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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Gay Iago; Queer Mercutio
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1118.  Thursday, 6 November 1997.

[1]     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 16:56:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1105  Re: Gay Iago

[2]     From:   Elizabeth Dietz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 10:41:13 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1112  Re: Mercutio; R3/Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 16:56:21 -0500
Subject: 8.1105  Re: Gay Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1105  Re: Gay Iago

Dear Terence Hawkes:  Tell me about it.  Actually, I hadn't noticed the
bright clothing myself.

But I think too much can be made of this sort of thing.  Someone once
showed me an old amphora depicting sodomies and fellationes and tried to
convince me that homosexuality was actually practiced in ancient Athens
and ought to enter into our understanding of Greek literature!

Scott Shepherd

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elizabeth Dietz <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Nov 1997 10:41:13 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.1112  Re: Mercutio; R3/Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1112  Re: Mercutio; R3/Iago

Re the "queer Mercutio" dialogue, and Tim Richards' assertion that
Luhrman's Mercutio is not obviously gay-I agree.  I used the word
"queer" to distinguish Mercutio's self-presentation as neither overtly
gay nor straight.  This is what I understand queer to mean-a "queering"
or disruption of an either-or sexuality.  In other filmed versions
(Zeffirelli's for instance) Mercutio's love for Romeo might be
characterized as homosocial-a bonding between men achieved through
markedly misogynistic language-a mode which strengthens the oppositions
between men and women we understand as "heterosexuality."  In the
Lurhman however Mercutio seems to me to "queer" his scenes, and thus the
gender relations of the play as a whole, by being unclassifiable.
 

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