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date: 06 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay offers a presentist reading of Romeo and Juliet in light of the political move to secure marriage rights for same-sex couples in the United States. At the same time, it critiques the recent anti-social, queer theoretical tendency to disassociate queerness from both gay identity and critical efforts to historicize desire. Identifying the Second City Network’s character of Sassy Gay Friend as the combined figure of the Nurse and Mercurtio, this essay argues for the viability of a gay, feminist, and queer life that stands against the rush to secure marriage rites, as well as against the death-drive that anti-social queer theory celebrates as queer.

Keywords: presentism, historicism, queer theory, gay identity, Romeo and Juliet, feminism, marriage

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