I have one, final paper due in my college literature class before summer break. The topic is to examine a new view on the most popular work of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
What the hell can a nerdy-gay-Mormon forty year old say about Mr. Hamlet that hasn't been said, to death? Alas, poor literary critic! Term papers of infinite jest,of most excellent fancy.
Well, I'm finding there is not much I could possible add to this well-worn topic. This week I wrote three pages on how I dated a thespian and helped him prepare for the role, by mentally getting him into a "mindset" of Hamlet. This support manifested itself by quizzing him on the protagonist's lines and a lot of blowjobs. I ended up deleting the three pages. Nobody needs to know how I “supported” a bearded man in tights.
With more research, I decided to take the approach of examining the ingénue role, the potential wife of Prince Hamlet, Ophelia. What gay man can’t identify with this noble woman of Denmark? We have all tried to get with our own Prince of Denmark, yet after finding that we have become a needy bottom, the jerk projects his creepy Mother issues off on to us. Before you know it, we are sitting around with friends, crying into a beer uttering statements like, “He took me by thewrist and held me hard; Then goes he to the length of all his arm… because hesaid he all loved me and junk.”
As gay men we have the possibility of having a tragic heroine inside of us. Not because we as gay men are weak, but because of our sometimes warped view of loving men during our first exploration of same-sex attraction. The impression of gays as callous sexual predators can sometimes be overwhelming to someone first coming to terms with their ownsame-sex attraction. Thankfully, unlike the weak character in Hamlet, modern gay men gravitate out of this tragic ingénue role and no longer allow the classification of tragic caricatures. We may not understand fully why our Prince is treating us badly, but we are not going to throw ourselves into a lake. Hopefully.
I will write about Ophelia. About this Shakespearean character’s struggles with Hamlet using her and then tossing her aside when his home life got complicated. But, really my term paper will be aboutyoung gay men. When coming toterms with love, without role models to guide them, how easily it is to base their self-worth in another’s opinion. That is until they see that what matters most is their own self-worth.