To his good friends this wide I’ll ope my arms, And like the kind life-rendering pelican, Repast them with my blood.

Today feeding people blood inevitably calls to mind vampires. But when Shakespeare was writing, vampires weren’t really invented yet. They weren’t yet a THING. A bird that feeds with its blood is just a noble bird, not a weird creature sacrificing itself to vampires.

I’m not sure one could talk about blood feeding in this day and age without conjuring a vampire image, so vivid is the vampire in the cultural imagination. Pelicans, not so much.

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