The moth in ‘Silence of the Lambs’.



The famous poster of this movie shows the ‘Death’s-head Hawk  moth’ on Jodi Foster’s mouth. On the moth’s thorax you can vaguely make out a skull, however if you look closely its actually the nude bodies of 7 women who are together forming a skull.The pattern on the moth’s back in the movie posters is not the natural pattern of the Death’s-Head Hawk Moth. It is, in fact, Salvador Dali’s “In Voluptas Mors”, a picture of seven naked women made to look like a human skull.  Apparently the 7 naked women are believed to represent the seven victims of the serial killer in the movie.












In the movie Lechter mentions that  he ate a victim’s liver with “some fava beans and nice chianti”.

Fava bean are also known as Broad beans’







Chianti is an Italian wine produced in Chianti region in central Tuscany


Liver, fava beans, and wine all contain a substance called tyramine, which can kill a person who is taking a certain class of antidepressant drugs known as MAO (Monoamine oxidase) inhibitors. MAO inhibitors were the first antidepressants developed, and were used primarily on patients in mental institutions. However new research into MAOIs indicate that much of the concern over their dangerous dietary side effects stems from misconceptions and misinformation, and that despite proven effectiveness of this class of drugs, it is underutilized and misunderstood in the medical profession. New research also questions the validity of the perceived severity of dietary reactions, which has historically been based on outdated research


Thematic parallel: The tune played by the music box which Starling finds in the bedroom of Buffalo Bill’s first victim is taken from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. The magic tune releases the heroine from the clutches of a lecherous character who ‘covets’ her throughout the opera.. It is, ironically, the tune played by Papageno’s magical bells, which charms his enemies and protects him from danger.












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