Python’s Last Supper a Guide to British Society and Class

The Python’s “Why Michelangelo did not paint the last supper” is one their most brilliantly funny pieces.

An almost explosive Pope John Cleese is giving a hard time to Michelangelo for the way the last supper is to be depicted.  If you have not seen it, I will not spoil it for you, just watch it.

But Michelangelo is an aggrieved and truculent painter “it took me hours.”

Initially it is clear that this is about the resentment of the British  working class and the entitlement of the rulers.

However, as time goes on, with re-watching, you realize that Michelangelo is actually having the time of his life needling the pope, and deliberately failing to understand his objections (“Are the disciples too Jewish.  I made Judas the most Jewish”) and the Pope is also enjoying the verbal combat, even though he seems about to explode.  You know that Michelangelo got together with his mates at the Painters’ Arms pub that evening and regaled them with story.  The Pope may have let off steam to his mistress.

Finally, you realize that both of them actually know that both are enjoying themselves.  This says more about British class conflict than almost anything.  Try thinking about Brexit in terms of the pleasure of self-righteousness, and you can see why no one in the UK can accept the obvious.  They are having too much fun — or perhaps too locked in it see any other pattern of interaction.

 

 

 

 

 

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