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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Julius Caesar and Religious Art
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0149  Friday, 10 March 2006

From: 		Peter Bridgman <
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Date: 		Thursday, 9 Mar 2006 23:12:01 -0000
Subject: 17.0140 Julius Caesar and Religious Art
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0140 Julius Caesar and Religious Art

Jack Heller thinks the following lines might've been inspired by a 
painting of the crucifixion ...

 >Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
 >In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
 >Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
 >Reviving blood, and that great ment shall press
 >For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.

I must say I doubt it.  When these lines were written there were no 
longer any paintings or statues of the crucifixion in any church in 
England or Wales.  It is more likely that Shakespeare was thinking of 
the scaffolds at Smithfield and Tyburn.  As bodies "spouting blood in 
many pipes" were butchered on the scaffold, there was usually an 
undignified scrum of relic hunters under the scaffold, bathing their 
handkerchiefs in the falling blood.

Peter Bridgman

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