Shakespeare and the Gay Male Gaze

January 4, 2016 Leave a comment


Disclaimer: The photos used are not mine. 

On April 27 2015, a series of Youtube videos were published by, a gay adult film website. The videos were advertisements for a male oral sex simulator called the Autoblow 2.  Three gay adult film actors from were made to read Shakespearean lines while getting stimulated by the sex toy. The videos, containing no frontal nudity, are shown below. 


A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 3 Scene 2


Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1


Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 2


The videos coincide with the celebration of World Book and Copyright Day, which is held every 23rd of April. The special day is acknowledged by, as shown in the description bar of the first video. Below is a background on World Book and Copyright Day, taken from the UN website. 
We see how the universal appeal of Shakespeare persists to this day when used the Bard in their ads to capitalize on the popularity of World Book Day. Aside from Shakespeare, the video creators used the popularity of their gay adult film actors to further market the Autoblow 2. There is a voyeuristic quality to how the brawny actors pleasure themselves while reading, and the demographic of gay males appear to be loving it based on the Youtube comments.

Shakespeare in gay adult films is a rare occurence. A recent example of a movie that adequately features Shakespeare would be Eating Out: Drama Camp (2011). The film’s plot revolves around a gay couple in a drama camp that stages a raunchy version of  Taming of the Shrew. Below are some of the film’s promotional materials.




The movie posters alone feature Shakespeare. The second poster shows a line uttered by Katherine while in dialogue with Petruchio in Act 2 of scene 1. Similar to the Autoblow 2 videos, Eating Out: Drama Camp panders to the gay male audience because of the way they feature muscular gay film actors engaging in sexual intimacy. Together, these videos show how Shakespeare continues to reach out to and take root in niche markets or specific audiences. The gay film industry knows that they can rely on Shakespeare in promoting products for consumption by gay male audiences.


By: Clement Fabian Dan D. Español, BA English Studies – Language

University of the Philippines – Diliman


Works Cited:

Eating Out: Drama Camp. Dir. Q. Allan Brocka. Ariztical Entertainment, 2011. Film

“World Book and Copyright Day”. United Nations. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.


Note: the original post was deleted by accident last December. The author tried to retrieve the original post, but was only able to retrieve the comment made by Ms. Shara Escorpizo. Shown below is the said comment.


Shakespeare Podcasts

December 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Disclaimer: None of the photos, videos or podcasts belong to me. I do not claim ownership over them.

Along with the boom in internet usage, there has also been an evolution in the forms of media available to us. More and more types of media exclusive to the internet have emerged over the past decade. One of these is the podcast.

A podcast is an audio or video file, usually part of a series, that can be downloaded or streamed from a website to a computer or mobile device. It’s like a radio broadcast, except that it is accessed differently.

Even though podcasts have emerged fairly recently, there are already hundreds of podcasts out there dedicated to The Bard, showing us, time and time again, the importance that people ascribe to the works of William Shakespeare.

For this post, I will only be sharing two podcast channels, the two that interested me the most, but there are so many more out there.

Clear Shakespeare


Clear Shakespeare is a series of podcasts by Akiva Fox, that aim to bring Shakespeare’s works closer to its audience. It intends to equip the audience with historical background, meanings and language tricks necessary to give them a clear, honest understanding of The Bard’s plays.

They currently have two sets of podcasts uploaded, one as an introduction and one that talks about Hamlet. The files cannot be uploaded here because they are in mp3 format so here are the links instead:

Introduction [1. What is Clear Shakespeare, and who is it for?  2. The life and times of William Shakespeare (15:23)  3. The afterlife of Shakespeare – how he became SHAKESPEARE (37:14)  4. The accidental barriers to reading Shakespeare, and how we can get past them (46:25)]


In this video, Avika discusses everything we think we know about Shakespeare’s “To Be or Not To Be” speech:


Sheldrake on Shakespeare

Sheldrake on Shakespeare is a website, run by James Sheldrake, that is also home to a series of podcasts dedicated to William Shakespeare

They have several podcasts already uploaded where they talk about The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and so many more. Here is a link to their catalogue:

I was surprised to have found so many websites and channels that were created to produce podcasts for Shakespeare because like I said earlier, it emerged only fairly recently. The audience that I imagine would subscribe to podcasts is not the same group of people that I would think to be fans of Shakespeare. However, the amount of content I found after googling ‘Shakespeare podcasts’ is a testament to the transmediality of Shakespeare; no matter how advanced or evolved technology or media becomes, Shakespeare is sure to follow.



Fox, Akiva. Clear Shakespeare. Web. 18 Dec 2015.

Sheldrake, James. Sheldrake on Shakespeare. Web. 18 Dec 2015.
Categories: Multimedia Essays

Language of Love

December 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Disclaimer: photos and videos are not mine

By: Demi Babao – BA Journalism – UP, Diliman

Classic plays and sonnets are just a part of what Shakespeare has contributed to the society. He has influenced more than just plots that we encounter reoccurring in today’s literature and films. A lot of our words and phrases in the english vocabulary has actually been introduce d by thee man himself. Expressions such as ‘in a pickle’ or ‘wild goose chase’ has actually been coined by Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is known for the his use of flowery words and this is not just with insults, but with compliments as well. Much of his well quoted lines are words of love uttered by the characters themselves. These words are written a long time ago and yet they are able to reflect the modern dating culture just written in old english format.

Taking a look at these lines lifted from Shakespeare’s works, they’re not that different from the ones in our favorite chick flicks and series, apart of course from the language. This shows how much Shakespeare has also influenced the dating language not just from his time but  until our own. A lot of the lines are actually pretty similar in essence to the most popular pick up lines and romance lines used not just in the films or series, but in everyday courtship as well.58348711

Some lines are more appropriate than others. Just like the dating language of today, Shakespeare dating lines can vary from flattering romantic to just plain lewd. They have their rightly timed executions and some that can come off as obsessively scary if said too early in a relationship.

For instance, the line If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep! from Twelfth Night, how many times have we heard this in a song? What about in romantic films? This is one classic cheesy line that lovers tell each other. If this is all a dream, then I never want to wake up.

If This Love Only Exist In My Dreams

And then there’s Much Ado About Nothing with I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Have you ever heard someone in love tell their loved one that he or she loves them more than anything in the world? Only about infinite times! Well, it’s not just for lovers. You can hear this from parents, too. Basically, this affectionate expression is used for almost all kinds of love.


They say that love doesn’t only look at appearance. Beauty catches attention, but personality catches the heart. Guess what? Shakespeare wrote that as well. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What better to encapsulate the meaning of those words than this pop song?

Other lines are more cultivated for flirting than others, such as Come woo me, woo me, for I am in a holiday humour and like enough to consent from As You Like It. Basically, it is the modern equivalent of “I’m ready, come and get it”.

Kissed someone and want another round? Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again from Romeo and Juliet says “I’m not sure about this and it’s kind of out of my comfort zone, but let’s have that kiss again” and if they say no, a response from the same play goes O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?

Shakespeare had his way with words then AND now.

These lines are found in almost any form of medium; songs, poems, movies and even books from different generations. Some have attempted to apply them in real life. However, the results may vary.


Hamilton, J (2014) 5 Shakespeare Chat Up Lines retrieved on December 11, 2015 from

Anderson, H. (2014) How Shakespeare Influences the Way We Speak Now retrieved on December 11, 2015  from

Bruk, D. (2013) Top 10 Shakespearean Pick Up Lines retrieved on December 11, 2015 from

Categories: Multimedia Essays

by: Narisma, Dyan Kara I.

BA English Studies: Language

University of the Philippines – Diliman

Disclaimer: All videos/pictures used are not mine and belong to their respective owner.

Entry #2: Multimedia Essay


The Bard and the World of Gaming

 “BrainBites”: Shakespeare the Genius


            Aside from the claims that Shakespeare is a pothead, some parts of this world immortalizes him and deems him “food for the brain” through a board game “Shakespeare Brain Bites” by Green Board Games Company. The mechanics is quite simple. You only need to earn a “brain cell” by filling the brain card –you must answer questions from easy, medium to hard category. This game is best played from 8years and above. The kinds of questions were not revealed online but it is safe to assume that questions are of reference to Shakespearean concepts.

Online Game Hit: “Romeo wherefore art thou”



This Shakespearean referenced online game from garnered roughly 22million users. The rule is simple; a user will have to play the role of Romeo as he gathers flowers for Juliet. Yes, that’s just the premise of the game —to collects flowers for Juliet in all odds. And it is a hit in UK.

Starfox, Starfox 2 and Starfox 64



 There are two characters in this game that resounds to us in Shakespearean plays: one is Titiana of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth from Macbeth. These characters are planet names. And yes, it is a geeky game I do not even want to understand. But see how Shakespeare transcends out there to the planets and the universe?



 Speare is an interesting literacy game from Canadian Adaptation of Shakespeare Projects site launched in 2007. It markets audiences from 10 years old until 15 years old. It is an online arcade game that promotes literacy in children using the Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. Fischlin, Danniel from the site says that, “‘Speare‘s arcade-style format uses quotes from Romeo and Juliet as the content for a puzzle game that coaches players to differentiate quickly between words and in order to develop the ties among Shakespearean vocabulary, homonyms, synonyms, and other facets of basic literacy.  This language is decoded for players using audio clips of narrated Shakespearean text (transmissions), as well as word definitions and explanations embedded throughout the game. In addition to kinetic and visual cues, the game uses proprietary technology for transforming game objects into text objects and does so with an advanced audio cue system. What this means is that players who successfully perform a knowledge gathering operation will get both visual and audio cues to confirm their success, thus reinforcing the links between the sound and the sight of the game text in play.”


Works Cited:

Fischlin, Daniel. “Speare – The Literacy Arcade Game.” Canadian Shakespeareas. Canadian    Adaptations of Shakespeare Project., 2004. Web. 5 Dec. 2015. <>.


“The Green Board Game Co – Brain Bites Shakespeare.” Alfred and Smith Son. Web. 5 Dec. 2015. <;.


“9 Surprising Literary References In Videogames.” The Robot’s Voice. Voice Media Group Inc. Web. 5 Dec. 2015. <;.



Categories: Multimedia Essays

Walt Disney Immortalizes the Bard

by: Narisma, Dyan Kara I.

BA English Studies: Language

University of the Philippines – Diliman

Disclaimer: All videos/pictures used are not mine and belong to their respective owner.

Entry #1: Multimedia Essay

I was lurking around the web looking for something worthy of the immortal Bard, and to me as well, as a mother of a two-year old toddler. Apparently there are Disney writers who delight in using one or two Shakespeare references in adding vigor into their films. Consequently, I chanced upon many of Shakespearean plays allusions in the world of Disney movies.

So, maybe if I feed my daughter with more Disney movie time, she could possibly ace her Shakespeare classes then. Here are few of Disney movies that celebrate the Bard of Avon:



The Genie


Jafar and Iago

The primary character that we can easily link to Shakespeare is Iago— Iago in Alladin taken from Iago in Othello. “I love the way your little mind works,” says the antagonist Jafar to the secondary antagonist, Iago. “Conscience? I’ve never had one!” says Iago the in that Disney film. How antagonistic is that?

Moreover, a certain scenario from the film makes another reference to Shakespeare, this time from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. So, Aladdin blurts his first wish to become a prince. And the Genie reads through a magical spell book, he says “Caesar salad” then pops an arm-draped in a toga holding a dagger comes out attempting to stab him.  Then the Genie responds with a familiar line “Et tu Brute,” the same line from the terminal Julius Caesar to Brutus in Act III Scene I.



This sequel in 1998 took Shakespearean references where Shakespeare himself appeared in a cameo role. He is seen singing ‘What a Day in London’ with the people in town.

In this photo he is holding a skull (he is a gravedigger in this movie) as he sings, “What is to be or not to be” and went on writing next–probably writing Hamlet.

Another crude reference with a twist in this film’s storyline is that married Pocahontas, now known as Rebecca Rolfe in this movie, landed in England in June 1616. William Shakespeare died in April 1616.



So, this is interesting, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” Disney film is contextualized in the 15th century setting. Yes, way before our Bard even came to life. See how Disney writers love Shakespeare? Anyway, this film is as dark as Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. We know that the Merchant of Venice tells so much about racism – Christians VS Jews. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” makes another reference from that theme – Frollo VS the Gypsies.

There’s an line referenced from Merchant of Venice’s Act III Scene I: “If you pick us do we not bleed If you ickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” says Shylock. The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s take, “Yet, if you kick us, do we not flake? If you moisten us, do we not grow moss?” says Victor from one of the gargoyles to Quasimodo in convincing him to attend the festival.

Walt Disney writers are so fond of immortalizing Shakespearean. The whole team’s a fan of the Bard, ei. They can’t resist adding references from the Bard’s works. Guess one can’t fully be called a writer without acknowledging Shakespeare.


Works Cited:

“William Shakespeare (The Bard of Avon).” Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Categories: Multimedia Essays

Philippine Productions of Shakespeare

December 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Disclaimer: none of the photos are mine and they were collected from several sources.


The following stage plays are a testament to how the Filipinos are actively participating in the Shakespeare universe. According to, the fans of Shakespeare in the Philippines hit a little over the 499.5k mark and is growing as time passes. [see: facebook/pages/detail/286588754736563-william-shakespeare?country=philippines]

There is no doubt that the works of William Shakespeare has reached far and wide across the globe and has transcended different mediums. Hence, the existence of this blog. It is then not surprising that the Philippine stage would take a knack at his masterpieces. Without further ado, I’d like to present some interpretations of Shakespeare works by different institutions in the Philippines.


  1. Haring Lear

A first. This play featured Shakespeare’s King Lear in the country’s own language, Filipino. Produced by the Philippine Educational Theatre Association (PETA). The text was translated by Bienvenido Lumbera, a national artist of the Philippines.

Image from

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Image from PETA

Image from PETA


2. Hakbang sa Hakbang

An opening production for Dulaang UP’s 39th season. A retelling of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. It features the Filipino adaptation of Ron Capinding. It was presented in Filipino AND English (Measure for Measure). The play was regarded as evidence that “Shakespeare is truly global” [read:]

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Image from Dulaang UP

Image from Dulaang UP


3. Romeo and Juliet

This adaptation transcends not just Time, but also place. Set in 21st century Manila, this version of Shakespeare’s classic star crossed loved story aims to make it closer to the hearts of the Filipino youth. This play was produced by Manila Shakeaspeare Company in early 2015.

Photo from Manila Shakespeare Company

Photo from Manila Shakespeare Company

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4. Tinarantadong Asintado

For Dulaang UP’s 36th season they offered yet another Shakespeare classic with a twist. Also set in the Philippines, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. It is rumored to be one of the bloodiest plays to set on stage.

Photo from Dulaang UP

Photo from Dulaang UP


If you haven’t seen a Filipino adaptation of Shakespeare classics, you’re missing out. Although productions can be found in the many theatre companies in the Philippines, so it is never too late.

Did the Bard Smoke Weed?

December 5, 2015 3 comments

Apparently yes.

It’s not that hard to wrap your mind around that concept. Many intellectuals, even historical figures smoked weed in their own time. Evidence show that even Joan of Arc and Christopher Columbus “blazed the 420”. So does that mean marijuana pushed people to greatness? That’s still up for debate but what we can take from this is that Shakespeare could have been totally baked when he was writing his famous plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Macbeth.

Researchers found traces of cannabis on clay pipes where Shakespeare previously resided (Stratford-Upon-Avon). He also mentioned a “noted weed” in one of his sonnets. If this indeed validates the claim that the greatest dramatist of all time smoked weed, then all stoners can now rejoice because their time is not being wasted contrary to popular belief (I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next genius who will yet again change the world and ask him if he used weed as “genius fuel”).

Here are some videos that discuss the matter:



Now when someone nags you about being the bane of society when you blaze it, tell them you’re on your way on becoming the next Shakespeare.

Works Cited:

“13 Ways Important Historical Figures Used Marijuana.” Ranker. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
 YouTube. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.


Categories: Multimedia Essays