Posted by: hellonhairylegs | July 6, 2009

Context and Perspective

On the walls of a classroom at my school are various representations of concepts within Shakespeare. One poster has two sections, the first gold with a cross, representing religion. The second green with a witches cauldron, representing superstition. So remember kiddies, you’re going to suffer eternal torture and damnation if you don’t believe that the Almighty Son of God suffered to save you, but those silly witches are obviously false and representations of a laughably simple time, where people believed in miracles magic.

(For my opinion of organised religion, see Kissing Hank’s Ass.)



  1. I would have had such a tanty about that.

  2. It’s just like Mozart’s *The Magic Flute*, isn’t it? Where we’re told that the Queen of the Night rules a world of superstition and ignorance and the Dude leads the way to truth and light, except they don’t look any different. Apart from the Dude being, you know, a dude, and not singing coloratura.

    On the other hand, green and a cauldron sounds like positive iconography to me; are you sure it’s intended to be perjorative?

    I’m not even sure how you divide it up that way. Hamlet’s father’s ghost for instance: he’s a ghost, but he talks mostly about purgatory. Also, do they just mean Christianity by religion? Because lots of plays (eg. King Lear) switch backwards and forwards between biblical mythology and Classical Greek and Roman.

    Thanks for Hank, which sounds exactly the way I thought it through to myself when I was about seven. I shall spread the Good Word.

  3. I don’t think it was intentionally perjorative, just ignorant in implying that Christianity is somehow better than paganism/ witches in general.

  4. It’s a family history thing.

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