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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Eroticism on the Early Modern Stage
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0467  Tuesday, 16 March 1999.

From:           Stevie Simkin <
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Date:           Monday, 15 Mar 1999 21:21:53 +0000
Subject:        Re: Eroticism on the Early Modern Stage

The recent discussion about women on the early modern stage leads me to
throw this question out (sorry to drag things sideways into Marlowe
territory):

In the opening scene of Dido Queen of Carthage, written for the Children
of the Chapel Royal, the stage direction reads: "There is discovered
JUPITER dandling  GANYMEDE upon his knee, and MERCURY lying asleep."
There follows an unambiguously homoerotic scene between Jupiter and
Ganymede.

Jackson I. Cope points out that the part of Jupiter may well have been
played by the Master of the choir, with obvious implications for sexual
abuse ('Marlowe's Dido and the Titillating Children' in English Literary
Renaissance vol. 4, no.1, Winter 1974, p.319).

Anyone got any thoughts on this?  Is this a reasonable assumption? I
haven't yet come across any similar speculation, not even in Sarah
Munson Deats' substantial chapter in her Sex, Gender and Desire in the
Plays of Christopher Marlowe.

I would imagine that the Boys' companies would throw an interesting new
light on these debates.  Any thoughts on or offlist would be
appreciated.  Thanks.

Stevie Simkin
 

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