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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: October ::
Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1090.  Friday, 31 October 1997.

[1]     From:   Troy A. Swartz <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 14:48:20 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant

[2]     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:07:02 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Troy A. Swartz <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 14:48:20 -0500
Subject: 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.1097  Re: Gay Iago; Gay Merchant

>Andrew Walker White wrote:
>
>I know he's [Bassanio] in it at least at first for the money, but since their
>romance is
>supposed to be the centerpiece of the play, reducing the marriage to a
>financial proposition would undermine the comedy and render the play a
>tawdry piece not worth the watch.

Interestingly enough, I find the argument for a gay Antonio/Bassanio
more convincing than a gay Iago.  The reason for this is that "Merchant"
is a comedy, and "Othello" a tragedy.  Much of the comedy comes from the
sexual 'confusion' in "Merchant".  We see this in almost all his other
comedies where there is some type of gender/sexuality role-switch.  The
question for a bisexual Bassanio would not "undermine" the comedy, but
fortify it.  Take for instance, the giving of the rings:  one person to
another person to another person.  A married threesome of sorts.  Look
at the film "Threesome", for instance, where the comedy comes from the
namesake.  I do agree, however, that a 'financial proposition' would
undermine the play to an extent, but a bisexual Bassanio (an indecisive
one, for that matter) would ADD comedy.

Troy Swartz

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Oct 1997 15:07:02 -0500
Subject: 8.1090  Q: Iago
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1090  Q: Iago

Some temptations toward reading gay leanings in Iago:

1. His intimate scenes are all with men, usually "seducing" them
somehow.

2. He has no "loving" scenes with his wife.

3. His jealousies, even when they involve his wife, fixate on men
(unlike Othello, whose fixation is Desdemona, not Cassio).

4. He tells a story, apparently a fantasy of his own invention, in which
Cassio, lying with him in bed, performs various sexual acts (I mean hard
kissing, hand wringing, "laying his leg over my thigh," etc) upon him
while sleeping.

S.
 

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