Homoerotic Love In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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Upon Romeo and Mercutio’s first encounter, Mercutio attempts to coerce Romeo to dance. However, Romeo is lovesick for Rosaline and refuses. Romeo highlights the difference between him and Mercutio by responding, “Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles. I have a soul of led.” Mercutio responds by poking fun at what he considers to be Romeo’s childish and immature views on love. He laughs at Romeo and says, “You are a lover. Borrow Cupid’s wings and soar with them above a common bound.” While the text might lead readers to interpret Mercutio’s teasing as playful, a visual representation of this scene reveals it as rather flirtatious. Mercutio speaks to Romeo close to his face and looks him straight in the eyes, qualities that are often observed among lovers. Furthermore, close-up shots capture Mercutio frequently touching Romeo, wrestling with him, and dragging him along by the hand. Thus, we can understand that Mercutio’s feelings towards Romeo are more pronounced that …show more content…
The idea that Mercutio’s homoerotic love ultimately leads to his demise holds significance in contemporary society. Those who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, or gender neutral tend to be heavily discriminated against because they are considered “different.” Those who reject compulsory heterosexuality often are the target of hate crimes. In the United States, out of the almost 6,000 hate crimes committed in 2013, 20% were based on victims’ sexual orientation. Just like Mercutio, the LBGYN community is discouraged from practicing self expression in fear of being victimized. Luhrmann brings awareness to this cause by providing us with visual representation of Mercurtio’s tragic tale. In Luhrmann’s adaptation, we can learn something from Romeo and Juliet in the context of our modern society that was absent from the original

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