Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Richard II IV.i.236-41
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2541  Monday, 5 November 2001

From:           Jay Pollack <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Date:           Friday, 02 Nov 2001 17:02:24 +0000
Subject:        Richard II IV.i.236-41

"Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me,
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Showing outward pity; yet you Pilates
Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin." (IV.i. 236-41)

This passage blatantly makes reference to the Bible. He calls his
half-conspirator's enemies ... "Pilates". This direct reference, shows
Richard II a very pious man at a time of pain and destruction. Does this
quote make Richard, himself a Christ figure? If he is a Christ-figure
why does he fear his own death? Is he capable of dying a martyr? Are
Richard's enemies praying to a different God than the Catholic Richard?
Is there a particular Judist in this play, or all Protestants Judists's
to God? These are just a few questions that I am reminded of in this
passage. In addition, the idea of "sour" continually comes up in
Shakespeare's "Richard II". Some things are referred to as being "sweet"
as in Act V. iii. 116. "The word is short, but not so short as sweet."
Richard, as a leader, is called "sweet Richard". Is everything
Protestant viewed as being sour? And Catholic sweet?

What is Shakespeare doing here in Richard II.

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.