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i can’t stop fucking thinking about my english prof talking about the queer historical significance of the word “sweet” as a deliberate indicator of homosexual love and how that relates to both edward ii and gaveston, as well as hamlet and horatio. so, because shakespeare was likely totally knowledgeable about codes that queer men were using (cos like duh obvs), the inclusion of “sweet prince” at the end of hamlet is in all likelihood a completely deliberate indication that hamlet and horatio were in love

i’m???? so gay for literature and history lmao

“Sweet” is also used in straight relationships. In Henry IV Pt. 1, Kate calls Hotspur “sweet lord” and then refers to him as “my sweet Harry” in Part 2 after his death.

I mean, I believe in “The Author is Dead” theory, so believe whatever makes you happy ..but..

I find it reeeeaaallly unlikely that Shakespeare was trying to sneak in coded homosexuality references. Hamlet isn’t about the gay love between Horatio and Prince Hamlet. It’s about philosophy, life and death, growing up, anxiety and depression, family politics, meta-tragedy deconstruction, eternity, politics, etc. I don’t want to come off condescending, but I get a little frustrated that the tumblr Shakespeare fandom consistently reduces the bard’s work to be simply a collection of secret queer relationships.

When Shakespeare wanted to write queer characters, he would just write them. The gay Antonios of Merchant and Twelfth Night, Achilles and Patroclus in Troilus & Cressida, the lesbian tension between Olivia and disguised-Viola, etc. Shakespeare wasn’t afraid to be open about his queer characters, so while I have no problem with people making a slash ship out of Hamlet and Horatio, it’s silly to me to take the word “sweet” as indicative of a coded romance between the two.

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