The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0031 Tuesday, 6 January 2004
From: Dana Wilson <
Date: Tuesday, 6 Jan 2004 09:14:37 -0800 (PST)
There is a line in RII, Act II, sc i, ln38, which reads that the C is
always hungry and eats its own substance.
This seems to refer to a medieval tradition which identifies Christ with
the Pelican which feeds its young from its own blood.
I have never been able to find the source of this tradition. However,
it was common in the 17thc. One tradition states that the Ashmole
Collection of the National Museum contains several signet stones, some
possibly of Egyptian origin containing the emblem of the Pelican.
I wonder how these stones came into the Ashmole collection.
Could such be the "precious stone" referred to in ln 46, and the "pawn"
which must be redeemed referred to in ln 290?
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