The love that dare not speak its name

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The love that dare not speak its name is a phrase from the poem "Two Loves" by Lord Alfred Douglas, published in 1894. It was mentioned at Oscar Wilde's gross indecency trial and is usually interpreted as a euphemism for homosexuality (although Wilde denied that it was).[1]

In Wilde's definition, "the love that dare not speak its name" was:

....such a great affection of an elder for a younger man... such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy...It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect...There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him.[2][3]

Some authors have suggested that this quotation referred to pederasty rather than to male homosexuality in general.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The love that dare not speak its name". phrases.org.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Testimony of Oscar Wilde". law2.umkc.edu. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  3. ^ See also Ellmann (1988:435)
  4. ^ The Importance of Being Earnest. eBookEden.com. 1946. p. 8. Under cross examination Wilde presented an eloquent defense of pederasty