Homosexuality in Victorian and Elizabethan Literature.

6608 Words27 Pages
Alexander Lucero

AP English 12



Homosexuality Portrayed in Literature: Threat To Yourself and Those Around You

The Victorian era and Elizabethan era had many homophobic attributes, just as today's society does. Gothic writers of the Victorian Age played off of the fear and immorality of homosexuality and used those feelings as a basis for their novels. Bram Stoker told a story about a vampire that challenged the Victorian gender roles and managed to reverse them, making men faint like women, and making women powerful like men, and called it Dracula. Mary Shelley created a a physical being out of a man's suppressed homosexuality due to his Victorian male upbringing; a man named Frankenstein. Robert Stevenson described what
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People believe that by allowing homosexuals to marry that it will threaten “the sanctity of marriage”. Homosexual men are infamous for being promiscuous, at least that is the label that has been placed on most if not all homosexual men, and for this reason sexually transmitted diseases have become something expected of them. This must have been a belief in the Victorian era, since syphilis was the disease that was feared and said to have come from sodomy. In this era, violence from society also attacked homosexuality. Homosexuals were hung, or lynched. (Sadownick par. 5)
This history of homophobia shows that it grows in society from a person's upbringing. Things occur in a person's life that cause them to act in certain ways and believe specific things. The public hatred of gay men taught the generations that being gay was wrong, and that people that were gay needed to be punished. Homophobia was strong in the days of the Gothic writers, and though it has weakened, it still affects people in today's society. It even dates back to the Renaissance days, and is presented by Dante Aligheri is his Inferno. "And for this reason doth the smallest round/ Seal with its signet Sodom[...]”. Sodom is a city known for crude sexual acts, which is where sodomy gets its name from. Since the Inferno is a world created by Dante, he believes that sodomy is a sin that is worse than suicide, and decides to put it just before the entrance

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