May 27th, 2008

Holy Trinity, Stratford- The Misericords

Someone described the bust of Shakespeare on his Stratford memorial as looking like a "prosperous pork butcher". It does rather. It certainly bears very little resemblance to the Droeshout engraving- which is the only other certified likeness. All the two have in common is baldness. Someone else suggested that the memorial bust must have been recycled from the memorial of some other bald worthy whose relatives had defaulted on the payments. Who knows? But why shouldn't a poet look like a pork butcher? A lot of them do. And worse. 

I took pictures of the memorial- none of them worth posting. Maybe I'll try again when we return in August- but the world is full of pictures of the Shakespeare memorial- so why bother? What really grabbed me were the late-medieval misericords. I love misericords. Stratford has a fabulous set- monsters, mermaids, sado-masochism.  And dig this: they- unlike the monument- were actually around in Shakespeare's day. Maybe they fed his imagination, maybe he ran his fingers over the carving.