The Peacock in Myth, Legend, and 19th Century History

Peacocks are magnificent and exquisite. Its’ beautiful that a person shares their knowledge so liberally for us to get acquainted to the ideas of superstitions and myths, maybe we learn the truth that follows in the tales of peacock as legend. A peacock’s feather is bad luck for theatre, I think it could be thought so because of its sophistication and grace that ignites within a fire that fuels destruction and ego in so many who desire what they can never have.
It’s amazing how something so beautiful can be so terrifying.

Mimi Matthews

Peacock and Peacock Butterfly by Archibald Thorburn, 1917. Peacock and Peacock Butterfly by Archibald Thorburn, 1917.

In his 1836 book On the Mental Illumination and Moral Improvement of Mankind, Reverend Thomas Dick calls the peacock “the most beautiful bird in the world.”  There are few that would dispute this description; however, throughout history, there has always been more to the peacock than its dazzling plumage.  At various times and in various cultures, it has served as a symbol of good and evil, death and resurrection, and of sinful pride and overweening vanity.  And much like its avian brethren, the crow and the raven, the peacock has figured heavily in folktales and fables, as well as in countless superstitions that still exist today.

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