Homoeroticism In Shakespeare Research Paper

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Zack Clever Dr. Galloway English 330 November 7, 2014 The Transformation of Relationships in Shakespearean Comedies: Homosocial, Homoerotic, Bisexual, and Androgynous Relationships William Shakespeare’s comedies cover an array of themes associated with sexuality, from gender reversals to the same-sex relationships. Yet, perhaps the most consistent and prominent focus of his plays is homoeroticism. Since this theme of homoeroticism proceeds from the prohibition of women on English stage, consequently young female roles were typically played by young boys, which may have played a role in the theme’s reoccurrence. A suggestion made by Stephen Orgel explains that the prohibition from women on the English stage possibly stems from a culturally…show more content…
Again, the “blurred” boundaries of homoeroticism are alluded to at the very beginning of the play when Antonio is (inexplicably) melancholy: ““In sooth, I know not why I am so sad. / It wearies me, you say it wearies you” (MV 1.1.1-6). As with the relationship of Hermia and Helena, this pattern seems to continue as the two “[…] male protagonists [have found] their identities, not in romantic love or in philosophical ideals, but in their relationships with each other” (Smith 57). It appears that the two friends have spent a lot of time together, mirroring each other, learning from one another. Now, their lives are about to change drastically; they are going to have much less time for male bonding, and it seems that Antonio is not ready for the change. He is supportive of his friend, but he does feel a little bit left out, since he is left behind. However, he probably realizes that the best way to manifest his friendship is to remain supportive, and to help Bassanio move on to the next stage in his life - the marriage. With that said, it seems that Antonio’s feelings for Bassanio relate more closely to that of a friend rather than a

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