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Gay Quaker Parrots
Literary Slash
Serious Shakespeare Slash 
23rd-Dec-2005 08:17 pm
Beech leaves
Coriolanus is quite possibly the Gayest Thing Ever. And if you go to my LJ, I'm currently working on some screencaps (help with those would be appreciated). It's basically two enemy generals, Caius Marcius Coriolanus and Aufidius, who keep meeting in battle and never quite manage to kill each other, and eventually one defects to the other's side and it all gets very torrid. Here are some of the more fun bits:

[Alarum. Enter, from opposite sides, MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS.]

I'll fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.

We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.

Let the first budger die the other's slave,
And the gods doom him after!

If I fly, Marcius,
Halloo me like a hare.

(in the BBC production, this duel was performed with minimal clothing and maximal grappling, and what looked like it was turning into a kiss at the end)

O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
Whose double bosoms seems to wear one heart,
Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
Are still together, who twin, as 'twere, in love
Unseparable, shall within this hour,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
To bitterest enmity; so fellest foes,
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep
To take the one the other, by some chance,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
And interjoin their issues. So with me:--
My birthplace hate I, and my love's upon
This enemy town.--I'll enter; if he slay me,
He does fair justice; if he give me way,
I'll do his country service.

Say, what's thy name?
Thou has a grim appearance, and thy face
Bears a command in't; though thy tackle's torn,
Thou show'st a noble vessel: what's thy name?

Prepare thy brow to frown:--know'st thou me yet?

I know thee not:--thy name?

My name is Caius Marcius, who hath done
To thee particularly, and to all the Volsces,
Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may
My surname, Coriolanus: the painful service,
The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood
Shed for my thankless country, are requited
But with that surname; a good memory,
And witness of the malice and displeasure
Which thou shouldst bear me: only that name remains;
The cruelty and envy of the people,
Permitted by our dastard nobles, who
Have all forsook me, hath devour'd the rest,
And suffer'd me by the voice of slaves to be
Whoop'd out of Rome. Now, this extremity
Hath brought me to thy hearth: not out of hope,
Mistake me not, to save my life; for if
I had fear'd death, of all the men i' the world
I would have 'voided thee; but in mere spite,
To be full quit of those my banishers,
Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast
A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge
Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims
Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight
And make my misery serve thy turn: so use it
That my revengeful services may prove
As benefits to thee; for I will fight
Against my canker'd country with the spleen
Of all the under fiends. But if so be
Thou dar'st not this, and that to prove more fortunes
Th'art tir'd, then, in a word, I also am
Longer to live most weary, and present
My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;
Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,
Since I have ever follow'd thee with hate,
Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country's breast,
And cannot live but to thy shame, unless
It be to do thee service.

O Marcius, Marcius!
Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart
A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter
Should from yond cloud speak divine things,
And say ''Tis true,' I'd not believe them more
Than thee, all noble Marcius.--Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
And scar'd the moon with splinters; here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I lov'd the maid I married; never man
Sighed truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars! I tell thee
We have a power on foot; and I had purpose
Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,
Or lose mine arm for't: thou hast beat me out
Twelve several times, and I have nightly since
Dreamt of encounters 'twixt thyself and me;
We have been down together in my sleep,
Unbuckling helms, fisting each other's throat,
And wak'd half dead with nothing. Worthy Marcius,
Had we no other quarrel else to Rome, but that
Thou art thence banish'd, we would muster all
From twelve to seventy; and, pouring war
Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,
Like a bold flood o'erbear. O, come, go in,
And take our friendly senators by the hands;
Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,
Who am prepar'd against your territories,
Though not for Rome itself.

You bless me, gods!

Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have
The leading of thine own revenges, take
Th' one half of my commission; and set down,--
As best thou art experienc'd, since thou know'st
Thy country's strength and weakness,--thine own ways;
Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,
Or rudely visit them in parts remote,
To fright them, ere destroy. But come in;
Let me commend thee first to those that shall
Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!
And more a friend than e'er an enemy;
Yet, Marcius, that was much. Your hand: most welcome!

(Deleted comment)
4th-Jan-2006 02:38 am (UTC)
Isn't it just so gay???

Icons still in production, keep an eye on my LJ and angevin2's.

The BBC Julius Caesar, oddly enough, was one of the least gay productions in the set. Mind you, that's not saying much. They're getting Teh Gay in everywhere they can. Don Pedro in Much Ado, for instance, is one I'd never have considered, but you should see Jon Finch swanning around in turquoise eyeshadow.
1st-Jan-2006 07:58 pm (UTC)
I saw your "we hate alike" icon on your comments on poisoninjest's journal, and went "ooh, cool!" and tracked you to here. Looking forward to the rest of the icons! I need me a slashy icon.

Plus, this community looks awesome, so I joined.
4th-Jan-2006 02:41 am (UTC)
I do rather like this one, though it got a bit depressing as my main icon. A few others are around, but we'll probably wait until they're all done before posting them.

Nice icon yourself, where's it from? Either duelling is an inherently homoerotic activity, or the Beeb Shakespeares in particular are just making it look that way.
24th-Aug-2006 08:29 pm (UTC)
Am I wrong, or is it not also one of (possibly the only) openly stated gay Shakespeare, in that Menenius actually says that he was Coriolanus' lover when he goes to find him with the Volscians.
22nd-Feb-2011 08:59 am (UTC)
I saw found this post by googling "Coriolanus" and "slashy." I had the chance recently to see the world premiere of Ralph Fiennes' film adaptation of "Coriolanus." Let me just say, you will NOT be disappointed!!! (And no, I don't work for the production! lol)
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