Just finished reading Romeo and Juliet in English. Oh how I dread hearing about the straight love. There's never anything gay in school. Curse the conservative Christian ways why cant you leave us be?
If you read A Separate Peace or Catcher in the Rye, there's many homosexuals threads in themes, albeit small and subtle ones. Greek culture is littered with homosexual subthemes too! You just have to look hard....
I don't think the language of Shakespeare sours when describing heterosexuality, for the feelings don't differ vastly, even when the objects of one's affection might.
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain
Shakespeare can get pretty gay. Most of his most widely known sonnets are the ones to the 'Fair Youth', rather than the 'Dark Lady'.
There are definate currents of homoerotic subtext that can be read within Shakespeare's work (Merchant of Venice often cited). He was writing in a period in which passionate homosocial relationships were normal between educated men. In which women were socialised as inferiors and therefore love objects, rather than lovers. Male/ male bonds - not overtly sexual, but often physical - were a space in which you could experience the intimacy of an equal.
Furthermore James I was well known for his male favourites- homoeroticism flourished at court. And of course he is writing with the legacy of the Classical Greco-Roman tradition (which influence both structure, symbolism and allusion) in which homoeroticism was a recognised and inescapable feature. Not to mention his contemporaries- like Marlowe for example- who incorporated homoerotic themes even more overtly.
And of course in 'Twelfth Night' Viola- as Cesario- seduces Olivia in one of the most evocative soliqueys in all of Shakespeare's work. In this scene we see the failure of the [masculine] courtly poetic form replaced by this transformed and feminised - coded lesbian- pastoral poetics (the associations of the genre with homoeroticism; Theocritus, Virgil ).
The thing about reading not-straight love is you normally have to look between the pages. You have to learn how to read critically. It's not exactly like code breaking, it's just sort of knowing a different range of symbolism and meaning.
And is it really better having some dewey eyed 14-year-old and a man old enough to know better dying of stupidity in bloody Verona as your archetype?
I'd far rather have a dreamy girl in boys' clothes offering to make me a willow cabin at my door...
I know but they dont makes us read those in my school
Then read them at home!
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