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Gay quaker parrots 2
Gay Quaker Parrots
Literary Slash
"Their intertangled roots of love" 
23rd-Jul-2005 06:35 pm
Beech leaves
Oh, "the true love 'tween maid and maid", what would we do without it?

Emilia, Theseus' sister, is explaining to Hippolyta, Theseus' wife and former Queen of the Amazons, why she isn't particularly keen on men.

EMILIA: ~~~ I was acquainted
Once with a time when I enjoyed a playfellow; ... [I.3.50]
You were at wars when she the grave enriched,
Who made too proud the bed; took leave o'th' moon --
Which then looked pale at parting -- when our count
Was each eleven.

HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ 'Twas Flavina.

EMILIA: ~~~ Yes.
You talk of Pirithous' and Theseus' love:
Theirs has more ground, is more maturely seasoned,
More buckled with strong judgment, and their needs
The one of th'other may be said to water
Their intertangled roots of love; but I
And she I sigh and spoke of were things innocent, ... [I.3.60]
Loved for what we did, and like the elements,
That know not what, nor why, yet do effect
Rare issues by their operance, our souls
Did so to one another. What she liked
Was then of me approved; what not, condemned --
No more arraignment. The flower that I would pluck
And put between my breasts -- O then but beginning
To swell about the blossom -- she would long
Till she had such another, and commit it
To the like innocent cradle, where phoenix-like, ... [I.3.70]
They died in perfume. On my head no toy
But was her pattern. Her affections -- pretty,
Though happily her careless wear -- I followed
For my most serious decking. Had mine ear
Stol'n some new air, or at adventure hummed one,
From musical coinage, why, it was a note
Whereon her spirits would sojourn -- rather dwell on --
And sing it in her slumbers. This rehearsal --
Which, seely innocence wots well, comes in
Like old emportment's bastard -- has this end: ... [I.3.80]
That the true love 'tween maid and maid may be

More than in sex dividual.

HIPPOLYTA: ~~~ You're out of breath,
And this high-speeded pace is but to say
That you shall never, like the maid Flavina,
Love any that's called man.

EMILIA: I am sure I shall not.

HIPPOLYTA: Now alack, weak sister,
I must no more believe thee in this point --
Though in't I know thou dost believe thyself --
Than I will trust a sickly appetite ... [I.3.90]
That loathes even as it longs. But sure, my sister,
If I were ripe for your persuasion, you
Have said enough to shake me from the arm
Of the all-noble Theseus, for whose fortunes
I will now in and kneel, with great assurance
That we more than his Pirithous possess
The high throne in his heart.

EMILIA: ~~~ I am not
Against your faith, yet I continue mine. [Exeunt.]

Shakespeare and Fletcher, The Two Noble Kinsmen, I.3.49-99, from here. You should see what the men get up to later on. I think the gay male bits are by Fletcher and the lesbian bits by Shakespeare, but I'd have to check.
Comments 
23rd-Jul-2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
I do love the way you generalise "the gay male bits" and "lesbian bits" *giggles*

This is an interesting extract. I confess I haven't really read around Shakespeare as much as I should have. I'll have to remedy that when I have more time.
23rd-Jul-2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
I know, I was being lazy, mea culpa. Basically, the plot revolves around two flaming gay men sworn warrior brothers in hot pursuit of a lesbian. What else should I call it?

I do like that "You're out of breath" bit. Is she indeed. It's rather reminiscent of the dykey bits in Dream, don't you think, all that erotic imagery about flowers and such?
23rd-Jul-2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
The flaming gay men Sworn Warrior Brother Sections and the parts with their lesbian unattainable quarry?

Similar perhaps, however I think it's possibly just that tad more obvious, whereas in Dream it's hidden within other Natural whimsy.
23rd-Jul-2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't know, Dream is absolutely crawling with lesbianism. First of all you've got the Amazon thing, and those ladies weren't known for needing men. Then you've got what is pretty much lesbian parenting between Titania and her votaress, with that nice little passage about them swimming together. Then you've got that big scene between Hermia and Helena about the love between them which has now been fucked up by the introduction of men into the plot (nothing against men, just that this is what tends to happen to same-sex relationships in Shakespeare). I'll quote that bit another day, but I'd say it's fairly obvious, and I'm sure I've read a critic who says that the style and content of the way love is expressed between women in this play is exactly the same as the way love is expressed elsewhere heteroerotically.
23rd-Jul-2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
True. Rather good points all. Titania I always saw as a more fluid character though, within sexuality. For she is not adverse to males, like Oberon, and while Bottom was a love potion, she... Oh dear I'm rambling. I think that she was merely more sensual rather than sexual, and therefore was not fixed within gender barriers.

I think I've become desensitised to when a relationship of love is simply love or love in a possibly more sexual sense. Never really drew the line.
This may explain a lot of my arguments.
23rd-Jul-2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
"Desire" seems to be the in word with crit, I went through a whole course called "Shakespearean Sexualities" and it wasn't until later that I wondered why we were discussing stuff exclusively in terms of "desire" and leaving out "love" and such. Possibly because desire is more clear-cut, love can include no end of variety.

Titania's rather a wanton lass, between the bisexuality and the bestiality. Bloody misogynistic Elizabethans. OK, maybe it wasn't meant misogynistically, women generally behave better than men in this play, but she's punished for wanting autonomy as a sexual being and as a parent, so humph.
23rd-Jul-2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, perhaps sticking to desire may perhaps be easier to define. But, does that encompass such relationships which it is more a desire to possess/own the other person, or could sexual desire be called that too?

As for Titania, yes, well, she's the Queen of the Faeries; surely such an authorative title is similar to male dominance? As in, she is a woman to Oberon, who is male, but has the power, and therefore equivalent of a male thus the connection with her lessers (and females) be explained that way? Oh ignore me when I ramble like this. *warns you now* I tend to shoot off ideas at people rather a lot. Usually wholly unfounded ones.
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