The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0149 Friday, 10 March 2006
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.
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