Was Shakespeare a Necrophiliac?
I hate ROMEO AND JULIET. Aside from the sappy romantic sentimentality (which, if one reads the script carefully, Shakespeare is in actuality lampooning) it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt. As a Drama student in college, I was in a run of the accursed play that ran into well over forty performances. After that, I never wanted to hear the words Romeo or Juliet again. I think I did a good job with the part, I think. I played Romeo’s dad, who had to break down in tears upon learning that his son has committed suicide right on the heels of his wife having done the same. I acted my ass off for most of those shows, except for the one we did for a local high school class and they were all a bunch of little asses and I just phoned it in. Anyway, I hate the play. I did not, however, and would not, ever consider that it was an ode to necrophilia. Honestly I would have liked it better if that were the case.
I don’t believe it is, but according to researcher Demitra Papadinis, the play was meant as a bawdy anti-Christian tirade possibly written by a secret Jew. Ooooh-kay. Anyway, after Juliet has died—in actuality she is merely in a deep coma that mimics death, thanks to the apothecary’s drug, but Romeo THINKS she’s dead—Romeo breaks into her tomb to rape her corpse. And it isn’t just rape; it’s rape of the anal variety. (Hey, it’s not MY theory, okay?) So Romeo is a necrophile—that he fails to actually rape a real corpse is not due to lack of trying on his part—and a freak. I find this interpretation to be about as credible as most conspiracy theories—in other words, it’s all hooey—but I would find a newfound appreciation for the play if this WERE true. I might even agree to perform in it again, if we could stage THAT version. It’d be worth it just to see the reactions of the stodgy patrons when Romeo gets down and dirty with his lady love, don’tcha think?