Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Shakespeare Reference in Pray For Us Sinners

Pray For Us Sinners: The Hail Mary Murder is true crime book about five high school kids who killed one of their friends. It was written by Fredrick Kunkle, and – like basically every book I read – it contains a Shakespeare reference. During the chapter on the sentencing, Kunkle quotes defense attorney Anthony J. Pope as saying, “The loss is the loss, and a pound of flesh, Judge, is nothing more than revenge” (p. 434). The “pound of flesh” is, of course, a reference to The Merchant Of Venice.

The book contains another line that, while not a direct reference to Shakespeare’s work, does remind me of a line from Romeo And Juliet. Kunkle writes, “The cold provided a respite from the late summer’s haze and smog, and on some nights, from certain vantages, Manhattan’s skyline hung like a starry jewel in the sky, but for the most part, it was a depressing time of the year” (p. 149). The bit about “hung like a starry jewel” reminds of Romeo’s line, “It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear.”

Pray For Us Sinners: The Hail Mary Murder was published in 1996.

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