Amy fisher dildo
18 On early modern ereutophobia, see Delord passim . Website: http://www.ircl.cnrs.fr/pdf/2007/Coriola(. )
13 Heel observes here that, in a slightly different context, blushing may also suggest either shame or drunkenness. 18.
14 Unsurprisingly, crimson was then especially linked to the “old” religion where it referred to the sacrificial death of Christ in order to redeem sinners. In the Middle Ages, a vivid red was always a mark of power among the laity and the clergy. From the 13 th and 14 th century onwards, the Pope, until then dedicated to the colour white, adopted the colour red. For the Protestants, of course, all the bishops clad in black and red stood for the immorality of the Roman Catholic Church. To substantiate their claim, they referred to a passage in the Apocalypse of St. John which involved a sea beast riding the great prostitute Babylon (“the scarlet whore”), all dressed in red (Pastoureau and Simmonet, 31-41).
15 Yet, for all its derogatory meanings, red could also be considered a gratifying colour suggesting revival and life. In The Winter’s Tale , as Autolycus sings a ballad about the changing of the seasons, he clearly associates red with vital strength:
When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh, the doxy over the dale,
Why then comes in the sweet o’ the year,
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.
16 Florizel reiterates the same comparison as he merrily says to Perdita: “See, your guests approach. / Address yourself to entertain them sprightly, / And let’s be red with mirth” (4.4.52-54), thereby suggesting that gaiety gives a healthy complexion. Yet, in Romeo and Juliet , “rosy cheeks” must be decoded slightly differently, i.e . either as a colour of shyness or of sinfulness, all the more so as Shakespeare often “dramatize[d] the blush as a measure of sexual chastity” (Iyengar 123). Romeo confirms this dramatized ambiguity while declaring:
On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand,
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin.
17 Here, the young man lionizes his lover whose pure white hand and “immortal blessing” turn her into a goddess of sorts. So, Juliet’s blushes convey her chastity. In other words, the mere thought of her kisses, which she probably regards as sinful, makes her shamefaced.
18 At this point, it has become apparent that white and the various shades of red were endowed with ambiguous meanings, depending upon the context in which they were used and mentioned. We shall now focus on the coloured statues in both Romeo and Juliet and in The Winter’s Tale so as to highlight their symbolic meanings.
2. Colours of goodness and statues of life.
19 “The Emperor of Russia was my father” (3.2.118).
19 The heroines of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale are first introduced as beautiful and fair ladies. Polixenes does not hesitate to address Hermione in terms reminiscent of the typical Elizabethan sense of refinement. She is indeed addressed as “fair queen” (1.2.63), which implies that she possesses the traditional attributes of early modern beauty, i.e. a pale skin, fair hair, and rosy cheeks (all the more so as she is a Russian princess!). 19 Leontes equally remembers her “white hand” (1.2.105), highlighting her purity and innocence through her alabaster complexion. However, the king will not gaze at his spouse in the same way again after her spotless, gracious hand is given to Polixenes. He will segregate her as a harlot, almost as if her coloured characteristics, her most delicate attributes were now part and parcel of her downfall. Leontes will see his queen again – or rather, see her so-called statue – after sixteen years of repentance. Discovering Hermione’s representation, Leontes cannot but notice an alteration on her face and exclaims: “Hermione was not so much wrinkled” (5.3.28). The colour of the queen’s face which he now remembers has indeed been remodeled. From an artistic point of view, the result of such realism is quite a challenge for the carver, as in addition to the complexion of the skin, another hue must be added in order to ‘mock life’ (5.3.19). The craft used by the sculptor has been repeated twice, first in order to paint Hermione, then a second time to age it.
20 In a similar way, when Old Capulet in Romeo and Juliet sees his daughter asleep after swallowing Friar Laurence’s potion, he gazes at the palette of colours on her body for proof. As he notices the absence of the colour red, he describes Juliet’s pseudo-death in terms that emphasize the features of a statue. As he labels her dead, he resorts to such adjectives as “cold”, “settled”, “stiff”, and “frost” which hint at her temperature as much as at the whitish, or greyish colour of a motionless Juliet:
Ha, let me see her! Out, alas, she’s cold.
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff.
Life and these lips have long been separated.
Death lies on her like an untimely frost.
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
21 Strikingly enough, Juliet appears as a recumbent statue: immobile, cold, and white.
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