[Milton-L] Apropos of nothing

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Sat Apr 12 13:16:34 EDT 2014


Is the tradition Plinian also? jdf 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Hannibal Hamlin" <hamlin.hannibal at gmail.com> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Saturday, 12 April, 2014 09:52:54 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Apropos of nothing 



It's all over everywhere, in many churches (Southwark Cathedral for instance), and in the jewel that Elizabeth I wears in her famous Pelican Portrait. Whitney has an emblem featuring it, with the motto "Quod in te est, prome." I write about the pelican figure in The Bible in Shakespeare , since it crops up in Hamlet and King Lear . I'm not sure where the Christian interpretation originates, though it's a pretty natural development. The legend of the pelican's peculiar feeding habit appears in Isidore of Seville's Etymologies , though the story there is a little weirder (and less Christian). Isidore recounts the story that the pelican first kills its offspring, and then revives them with its own blood. 


Hannibal 



On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM, Jameela Lares < jameela.lares at usm.edu > wrote: 


Of course the pelican is an iconographic symbol for Christ. Both the Corpus Christi Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge use it for their coats of arms. 

Jameela Lares 
Professor of English 
The University of Southern Mississippi 
118 College Drive, #5037 
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001 
601 266-4319 ofc 
601 266-5757 fax 
________________________________________ 
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [ milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu ] on behalf of Mario A. DiCesare [ dicesare1 at mindspring.com ] 
Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:12 AM 
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Apropos of nothing 


I recall that when I was a boy attending Catholic school the floor of our church featured a large mosaic of a pelican feeding greedy little pelicans with its blood. The little guys just pecked happily away. I don't now recall any emotional reaction to the sight, which was gory in a mild way, but I do recall that pelicans became interesting to me in various contexts, not the least of which sometime later was the line "Pie pellicane Jesu Domine" in Thomas Aquinas's wonderful hymn, "Adoro Te," which we sang often. While it is hardly Milton's style, Crashaw no doubt knew the hymn. 

Mario 


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Hannibal Hamlin 
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Author of The Bible in Shakespeare , now available through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199677610.do 
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J ames Dougal Fleming 
Associate Professor 
Department of English 
Simon Fraser University 
778-782-4713 


Burnaby -- British Columbia -- Canada. 



And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev.22:3. 


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