death struck his hometown, Florence, it killed his father and stepmother. In order to save himself from suffering the same fate, he went away to the countryside and self-quarantined in a villa. It is during this time that he wrote the iconic book, The Decameron. 

7. Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was a prolific painter who contracted the deadly Spanish Flu in 1919 and had to quarantine himself. It was during this tumultuous time that he took to painting and ended up producing greats works of art. One of his most prominent pieces of art that he worked on during this time was his self-portrait, which showed a sickly man with thinning hair, sitting on a chair in front of his sickbed.

Have you seen the famous painting known as The Scream? Even though he did not draw that while he was quarantining, nevertheless it is worth mentioning because of the iconic status it enjoys.

Bored out of your mind while self-isolating? Read 16 Fun Things To Do To Fight Boredom During Lockdown and Self Isolation

8. Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo

French author Victor Hugo hated how things were in France in 1851 and was a vocal critic of Napoleon III, and this led him to self-exile in order to avoid punishment and execution. He traveled from Belgium to the island of Jersey in the English Channel to the small island of Guernsey.

It was during this time that he penned the well-known play, Les Miserables, along with other works of literature. He stayed away from his motherland for almost 20 years, but that did not stop him churning out some renowned literary pieces including Les Châtiments and Napoléon le Petit.

So there you have it! If you are feeling stuck at home and looking for some inspiration, hopefully, these life-stories will help you with that. Try to make the most of this quarantine, and you never know, you might end up doing something remarkable.

If you want to know more about some iconic figures who made history while in quarantine, then you might like this video below:


8 Iconic Figures Who Made History While In Quarantine
8 Iconic Figures Who Made History While In Quarantine
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Alexandra Hall

Hi there! I am someone who is trying to navigate through life, one day at a time. Writing is my passion and my job, and I am happiest when I am writing. I love reading comic books, watching drama movies, playing with my dogs and generally lazing around. An introvert by nature, you can find me in the farthest corner of the room in every party, playing with the dog and having my own party.View Author posts