July 1, 2005

What passage in Revelation did Marlon Brando circle?

This one:
"The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble . . ."
That's Revelation 18:12. We know this because his personal effects were put up for auction, including his Bible. Here's the report in the WaPo, written by Robyn Givhan, who scoffs that "pop psychologists, street-corner ministers, literary deconstructionists" can now "have at" the marked-up Bible.

In case you want to interpret the mind of Brando, based on that circled passage, here it is in context, which is that all the riches in the city of Babylon are burning:
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Forget the mind of Brando for a moment, what about the mind of the person who, setting up this exhibit, decided to display the Bible opened to that page? I'm thinking that person meant to criticize the people who had become merchants of these things -- and the people who came to gawk at them.

1 comment:

Goesh said...

You're probably right about that. He was complex beyond analysis, an absolute master of eccentricity on screen, to the point viewers found it difficult to realize the slam and satire he was delivering. Now that is talent. Dr. Moreau, Robert Clayton the psychotic bounty hunter and of course Col. Kurtz are his true masterpieces in the genre of eccentricity, at least in my opinion.