Five Memorable Gay Characters In Classic Literature

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  • Monday August 28, 2023
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Five Memorable Gay Characters In Classic Literature

Despite its taboo and marginalized side for many years, homosexuality has always had a place in the masterpieces of classic literature. Ah yes ! This is in no way an evolution of sexual mores. Homosexuality has always been mentioned in the oldest writings as well as in classic literature by our greatest authors.

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The Evolution of the Social Situation of Homosexual People

The acceptance of homosexual people in our society is the fruit of long struggles. Struggles that have lasted many years aimed at breaking down prejudices and reducing ignorance. But even if today gay men appear much more in the public square thanks in particular to social networks and the vote for marriage for all, most of them still use a gay dating site to find a life partner.

These sites allow gay men to find love and relationships, and they can feel safe because all users of these dating sites are also gay and looking for love. They can afford to choose any gay dating site from a list of the most popular sites and use it to their advantage. Indeed, even if the current works on homosexuality are more and more numerous, finding the love of your life when we are gay remains a real challenge.

A History of Homosexual Characters that Began In Literature

Since Antiquity, literature has revealed that carnal love between two men is not a new fact. In its own way, literary artistic creation has contributed to an evolution in the way we look at homosexuality. There are so many great names in literature that we associate with the love between two male beings.

Achilles from Homer's Iliad

Achille represents one of the greatest Greek heroes and with his friend Patroclus, he embodies the mythical homosexual couple. By evoking the nature of the ties that unite them, Homer's Iliad demonstrates that homosexuality has existed since the dawn of time and is in no way a " depravity of morals ".

At the death of Patroclus, Achilles goes into an immense fury by evoking his friend in these terms: " the one of my friends whom I prized the most, my other self " (Iliad, XVIII, 81) "

Basil Hallward from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

In Oscar Wilde's very famous novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray , Basil Hallward is surely the most human, deep and endearing character in history. Completely upset by his meeting with Dorian, he will decide to take his new friend as a new source of inspiration and will paint his famous portrait who will watch over him, thus leaving Dorian the freedom to live out all his desires. It is precisely in Chapter IX that Basil understands that his fascination with Dorian turns into a real love passion. He describes it wonderfully well:

" Dorian, from the day I met you, your personality had an extraordinary influence on me. I was dominated, soul, spirit and talent, by you. You became for me the visible incarnation of this never seen ideal, the thought of which haunts us, us artists, like an exquisite dream. I loved you; I became jealous of everyone you talked to, I wanted to have you all to myself, I was only happy when I was with you. When you were away from me, you were still present in my art... "

Basil thus discovers his homosexuality thanks to his meeting with Dorian Gray.

Jacques Collin from Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

Homosexuality also takes its place in Honoré de Balzac's masterpiece, The Human Comedy. In Le Père Goriot, Rastignac, the main character, will meet Vautrin, whose real name is Jacques Collin.

Jacques Collin is in fact a criminal who escaped from prison. But, above all, a victim of society who found him guilty of a crime he had not committed. Balzac, who describes that Jacques Collin does not like women, makes his character a fascinating homosexual, militant against a society that cannot understand him. Rastignac is completely won over by Jacques Collin's speech and both seduced and attracted by this exceptional man.

M. Charlus Jupien from Sodom and Gomorrah by Marcel Proust

Sodom and Gomorrah is the fourth part of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

In this novel, the narrator will rub shoulders with the Baron de Charlus. He will also very quickly discover that the baron is in a carnal relationship with another man, Jupien the waistcoat maker.

Faced with this discovery, the narrator begins to embark on deep reflections on the situation of homosexuals in society, forced to live their relationships in a hidden way, because they are misunderstood and rejected by the mores of the time.