Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: January ::
Re: Lesbian Lovers in MND
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0175  Friday, 31 January 2003

[1]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 12:36:20 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0163 Re: Lesbian Lovers in MND

[2]     From:   Frankie Rubinstein <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 16:59:38 -0500
        Subj:   Lesbian Lovers in MND


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 12:36:20 EST
Subject: 14.0163 Re: Lesbian Lovers in MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0163 Re: Lesbian Lovers in MND

>Nor dare we overlook the related humor in Thisby's
>"cherry lips" that often "kissed" the "stones" (!)  guilty of "parting"
>her and her "fair Pyramus" --  all metaphors reflecting Shakespeare's
>wonderfully playful eroticism.

Yes, they're called malapropisms, and Archie Bunker is another wonderful
example. The female lovers in MND would have garnered many laughs from
their "highly charged" conversation, but not because THEY knew what they
were saying but rather because the AUDIENCE knew the double entendre
beneath sentences that were meant to be innocent. This is called COMEDY.
The very SECOND you have the actors play not the innocence of the
conversation but have them keenly aware of the double meanings and
relate to each other as if it were the sex they were talking about, you
accomplish two things: you destroy the comedy, and you ruin utterly the
actual thrust of the entire play. And GOD am I tired of seeing people do
that with this play. I've said it before: "write your own!!!!!" You can
have all the lesbians you want then, and have it not be funny besides.

Ted Dykstra

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frankie Rubinstein <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 16:59:38 -0500
Subject:        Lesbian Lovers in MND


Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 > writes,

>Frankly, I get weary of the assumption that friendship is perforce
>homosexual in intent, and homoerotic in expression. To me, this is
>one
(of the dumber things that Freud cooked  up for internal reasons of his
>own.
>
>I realize that I am a voice in the wilderness on this issue, but I worry
>about those who either have no understanding of the immense power of
>friendship, or cannot conceive of that power in any context accept the
>bedroom.


True. It would be asinine to say friendship is "perforce" homosexual,
but the existence of homosexual friendship, itself, was hardly cooked up
by Freud, as Greek and Elizabethan (and Biblical) literature and fact
have demonstrated  -- and some of those friendships that are "homosexual
in intent" or" homoerotic in expression" also have "immense power"  and,
unsurprisingly,  turn up in Shakespeare's canon, another idea that it is
wearisome to have to defend.

L. Swilley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 > writes,

>Lesbian lovers in MND?  Apparently these ladies are not at present of a
>lesbian mind; they are strongly expressing their interest in the men.
>In any case, how does their lesbianism, if it exists at all, affect the
>argument of the play?

You raise a crucial question and whether the [concept of homoeroticism
is relevant to MND  depends, does it not, on what one thinks the
argument of the play is  If it is to deal with love's irrational,
unstable, often absurd nature, to parody the elusive dream of romantic
love, to present the "tragical mirth" of that which goes under the
rubric of "love" --  ranging  from the "love" of fathers who deny
daughters freedom to choose a lover, seeing resistance possible only if
the daughter is "bewitched" by rhymes and verses  (as Desdemona was also
won by "witchcraft", by tales of romance); to the "love" of ill-suited
couples like Hippolyta and Theseus, who wooed  his love with his "sword"
and won her love doing her "injuries" but promises to wed her in another
key, with "revelling"  that unfortunately pleases her not (see their
quarreling over the final "entertainment" ) ;  to the "love" of a tiny
sized fairy, Titania, "enamored of an ass,"  a large sized Bottom, a
love that  is defined as a contest won by the " force and blessed power
" of  "Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower.[and his/its "love juice"]; to
the confused "love"  between two girls and two boys, also under the
power of  metaphorical flowers and juices, in which one of the girls,
Hermia, concludes when she awakes from her "dream,"  that emotions are
often out of focus and not what they seem : "Methinks I see these things
with parted eye,/When everything seems double", and the other girl,
Helena, concurs with the sad ambivalence and sense of loss in  "So,
methinks:/And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,/Mine own and not mine
own"  --  if, one believes that a mocking but tender presentation of the
infinite varieties of loving are the "argument" of the play, then
Shakespeare's re-introduction of  the "parted" and "double" language and
concept , i.e., the earlier thread and language we had noted, will
demonstrate the relevance of the erotic wordplay in the earlier
speeches.

Frankie Rubinstein

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.