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Between Irishmen : queering Irish literary and cultural nationalisms Lapointe, Michael Patrick 2006

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BETWEEN IRISHMEN: QUEERING IRISH LITERARY AND CULTURAL NATIONALISMS By MICHAEL PATRICK LAPOINTE BA, University of  Western Ontario, 1992 MA, McMaster University, 1994 i A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (English) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 2006 ©Michael Patrick Lapointe, 2006 This dissertation explores the relations between various strands of  Irish nationalism and the homosocial/homosexual continuum as represented in texts by Irish writers Edward Martyn, James Joyce, Brian Friel, Thomas Kilroy, Frank McGuinness, and Jamie O'Neill. Drawing upon Eve Kosofsky  Sedgwick's theories of  homosociality, the epistemology of  the closet, and homosexual panic as well as Judith Butler's theory of melancholic gender performativity,  I argue that the Irish representation of  homoeros is not only a submerged counter-tradition within Irish writing, but also an integral part in the constitution of  modern nationalist identity. Specifically,  homosociality and homoeroticism, I argue, have affected  the nature of  Irish literary and cultural nationalisms insofar  as homosocial desire resides in the heart of  romantic nationalism's ideology and symbolism, and in its sacrificial  interpellation of  the homosexual figure. The first  chapter looks at the influential  impact of  gender and homoeros on the histories of  nationalisms by examining homosexual panic in the Irish Gothic, the influence  of  Dion Boucicault's sentimental melodramas, and by reading the Irish Revival through George L. Mosse's analysis of  nationalism's creation of  a respectable normative masculinity and through David Cairns and Shaun Richards's discussion of  Irish familism and its regulation of  sexuality. The Irish Revivalists' reaction to the discourse of  Irish feminization  informs  their understanding of  the model Irishman as both peasant and warrior. Also, a homosocial cultural imaginary, akin to romantic nationalism's, shapes Ulster Unionism as well, apparent in Loyalist marches and Orange fraternal organizations. The second section of  the introduction consists of  three case studies investigating the queer lives of  Oscar Wilde, Patrick Pearse, and Roger Casement. Each man is an exemplary figure  of  the contradictory discourses of  homoerotic desire in conflict  with Irish nationality. My readings of  selected literary texts in the following  chapters elaborate upon the queer-inflected  construction of  masculinist nationalist identity. In Chapter 2,1 show how Edward Martyn's play The  Heather  Field  charts a tension between the physical and emotional yearning for  men and a brand of  Catholic asceticism, or hieratic homoeroticism. In the subsequent chapter, I turn to James Joyce's ambivalent strategies of  representation and their imbrication within romantic nationalism. This chapter discusses A Portrait  of  the Artist  as a Young  Man  and Ulysses  through theories of  gender inversion and performativity  and homosexual panic within male homosocial relations. In Chapter 4, Brian Friel's The  Gentle  Island  and Thomas Kilroy's The  Death and Resurrection of  Mr.  Roche dramatize Ireland's continuing disavowal of  its culture's homosocial foundations  through homophobic scapegoating. The fifth  chapter reads Frank McGuinness's plays Observe the Sons of  Ulster  Marching  Towards  the Somme  and Carthaginians  through melancholic gender as Northern Ireland's warring communities grapple with psychic and bodily wounds. The dissertation ends with a short epilogue analyzing the homosocial and homoerotic desires configuring  the Easter Rising of  1916 in Jamie O'Neill's novel At Swim, Two  Boys. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of  Contents iv Acknowledgements v Dedication vi CHAPTER I: Of  Irish Nationalisms and Homoeros  1 1.1 Irish Nationalisms and Gender/Sexuality 23 1.2 Case Studies: Qucire and Irish i) Oscar Wilde 86 ii) Patrick Pearse 95 iii) Roger Casement 110 \ CHAPTER II: Edward Martyn's Hieratic Homoeroticism 121 CHAPTER III: James Joyce's Qucire Compatriots in Bloom 162 CHAPTER IV: Queering the Cracked Lookingglass of  a Servant: 223 Brian Friel and Thomas Kilroy CHAPTER V: Mourning Sacrificial  Wounds in Frank McGuinness ..261 EPILOGUE: The Word Known to All Men:. Jamie O'Neill's Love Letter....296 WORKS CITED: 316 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to acknowledge the early academic encouragement of  Professor  Gary Owens and Professor  Brian John. I am especially grateful  for  the excellent guidance, support, and patient supervision of  Professor  Ira Nadel, and the valuable readings and suggestions by my superb committee: Dr. Miranda Burgess, Dr. Miguel Mota, and Dr. Stephen Guy-Bray. Finally, I must thank Dr. Janet Giltrow for  helping me realize greener fields. DEDICATION This thesis is dedicated to the memory of  my mother, Margaret Rose Wright Lapointe, and my grandmother, Agnes Hartshorn Wright, both of  whom did not live to see this project completed. My uncle, Howard Leroy "Junior" Wright passed away four  days after  my oral examination. I also wish to dedicate this work to my father,  Angelbert Joseph Lapointe. I could not have reached this point without them. I offer  special thanks to Julie Richards, Dr. Alan Lewis, Dr. Thomas Hastings, Martin Russell, Paul Gorbould, and Nancy Body for  their decades of  friendship,  loyalty, and love. Of  Irish Nationalisms and Homoeros I look into his eyes, they're closed But I see something. A teacher told me why, I laugh When old men cry. My body grows and grows, It frightens  me, you know. The old man tried to walk me home. I thought he should have known. Twilight, Twilight, lost my way. Twilight, night and day. Twilight, can't find  my way. (In the shadow boy meets man In the shadow boy meets man). I'm running in the rain. I'm caught in a late night play. It's all and everything. I'm soaking through the skin. Twilight, darkened day. Twilight, lost my way, Twilight, night and day. Twilight, can't find  my way. (In the shadow boy meets man In the shadow boy meets man). —U2. "Twilight. " Boy, 1980. Our Nationalism has for  far  too long been our Egoism. It was our lovely, shining youth. Like all the appurtenances of  youth it was lovely in its day. After  its day passed to attempt to wear it was a form  of 'Death in Venice', a middle-aged man raddling his cheeks to keep his youthful  glow in times of  plague. Ireland has clung to her youth, indeed to her childhood, longer and more tenaciously than any other country in Europe, resisting Change, Alteration, Reconstruction to the very last. -Sean O'Faolain, The  Irish,  (1947) 168. I realized that I must make the attempt not only to come out of  the closet but, just as importantly, to discover and articulate the relevance of  gay/lesbian liberation within the struggle for  Irish national liberation. —Brendi McClenaghan, republican prisoner, H-Block 5 in O'Carroll and Collins, Lesbian and  Gay Visions  of  Ireland,  (1995) 126. In the first  pair of  excerpts from  two of  Ireland's favourite  sons, Bono of  Irish rock band U2 and writer Sean O'Faolain, a curious incongruity of  homoerotically-charged imagery registers within an unlikely Irish context. The first  passage, the song "Twilight", from U2's debut album entitled Boy, possesses the melancholic tone which accompanies a loss of  innocence through maturation into adulthood, but the lyric also speaks to an adolescent male's confusion  and fear  over his sexual identity. The boy's ambiguous encounter with the old man (perhaps a father  figure)  in twilight's shadows not only can be read as the boy meeting a mature version of  himself,  but also as an encounter where the old man provides the boy with a key to potential sexual discovery and revelation. In the second excerpt, Sean O'Faolain criticizes romantic Irish nationalism through recourse to Thomas Mann's short story "Death in Venice" (1912), thereby joining questions of  Irish identity and homosexuality. Mann's story, a favourite  in gay prose anthologies, brings to O'Faolain's table same-sex desire, voyeurism, the erotic relationship between the artist and his inspiration, and the paternal desire for  the son never born. Perhaps, O'Faolain's "lovely, shining" youth is the slightly younger, less knowing, counterpart of  Bono's frightened  Dublin boy "running in the rain." O'Faolain's mocking personification  of nationalism as an aging dandy— an Oscar Wilde or Quentin Crisp with too much rouge on his cheek to hide his receding attractiveness—serves as a stubborn and pathetic figure ironically so unlike nationalism in its full  glory of  boyhood. Romantic and revolutionary nationalisms have been twentieth-century Ireland's principal cultural and political frameworks  and the foundational  smithy upon which the country's badge of  identity has been forged,  even if  only diminished to a symbolic residue over the past few  decades. Nationalisms' power to define  who one is and who one isn't in relation to imagined communities structures beliefs  and myths, while simultaneously creating clear internal borders and boundaries historically between the Irish and the Other: women, Travellers, the working class, immigrants, Jews, people of  colour, abused children, and gays and lesbians (Cullingford,  Others 7). Conservative religious attitudes towards sexuality common to Ireland's various Christian faith  groups and a dominant masculinist patriarchal cultural order suppress the freedoms  of  a queer Ireland for  the purposes of  shoring up the communities' sense of  uncontaminated Irishness  or Ulsterness.  In the third quotation above, McClenaghan's apparent paradoxical identity, to many nationalists, as a gay Republican functions  as a telling instance of  revolutionary nationalism's wilful  blindness and hypocrisy towards gays and lesbians within Irish communities. McClenaghan's statement is a bellwether of  the historic and cognitive distance between his context and that of  O'Faolain and Bono's, underscoring the dramatic progressive social changes that have swept over Ireland in the past fifteen  years. Roughly, three major species of  Irish nationalism have substantially shaped the country in this past century: conservative constitutional nationalism, militant revolutionary nationalism, and romantic cultural nationalism. In turn, these three strains remain internally fractured,  exhibiting sizeable overlap with each other and cross-fertilization  over the last two hundred years. Ulster Unionism obliquely may be considered a form  of  nationalism as it looks to London yet is very dissimilar to English or British nationalism. This thesis primarily examines the enormous impact upon Irish writing of  Ireland's triumphant, romantic cultural nationalism and its intersection with insurgent nationalism. The relationship between cultural and revolutionary nationalist and Ulster Unionist identities and the continuum of  homosociality and homosexual identities has not been examined by scholars until very recently. I am not dealing here first  and foremost  with sexual acts, but, instead, with a plurality of  sexual categories, of  expanded, yet often  vexed, notions of  love and male friendship,  and of  emotional and spiritual yearning for  another member of  the same sex. These relational discourses, sometimes marked by an intimacy or intensity usually associated with most standard configurations  of  heterosexual romance, are also, at other times, marked by anxiety and hostility: I have grouped all these variable phenomena under the term homoeros.1 Sexual desire, practices, and identities are best conceived as a fluid  spectrum, as David Bergman comments: "sexual identity and sexual practice are frequently  separate in the discourse of  both homo- and heterosexuality. In both discourses, the way you feel  about what you do is far  more important than what you do" (29). Sexual desire, always in flux,  often  refuses  to respect boundaries of  identity, resulting in sexual behavior not aligning itself  logically within predetermined sexual categories; for  example, the fact  that many men who engage in sexual activity with other men, even if  only once, are heterosexually-identified,  underlining the incoherence and fissures  amongst what one says, what one does,  and what one, supposedly, is. 1 Homoeros  is my umbrella term encompassing the diversity of  (homo)sexual phenomena synthesized from the work of  a coterie of  both queer theory and gay studies scholars to whom I owe an intellectual debt of gratitude: Michel Foucault's discursive subjectivity through institutional power in Discipline and  Punish: The  Birth of  the Prison (1977) and The  History  of  Sexuality:  An Introduction  (1978); David Halperin's extension of  Foucault's work to the specificity  of  gay male experience in Saint  Foucault:  Towards  a Gay Hagiography  (1995); Ed Cohen's work on normative masculinity and cultural normalization in Talk  on the Wilde  Side:  Toward  a Genealogy of  a Discourse on Male  Sexualities  (1993); and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's notions of  homosociality and the workings of  the closet in Between Men:  English  Literature and  Male  Homosocial  Desire (1985) and Epistemology  of  the Closet  (1990). Thanks to Eve Sedgwick also for  the inspiration for  my dissertation's title. In addition, I have drawn from  Judith Butler's influential  re-readings of  Freud and Lacan and her theories of  gender performativity  and gender melancholy in Gender Trouble:  Feminism and  the Subversion  of  Identity  (1990) and Bodies  That  Matter:  On the Discursive Limits of  'Sex'(1993).  For full  bibliographic citations, see the Works Consulted. This dissertation closely examines homoeros in the texts of  writers spanning over a century of  Irish writing: Edward Martyn's play The  Heather  Field  (1899), James Joyce's novels A Portrait  of  the Artist  as a Young  Man  (1916) and Ulysses  (1922), Thomas Kilroy's drama The  Death and  Resurrection of  Mr.  Roche (1968), Brian Friel's play The  Gentle  Island  (1971), Frank McGuinness's dramas Observe the Sons of  Ulster Marching  Towards  the Somme  (1985) and Carthaginians  (1988), and, lastly, Jamie O'Neill's novel At Swim, Two  Boys (2001). The rich ambiguity of  these works does not permit unequivocal statements about homoerotic representation or about the authors responsible for  them. The complex terrain of  these widely divergent texts recommends the adoption of  a diversity of  approaches or methods such as queer theory, feminism,  psychoanalytic criticism, formalist  readings, postcolonialism, and Irish historical and cultural analysis in order to stimulate the most productive queer readings. Since the plethora of  Irish texts to be queerly reread promises many critical rewards and a compelling claim arguing for  the tenacious presence of homoeros in Irish writing is grounded in the examination of  numerous authors, the focus here, due to practical limits, is upon a detailed re-reading of  these six writers and approximately eight texts, which best illustrates queer theory's insights into the mechanisms and dynamics of  diverse categories of  Irish nationalism. The queer re-readings of  Irish texts2 that I am proposing in no sense intend to rebut more traditional interpretations which eschewed any mention of  homoeros in any 2 For further  discussion of  queer representations and images in Irish literature and the search by gay Irishmen and lesbians to find  themselves represented in the Irish canon, see Brian Finnegan's introduction to his collection quare fellas:  new irish gay writing,  Basement Press, (1994) and Mark Hemry's introduction to his short story anthology Chasing  Danny Boy: Powerful  Stories  of  Celtic  Eros, Palm Drive Publishing, (1999), as well as the essays: Emma Donoghue's "Noises from  the Woodsheds: Tales of  Irish lesbians, 1886-1989", 158-70, and Eibhear Walshe's "Oscar's Mirror" 149-57, both published in Lesbian and  Gay Visions  of  Ireland:  Towards  the Twenty-first  Century,  eds. Ide O'Carroll and Eoin Collins, Cassell, (1995). form  but, instead, often  build upon this work to open up space to marginal readings. Competing marginal interpretations remain crucial to orthodox analysis since they constitute the limits of  dominant understanding. Likewise, some mainstream criticism depends upon the containment of  these very margins for  their own canonical power and prestige through censorship and silence. Lee Edelman posits that a germane parallel exists between male homosexuality and writing, for  as he states, "[l]ike writing, gay male sexuality comes to occupy the place of  the material prop, the excessive element, of representation: the superfluous  and arbitrary thing that must be ignored, repressed, or violently disavowed in order to represent representation as natural and unmediated" (xvi). Analogously, in discussing nationalism, David Lloyd writes that "it is a paradox of nationalism that though it may often  summon into being a 'people' which is to form  and subtend the nation-state, it is always confronted  with that people as a potentially disruptive excess over the nation and its state" {History  33; emphasis Lloyd's). Much Irish literary and cultural criticism has been indebted to the same gendered and sexual ideological discourses which shape Irish nationalisms that, I argue, the representations in the texts under examination critique. Although recent queer and progressive work has been done in Irish Studies by such scholars as Colleen Lamos, Elizabeth Butler Cullingford,  Gerry Smyth, Joseph Valente, Vicki Mahaffey,  Michael Cronin, Luke Gibbons, Declan Kiberd, Lionel Pilkington, Margot Gayle Backus, Joseph Allen Boone, Garry Leonard, Eibhear Walshe, David Lloyd, Seamus Deane, Emer Nolan, Edna Longley, Adrian Frazier, Lance Pettitt, Elaine Sisson, and Vincent Quinn to name just a handful,  Anthony Bradley and Maryann Gialanella Valiulis comment, however, that, the study of  gender in Ireland has been suppressed, with some notable exceptions, in the dominant male-centered discourses of  historiography and literary criticism, which have until very recently assumed an , understanding of  culture that marginalizes gender in revising nationalism or in analyzing Ireland's postcolonial status. (2) A queer reappraisal of  Irish texts and nationalism, I contend, offers  a productive response to Edna Longley's diagnosis of  what Irish criticism lacks when she speculates that "[pjerhaps the equivalent of  advanced feminist  'troubling and subverting' is precisely what our Nationalist and Unionist patriarchal strait-jackets need" (.Living 187). More specifically,  David Lloyd announces a new promising horizon in future  Irish scholarship: "What has yet to be adequately documented and analyzed is the emergence of  differently articulated male and female  homosocial spheres in colonial and postcolonial Ireland, though these doubtless exist and have probably profoundly  affected  political and social life  in Ireland" {History  88). Queer Theory and Rene Girard's Scapegoat Queer theory posits a deconstructed and divided subject, where identity is fluid,  in flux, and socially constructed, undermining traditional binary oppositions of  gender and sexual categories such as heterosexual/ homosexual, masculine/feminine,  and male/female.  Two broad approaches characterize queer theory: Foucauldian discursive analysis of  the social construction of  identity, in this case homo- and heterosexuality, as explored by Eve Kosofsky  Sedgwick and a queerly-inflected  psychoanalysis heavily indebted to the work of  Judith Butler, focusing  upon the influence  of  the interior realm of  the subject's mind, development, and functioning.  Both exterior and interior approaches, as it were, are productive when queerly reading Irish writing and developing an understanding of homoeros within Irish nationalisms. Sedgwick's descriptions of  the homosocial architecture of  same-sex relations; of the epistemological strategies of  the closet: the interaction of  knowledge, ignorance, power, and denial; and of  the inherent homophobic scapegoating of  the homosexual figure  by the homosocial afford  far-reaching  critical and social insights. Male homosociality involves the social bonds or "the glue" (Men  2) of  male bonding, frequently  triangulated through the exchange of  women or the discourse of  Woman and often  accompanied by acute homophobia. Normative constructions of  male heterosexuality are conceptually dependent upon "a distinction between men's identification  (with men) and their desire  (for  women), a distinction whose factitiousness is latent where not patent....show[ing] how close may be the slippage or even the melding between identification  and desire" (Closet  62; emphasis Sedgwick's). Sedgwick argues that the structure of  men's relations with their own sex should be viewed as possibly an unbroken continuum between the homosocial and the homosexual, which is, however, on the surface  visibly and drastically ruptured (Men  1-2). This rupture means that "male heterosexual identity and modern masculinist culture may require for  their maintenance the scapegoating crystallization of  same-sex male desire that is widespread and in the first  place internal" (Closet  85). Rene Girard's writings concerning the sacrificial  process and the scapegoat mechanism, which influence  Sedgwick, shape my own discussion of  Irish nationalisms' homosocial foundations.  According to Girard, scapegoats serve as surrogate victims or substitutes for  a community's internal rivalries, jealousies, dissensions, and feuds.  This venting of  pent up frustration  within a community manifests  itself  in violence against the victims in order to preserve social solidarity and harmonious order. The victims of  this scapegoating mechanism are already condemned in advance by tradition and cultural fiat; moreover, they are chosen because they unable to defend  themselves since they lack any recourse to vengeance or justice, having no one to champion their interests ( Violence  2-8; Scapegoat  36). In Ireland, historically, the diverse strains of  nationalism's antagonistic relationship with Britain and, in the main, its ineffectual  resistance to external rule are one root cause of  nationalist communities' anger and violence. Separately, scapegoats might be selected at random, but, collectively, they share certain characteristics. Girard notes that the victims are "exterior or marginal individuals, incapable of  establishing or sharing the social bonds that link the rest of  the inhabitants" (Violence  12). When turning his focus  to sexuality, Girard posits that when "one trespasses beyond the limits of  matrimony to engage in illicit relationships—incest, adultery, and the like—the violence, and the impurity resulting from  this violence, grows more potent and extreme" ( Violence  35), epitomized, I contend, by the sacrifice  of homosexual desire in the name of  an ideal romantic nationalism. Since the sacrificial process is never ultimately efficacious,  scapegoating violence is always in demand and unavoidably repeatable. Regarding the homosexual figure,  Sedgwick asks, "what tighter turn could there be to the screw of  an already off-center,  always at fault,  endlessly blackmailable male identity ready to be manipulated into any labor of  channeled violence?" (<Closet  84). The position of  martyrdom in this sacrificial  economy remains another factor worth considering. Martyrs are not outside this scapegoating system, for  "what the martyrs say has little importance," argues Girard, "because they are witnesses, not of  a determined belief,  as is imagined, but of  man's terrible propensity, in a group, to spill innocent blood in order to restore the unity of  their community" (Scapegoat  209). Within nationalist communities, the blood sacrifice  of  the individual is a reaction to the injunction that homosocially-bonded men must die as willing victims for  idealistic notions of  fraternal  comradeship and for  the elevated objective of  serving the nation with its imaginary masculine identity. Ironically, in the cases of  Patrick Pearse and Roger Casement, the scapegoating mechanism overlaps with conspicuous martyrdom, possibly in the forms  of  these men's internal psychic compulsion and of  the communities' (and, in Pearse's case, his own) repudiation of  the homosexual "enemy within." A sacral Irish nationalism's celebratory representation of  the martyr figure  naturally draws upon an overdetermined Christian inheritance, which spawns a sense of  the innocence of  the heroic person persecuted by being put in Christ's place (Scapegoat  202). This Christie parallel typically invokes sympathy for  Irish martyrs, yet, contrary to the intent behind nationalist-sanctioned homophobia, this affective  parallel in conjunction with authorial design often  invokes sympathy too for  these other victims in the texts under study. Queer theory's second approach involves Judith Butler's seminal work in queering Freud's Oedipus complex, where a defensive  strategy of  ambivalence underlies the formation  of  the superego from  the melancholic incorporation of  prohibited lost loves and proscribed desires. Gender, according to Butler in Bodies  That  Matter:  On the Discursive Limits of  *Sex'  (1993), is the effect  of  the incorporation of  that phallic prohibition against homosexuality and incest mapped onto the body. Butler theorizes gender identity as a form  of  melancholic incorporation by following  Freud's speculations in "Mourning and Melancholia" (1917) and The  Ego and  the Id  (1923). Butler describes how the ambivalent lost object of  love "is set up within the ego as a critical voice or agency, and the anger originally felt  for  the object is reversed so that the internalized object now berates the ego" (Trouble  61). Producing feelings  of  guilt and self-hatred,  the berating agency of  the internalized object regulates gender identity by prohibiting homosexual desire, where identification  is conceived as a substitute for  this loss which "continues to haunt and [to] inhabit the ego as one of  its constitutive identifications" {Power  134, 137, 140). Melancholia functions  as a sign of  unresolved object relations, and Butler demonstrates that "in the case of  same-sexed gender identification,  the unresolved object relations are invariably homosexual" {Trouble  63). The melancholic preservation of  homosexual cathexes is effected  through a repeated renunciation where a "disavowed male homosexuality culminates in a heightened or consolidated masculinity, one which maintains the feminine  as the unthinkable and unnameable" {Trouble  69; Power 143). Masculinity is, thus, composed of  the unresolved grief  of  sublimated homosexuality; in other words, modern male identity is made up of  the man one is, plus the man one was barred from  loving {Power  143). Accordingly, misogyny and homophobia are psychic effects  initially produced by a threat from  within, where an ideal masculine identity secures its boundaries as a subject by defending  himself  psychically and ideologically from  the feminine,  and thereby, the perceived homosexual, whom are both castrated and powerless figures  (Butler, Trouble  57-65; Power 132-40). This deconstruction of  gender allows us to rethink the illusionary performative effects  of  hyperbolic normalized behaviour rather than perceiving gender as an expressive or essentialist phenomena. Gender identity is performative  in the ways subjects unconsciously and consciously draw upon discursive cultural practices to embody and act out the gender role that remains a cultural given. Gender performativity  refers  to the repeated and citational practices by which compulsory heteronormativity and the heterosexualization of  desire produce the "naturalizing" effects  of  gender and the body's materialization of  sexual difference. In Gender  Trouble:  Feminism and  the Subversion  of  Gender  (1990), Butler additionally argues that gender is an involuntary performance  of  embodied socially-constructed gender norms; it is something a man or woman does  as opposed to is. Performativity  is not a conscious or voluntary "act" most times, but, rather, a citational reiteration of  the norms of  regulatory discourses that produces the effects  that it cites. Butler additionally posits that the cultural parodies found  in drag and cross-dressing may offer  insights into the functioning  of  gender performativity  so that the possibility of  less oppressive regulation can emerge through parodic resignification  and a form  of  agency where the discursively enmired subject does not have to be a self-present  essence to effect  change. imitating  gender,  drag  implicitly  reveals the imitative structure  of gender  itself—as  well  as its contingency'"  (Trouble  137; emphasis Butler's). Drag tends 3 In an examination of  linguistic performativity  and its oblique connection to theatrical performance, Andrew Parker and Eve Kosofsky  Sedgwick argue that the performative  in British philosopher J. L. Austin's How  to Do Things  with Words  (1975) has already been marked by homoeros. Parker and Sedgwick are astonished at what they see in Austin's text as "the pervasiveness with which the excluded theatrical is hereby linked with the perverted, the artificial,  the unnatural, the abnormal, the decadent, the effete,  the diseased....If  the performative  has thus been from  its inception already infected  with queerness, then the situation has hardly changed substantially today" (5). Theatricality has a long history of association with normative homophobic-resonating qualities such as the "artificial",  the "flamboyant",  the "feminine",  the "peculiar", and the "non-serious" (Parker and Sedgwick 5). This tying together of  a genealogy of  repressed homoeros, or other forms  of  "inversion", within the imputed linguistic origin of  a straying  performativity  converges with Butler's theories of  gender masquerade and solidifies  the constitutive magnitude of  an abject emblematic 'homosexual' in the functioning  of  identity as a signifying practice which one finds  in the Irish texts under discussion. to operate as a heterosexual allegory of  its own constitutive melancholia through the hyperbolic that exposes the taken-for-grantedness  of  heterosexual performativity  (Bodies 237; Trouble  139). Here specifically,  queer theory allows the careful  examination of  the overwhelming male temperament and normative masculinity that structures and defines Irish nationalisms' and Ulster Unionism's ideology, symbolism, practices, and values as well as the implications of  this unisexual dimension upon power relations between men. Conventional categories of  masculine and feminine  "ideals" dissolve under close scrutiny when the border between heterosexual/homosexual turns out to be indistinguishable as discerned in these fictional  Irish pairs: Martyn's Carden Tyrrell and Barry Ussher, Joyce's Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, Kilroy's Seamus and Kelly, Friel's Philly Sweeney and Shane Harrison, and McGuinness's Kenneth Pyper and David Craig. The 'scandalous' lives of  Irish personages such as Oscar Wilde, Patrick Pearse, and Roger Casement belie hegemonic nationalisms' heterosexist fantasy  of  "community". Unstable sexual desire slides around in surprising contexts, generating incoherence and throwing readily available pigeonholes into confusion;  moreover, this ambiguity of  sexuality impacts Irish identity by exposing the unreal and fictitious  meaning oilrishness  itself  as a historically-contingent volatile signifier.  Queer theory assists in foregrounding  the importance of  the unacknowledged reliance upon diverse sexual and gender categories in manufacturing  nationalisms' imaginary communities, while remaining reticent about this debt. Queer theory demonstrates how homophobia is crucial to the reassertion of  the sexual/gender border between Irishmen as scapegoating sacrificial  relations are harnessed and circulated by nationalisms for  the purpose of  consolidating bonds of  loyalty and political identification.  The literary representation of  this scapegoating of  the homosexual within assuages and reaffirms  communities' illusory, yet fractured,  sense of self.  Their sacrificial  victims however, persistently return to trouble nationalisms' authority. In turn, the Irish texts under discussion unveil a queer alterity within the subjectivity of  the Irish male, which aligns with queer theory's own proposed social construction of  the subject. A defensive  ambivalence, commonly found  within the relationships between the male characters, draws attention to prohibited desires that register as a form  of  vigilant anxiety on the part of  both the literary creations and their creators. Lastly, queer theory offers  an unsurpassed explanation of  how the closet works and articulates the central role that secrecy has played and continues to play in the regulation of  sexuality within Irish society. Theories of  the closet intersect with the performative  nature of  silence and the consequential power of  the unspoken. As silence restricts the variety (or lack thereof)  of  legitimate and acceptable relationships that Irish men, potentially, may have with each other, queer theory assists in identifying  points where Irish men either braved and thwarted these prohibitions upon their mutual bonds, or failed  in the attempt. Silence is a tool for  the imposition of  a specific  vision or worldview of  Ireland, where controversies and asymmetrical contests for  power have arisen over sexual definitions  and gender dissonance spanning more than a century. Queering Irish Writing: Some Queer Arguments First, I argue, that the representation of  homoeros, collectively spanning from  Martyn to O'Neill, constitutes a submerged tradition in Irish writing, particularly those texts that tackle the national question and represent Irish male identity in crisis. As Joseph Leerssen points out, "the idea of  Irish nationality is, in its origin and in its expression, governed no less by literary than by political parameters" (452). The texts of  Martyn, Joyce, Friel, Kilroy, McGuinness, and O'Neill share eight salient thematics revolving around homoeros in varying combinations: the betrayal by a "brother" figure, confessions  of  secrets and the threat of  blackmail, the importance and strategic cultural practice of  gossip, crisis in the community/family,  unhappy marriages, the misunderstood and persecuted artist, the healing of  trauma engendered by some result or demand of paternal law, and the figure  of  the spectre haunting the community in a return of  the disavowed and repressed. In an interview, following  the release of  his film  The  Crying Game (1992), director Neil Jordan states, '"There's always homoerotic feeling  between men in conflict"  (qtd. in Pettitt, "Pigs" 271). This homoerotically-charged architecture of male relations becomes more explicit representationally as we read across the century. Coupled to this argument remains the assumption that there is some prior quality to gender and sexuality within the construction of  national identity. It is not the case that other axes of  identity such as race, ethnicity, and religion are not as important if, indeed, not more, to the common understanding of  Irish identity, but rather that gender identification  has a certain epistemological priority that is effaced  and suppressed by lifelong  accretions of  more common markers of  national identity. For instance, at the birth of  a child in a maternity ward in Dublin or Belfast,  no attending physician will ever declare, "It's an Irish",  or "It's a Presbyterian", and, of  course, one will never hear, "Congratulations, it's a lesbian!" either. I am suggesting that gender is, if  not the very first,  then certainly one of  the earliest markers of  personal socio-cultural identity from which ensues the processes of  gendered socialization and the inevitable heterosexual object choice in mainstream discourses. In her analysis of  the presumed incompatibility of  questions of  sexuality to Irish Studies, Margot Gayle Backus suggests that, up until recent work by feminists  and queer theorists, sexuality has been nationalism's Other ("Sexual Figures" 115). According to Edna Longley, many Irish feminists  are in agreement with Backus's notion. Longley claims that the national conditioning which nationalist women faced,  and continue to do so, in Northern Ireland, stifles  their gendered difference  as women. They are forced  to "cling", as Longley puts it, to the goodwill of their male counterparts and to the fallacy  that '"there can't be women's liberation until there's national liberation'" (191). Second, I argue that these texts interrogate the stability of  the homosexual/heterosexual hierarchical binary that deconstructs, blurring the boundary between one type of  Irishman and another. The historicizing and problematizing of essentialized identity accentuates the internal differences  within the construction of identity itself.  Identity is a failed  yet powerful  fiction  built upon the psychic and socially discursive exclusion or repudiation of  sexual and gender differences.  In the case of normative heterosexual male identity, it is the feminine  and the homosexual that is, and that must be, repudiated according to paternal law; the same process of  disavowal holds true in the construction of  women's and queer identities, but the striking asymmetries of power amongst these groups have led to a concentrated focus  by gay and feminist scholars upon the internal differences  of  identity within the normative male. The distinct boundaries marking off  various categories of  identity are solidified  through the interaction of,  on the one hand, a set of  unconscious and conscious performative  gendered practices with, on the other hand, the discursive interpellation and construction of  the subject as a social being. This dynamic process of  subjectification also works to erase or, at least, veil, its own process of  construction yet reveals itself repeatedly through the subject's participation in contradictory cultural and social practices, thereby deconstructing and collapsing the very distinctions that the subject's identity is founded  upon. Furthermore, the texts under study reveal how gender and sexuality cannot be extricated either from  the constructedness of  Irish identity fashioned by the diverse discourses of  respectability, familism,  sentimentalism, normative masculinity, effeminacy,  and Gothic homosexual panic as nationalisms have requisitioned these for  their own political ends. The Irish writing studied in the following chapters subverts the construction of  nationalisms' masculinist ideal by the representation of  other kinds of  men. In an emphasis upon the differences  within, the representation of homoeros deconstructs normative heterosexual identity: from  the melodramatic 'closet' dramas and failed  coming-out narratives of  Edward Martyn, to the foregrounding  of  the slipperiness of  taxonomic sexual categories of  identity in James Joyce, to the bold rewriting and queering of  the Easter Rebellion of  1916 by the arrival of  Jamie O'Neill. Third, I argue that these shifting  representations consciously or unconsciously contest a stable notion of  nationalist Irish identity and Irishness  in each text. Sexual and gender identity, homoeroticism, same-sex love, and homosocial bonding have affected,  in particular, the nature of  Irish cultural nationalism within the intensely homosocial societies of  Ireland and Ulster. "After  all," as Vincent Quinn reminds us, "the issues which reverberate in current discussions of  (homo)sexuality—such as history, amnesia, selfhood,  and authenticity—are also at the heart of  the Irish question" (261). This implication of  nationalisms and homoeros, particularly the sacrifice  of  homosexual desire around which fraternalist  nationalist ideologies often  cohere, stems from  a remark that Benedict Anderson makes when he observes that "the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.  Ultimately it is fraternity  that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for  so many millions of  people, not so much to kill, as willingly to die for  such limited imaginings" (7; emphasis mine). Although Anderson's work focuses upon the creation of  national consciousness through the means of  print capitalism and the creation of  homogeneous empty time, his metaphor of  an "imagined community" remains productive in understanding the cultural imaginaries of  a nation. The cultural imaginary encompasses the dominant mythologies, ideologies, and self-perceptions  that give a people an illusory integrity and coherent identity maintained by unconscious investments in discourses of  nationalism, culture, gender, sexuality, and religion. Fourth, I further  argue that the homosocial is at the heart of  romantic and revolutionary nationalisms' ideology, rhetoric, symbolism, and its sacrificial interpellation of  those living within nationalist communities. Homosocial bonding remains essential in the development of  allegiance to the nation which stipulates male sacrifice.  Romantic and revolutionary nationalisms encourage a renunciation of  life  for  a patriotic ideal of  freedom  and national renewal which appears as a displacement of  an expression of  homoerotic desire. The notion of  blood sacrifice,  paralleling Christ's, has a long history in Ireland as philosopher Richard Kearney explains that the authority of sacrificial  martyrdom derives its power through aligning itself  with a mythico-religious tradition dating back through the revolutionary pantheon, including the 1916 rebels, Terence McSwiney, O'Donovan Rossa, the Fenians, and Cuchulain ("Myth" 61-2). In the trajectory of  freedom  and revolution, the horizon of  political sovereignty appears contiguous with and subtended by an appeal to sexual freedom,  a promissory and anticipated liberty whose affective  power is exploited by romantic nationalist rhetoric. In my selection and study of  Irish texts, there is a recurrent focus  on the types of  sustaining exclusions within the national imagination and the construction of communities. Striking historic parallels emerge amongst the rhetorical tropes of  racial exclusion as applied to the Irish, especially of  Catholic stock, and the homophobic exclusion of  queer people. Both groups have suffered  the labels of  dominant discourses: "feminine",  "diseased", "degenerate", "polluting", "contagious", "impure", "fallen  from the light", and "the enemy within". The tendency to persecute, argues Girard, "always takes the same direction, it is embodied by the same stereotypes and always responds to the same threat. Despite what is said around us persecutors are never obsessed by difference  but rather by its unutterable contrary, the lack of  difference"  (Scapegoat  22). Moreover, as Jonathan Dollimore states, it is the degree of  closeness, of  similarity that disturbs, for  "a terror of  the other may be premised on a terror of  the proximate; not only does the excluded remain adjacent, but the adjacent becomes threatening in a way that the excluded never quite does" (52). Hegemonic ideologies of  Irish nationalisms and Ulster Unionism present the homosexual figure  as aligned with its degraded or degenerate Others as the liminal boundary to the romantic idealism of  the Irish nation or the preservation of  Protestant masculine identity. Repeatedly, Irish nationalist and Ulster Unionist cultures harbour an emblematic homosexual as the "enemy within". The texts then figure  the return of  the repressed, whether as the to-be-redeemed masculine body-as-homeland as in Martyn, McGuinness, and O'Neill, or as Christie and, therefore,  a redeemed homosexuality in the service of  patriarchy which one finds  in Friel and Kilroy. Joyce's fictions  remain ambivalent and open-ended in their treatment of  recuperation and redemption, however. These texts investigate the manner in which a culture structured by nationalist ideology polices or resists, often  violently, homosocial and homoerotic desire. The modalities of  this productive repression vary from  authorial self-surveillance  or ambivalence, to the wary nature of  the reception and criticism of  such elements in these texts in an Irish literary Renaissance's epistemology of  the closet and "privilege of unknowing" to borrow Sedgwick's unnerving phrase (Tendencies  23). Nationalist repression within the dramas and fictions  manifests  itself  in the sexual and gendered dynamics that foreground  homosexual panic and scapegoating. Romantic nationalist mythology finds  its stable notion of  Irish identity contested in these texts through the development of  the shifting  and increasingly deconstructive force  of  homoeros. Romantic and revolutionary nationalisms' cultural imaginaries are, I argue, masculinist and heterosexist and, therefore,  by necessity homosocial in structure, given that it is the brave laddies  and the boyos who struggle in the cause of  an idealized feminine  Ireland symbolized by Cathleen ni Houlihan and her coveted "four  beautiful  green fields"  (Yeats, Plays 226). This dissertation supposes to enter the current Irish Studies debate over what it means to be "Irish" in a rapidly border-dissolving, cosmopolitan world and how homoeros impacts national and cultural identity. A second purpose is to interject queer affirmative  readings of  both canonical and non-canonical texts of  the Irish tradition back into Irish literary history. It is also to help break the oppressive silence surrounding gay experience and identity, but, more importantly, to analyze, theoretically and politically, male subjectivity and its entanglement with nationalisms' cultural influence  over the twentieth-century. I have intentionally focused  on the representation of  men's relationships with other men by gay male writers or "queer" texts by heterosexually-identified  men. This limit is to help clarify  the focus  for  practical and theoretical reasons. I have chosen not to overstep these parameters by articulating the distinct experience of  Irish lesbians and women and their own homosocial/homoerotic interpretations of  Irish writers as diverse as Maria Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, Eva Gore-Booth, Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane, Kate O'Brien, Edna O'Brien, Mary Dorcey, Emma Donoghue, Cherry Smyth, Jo Hughes, Linda Cullen and Maighread Medbh. Unlike the illicit identity of  Irish gay men until 1993, Irish lesbians have faced  the crucial problem of  legal and public invisibility although there have been unsuccessful  attempts in 1895 and 1922 to criminalize lesbianism (Walshe, "Shamrock" 164). Theoretically, since cultural and revolutionary nationalism are both homosocial ideologies and forms  of cultural practice, it is productive to place this gendered aspect of  these nationalisms under scrutiny, for  women are excluded from  the centre of  nationalist action and the mythology of  martyrdom as they are, instead, reified  as the reputed idealized symbol of  the nation embodied as Mother Ireland or the Shan Van Vocht. "Within nationalist narratives the female  body is seen as an allegorical symbol of  the nation," contends Elaine Sisson, "but the male body possesses full  political citizenship and is understood to be the nation" (149). In nationalist ideology, Irish women are required to take up the sacrificial  task of r reproducing sons that will further  the political cause as the paternal parameters of nationalist discourses that constitute identity as male remain overdetermining. This dissertation only examines gender insofar  as it impacts upon male homosociality and desire. 1.1 Irish Nationalisms and Gender/Sexuality Contexts for  Romantic Irish Nationalism and Ulster Unionism Nationalism is a modern phenomenon despite frequent  nationalist claims for  the ancient genesis of  nations. Nationalism is not purely a nostalgic relation with the past or clear-cut defence  of  tradition, nor is it merely a reaction to colonialism; rather, nationalism remains an ambivalent response to modernity as its discourses draw upon the past to project some enhanced political dispensation in the future  (Howes and Attridge 11). Attempts by an array of  Irish nationalisms to create a static and fixed  Irish identity have not been successful  as is borne out by evidence which demonstrates that complicated, fluctuating  definitions  of  Irishness  are contingent upon historical and cultural contexts. This complex diversity obfuscates  the precise relationship between political and cultural manifestations  of  Irish nationalism: there existed well-developed separate threads of  cultural and political nationalism among some writers and thinkers even as others continued to insist on the inseparable union of  politics with culture. The result is a complex matrix of  incrementally different  nationalisms, leading to disagreement over where a given figure  ought to be placed on the grid, or whether such a figure  was nationalist at all. (Burgess 18) Although specifically  addressing the Romantic period, Miranda Burgess's comments apply equally as well to the problematic task of  unravelling Irish nationalist strands later in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As mentioned above, under the designation Irish nationalism, one most often discovers militant revolutionary nationalism, conservative constitutional nationalism, romantic cultural nationalism as well as socialist4 nationalism with a great deal of interaction and cross membership. First, the radical, cosmopolitan republicanism of  the United Irishmen of  the 1790s through to the militancy of  the Fenians and Irish Republican Brotherhood (later I.R.A.) represent the case of  insurgent nationalism. Second, Daniel O'Connell's Catholic emancipation campaign and aborted repeal movement best embodies early constitutional nationalism. O'Connell's legacy of harnessing organized mass democracy married to parliamentary pressure tactics re-emerge in the 1880s in the form  of  the Home Rule movement under Irish Parliamentary Party leader Charles Stewart Parnell and the reforms  of  Liberal Prime Minister William E. Gladstone. Third, within the European context of  Romanticism's alienated reaction to modernization and industrialization, particularly in Britain, cultural and literary nationalism materializes in three principal cultural movements of  its own in Ireland. First, the Anglo-Irish writers and antiquarians of  the Literary Revival are a small coterie of  artists and intellectuals, largely descended from  Ascendancy families,  who, in lieu of campaigning for  political independence, repossess native folklore,  heroic sagas, and myth as inspiration for  launching a new Irish literature in English. Backing some form  of devolved Irish autonomy that would preserve their class's power and privilege within Irish society, the Revivalists frequently  hold a contradictory mixture of  both nationalist 4 James Connolly and syndicalist Jim Larkin headed the socialist movement by establishing the trade union I.T.G.W.U. (Irish Transport and General Workers' Union) in 1908 and directed many successful  labour strikes across Ireland. Appalled that Dublin was home to the worst slums in Europe, socialists were concerned about the plight of  peasants, tenant farmers,  and workers whose interests nationalists usually ignored. Nevertheless, Connolly committed his movement to more militant action when he founded  the small Irish Citizen Army and participated in the Easter Rising. Additionally, Maud Gonne and Constance, Countess Markievicz worked for  women's suffrage  through the nationalist feminist  organization Inghinidhe na h Eireann (Lyons, Famine  276-86). and unionist attitudes towards the shaping of  an "Irish" public's aesthetic tastes and political opinions. Second, the Gaelic League's valiant efforts  to save the Irish language from  extinction by increasing its daily use and to secure bilingual education in Irish schools and universities had a wide, middle-class following  led by writers and intellectuals. Third, the attempted recovery of  the ancient Irish sports of  hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football  by the Gaelic Athletic Association or G.A.A. was enormously popular as thousands of  fans  regularly attended matches. All three of  these movements are, individually, inward-looking and anti-modern in orientation in trying to preserve aspects of  Gaelic culture and in inventing new myths with great emotional appeal for  the purposes of  reinvigorating Victorian and Edwardian Ireland. The majority of  Irish historians contend that the seminal origins of  political nationalism in Ireland can be traced to the critical final  decade of  the eighteenth century with the crisis leading up to the rebellion of  1798. Unhappy with the corruption of Grattan's oligarchic parliament established only in 1782, the Society of  United Irishmen was founded  in Belfast  in 1791. The United Irishmen were comprised mostly of  middle-class, idealistic, professional  men of  Presbyterian and Protestant backgrounds such as the barrister Theobald Wolfe  Tone; moreover, they were heavily influenced  by the French and American Revolutions and their inspirational Enlightenment principles of benevolence, rationality, progress, civic virtue, universalism, and, most importantly in the spirit of  modernity, a harmony between national character and the law (Whelan 59; Elliott, "French" 87-9). The group wanted to overcome the divisive Irish past and were "very conscious of  the French Revolution's claim to have annihilated history" (Whelan 59). However, they confronted  the dilemma that there could be no equation between national character and the laws of  the land while Catholics5 remained disenfranchised  and barred from  government office  and parliament (Whelan 59-60). The ideals of  the Enlightenment, particularly as articulated by Thomas Paine, combined with Romantic notions that the French were fighting  despotic monarchs and aristocracy for  the liberty of  all humanity, helped bring Catholic, Protestant, and Dissenter together for  a common cause. The United Irishmen fostered  the creation of Irish public opinion through the printing of  broadsheets, handbills, popular ballads, and pamphlets such as Wolfe  Tone's best-selling Argument  on behalf  of  the Catholics  of Ireland  (1791); consequently, they were responsible for  fashioning  a revolutionary culture years before  the radicalization of  the group. The United Irishmen were keen to support parliamentary reform,  universal suffrage,  the disestablishment of  the church, removal of  tithes, and the dissolving of  rotten boroughs (Hachey et al. 46-7; Elliott, "French" 86-90). Embroiled in war with revolutionary France, the British proscribed the United Irishmen in 1794, helping to transform  this erstwhile debating club into a secret oath-bound revolutionary organization and, thereby, aiding the instigation of  insurrectionary nationalism in Ireland. Nevertheless, in soliciting the cooperation of  the Catholic Defenders—gangs  formed  to express peasant grievances by raiding wealthy estates and farmhouses  but who had also indulged in sectarianism—the United Irishmen lost crucial support from  the Protestant and Presbyterian communities. Aspiring to establish a modern non-sectarian republic, the United Irishmen's rebellion of  1798 turned out to be a botched and bloody affair,  degenerating into rural massacres along sectarian lines; 5 The Catholic Relief  Act of  1793 permitted Catholic forty-shilling  freeholders  to vote, attend Trinity College, bear arms, participate on juries, and serve in the army but not at the rank of  general (Fry 195). subsequently, the leadership of  the organization was executed, exiled, or imprisoned with Wolfe  Tone dying a week after  trying to cut his own throat with a penknife  in his prison cell (Fry 208; Elliott, "French" 100). "The remarkable era of  liberal protestant reform came to an abrupt end," states Marianne Elliott, "with it was lost the one real opportunity of  peacefully  incorporating the catholics into a more independent Irish state, before fundamentalism  muted the driving force  of  protestant radicalism in the next century" ("Watchmen" 25). Identity in Ireland continued to be predominantly a religious matter since the nationalism of  the Catholic peasants and small tenant farmers  "remained dormant; they did not seem to care who ruled them.. .so long as their grievances were attended to" (Fry 210). Marianne Elliott reminds us that until the nineteenth century the majority of  the Irish population continued to be nominally committed to Rome and that Catholic edicts were regularly ignored; moreover, the "overwhelming identification  of Catholicism with nationalism" is a relatively recent occurrence ("Watchmen" 16). Following the Act of  Union in 1801, Daniel O'Connell altered this equation through the entrenchment of  Catholicism as a chief  marker of  Irish identity by means of mass protest utilized in his successful  Catholic emancipation campaign of  the 1820s and his later, unsuccessful  bid for  the repeal of  the Union in the 1840s with the establishment of  the Loyal National Repeal Association. Modelled on the Catholic Association, this new organization's stated principles included loyalty to the Crown, disavowal of  violence or illegality, exclusion of  sectarianism, the importance of  public opinion, and the re-establishment of  an Irish parliament (McCartney 110-24, 151-8). Kevin Whelan details the development of  a powerful  Catholic big-farm 6 class which would serve as the 6 Kevin Whelan's The  Tree  of  Liberty: Radicalism,  Catholicism  and  the Construction  of  Irish  Identity 1760-1830  (1996) chronicles the existence of  an underground Irish Catholic gentry in the eighteenth-"backbone" of  O'Connell's nationalist agitation: O'Connell's Catholic nationalism appealed to history for  authenticity and legitimacy, using an idealized past to destroy the decadent present, thereby liberating the desirable future.  In other words, it would utilise (or invent) tradition as the binding force  shaping and perpetuating the Irish nation. That paradigm would flourish  in the nineteenth century, as the Enlightenment politics of  the United Irishmen lost impetus and definition under the challenge of  romanticism, nationalism, and sectarianism, and as Irish society petrified  into sectarian rigidities. (55) Following the catastrophic Great Potato Famine of  the 1840s, Catholicism was further cemented to styles of  nationalist identity through the so-called 'devotional revolution' which reformed  Irish Catholicism and increased the power of  the priests and the hierarchy over their flocks  (O Grada 73-4; Hachey et al. 94-6). While O'Connell was engaged with repeal, romantic nationalism coalesced into the writings of  Young Ireland's weekly Nation  newspaper, originally published in 1842. Young Ireland was indebted to the combined talents of  former  law students and journalists, Thomas Osborne Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy,  and John Blake Dillon. The Nation  attracted writers, poets, and thinkers such as John Mitchell, John O'Hagan, and century. A re-examination of  the landed Catholic families,  who converted to Anglicanism to safeguard their holdings, shows that their conversions were nominal only and not seen as a weakening of  the Catholic position. In contrast to the five  percent figure  from  1778 that is traditionally cited for  Catholic land ownership, Whelan claims the actual figure  is closer to 20%, making powerful  Catholic landowners like Edward Martyn less of  an anomaly than earlier thought. With this land, a new inconspicuous gentrified class consolidated their power and control over the tenants and peasants, replacing the role of  the old feudal defunct  Gaelic aristocracy. The gentry frequently  made common cause with the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy when it suited their interests and oversaw the rise of  a new class of  conservative Catholic big farmers  as the Penal laws were repealed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Whelan 6, 27-37; Hachey et al. 29). 7 • • • • James Clarence Mangan and featured  poems, historical essays, stones, reviews, biographical sketches, ballads, and editorials in its pages. Influenced  by the writings of Thomas Carlyle, Young Ireland wished to build a nation based on cultural sovereignty through a heroic return to the superior spirit of  the Gaelic people embodied in their literature, music, dances, games, and customs of  the past. Thomas Davis insisted upon "a nationality of  the spirit as well as of  the letter" (Lyons, Famine  105): Romanticism believed that a renovated society could not be achieved by law alone; instead one needed to re-create the people, by recuperating their cultural identity. In this sense, the nation was to be assembled organically, not artificially  by the law or state. A nation was a people bound by blood, cemented by custom and a desire for  political autonomy. If  a nation is without an enabling set of  political institutions, it retains its cohesion and collective order by cultural means. (Whelan 55) For the Young Irelanders, all the inhabitants of  Ireland were heirs to the country's past civilizations and, as with Yeats's writing decades later, a common united identity might be constructed that would transcend sectarian beliefs.  Young Ireland were proponents of peasant spirituality, the Irish language, equality of  religion, solving the land question and tenants' rights, the reconciliation of  the country's divisions, and, initially, O'Connell's repeal movement (Hachey et al. 73-7). Still, as F. S. L. Lyons clarifies,  "Young Ireland while themselves, disclaiming any revolutionary intent, were constantly resuscitating, by 7 David Lloyd discusses poet James Clarence Mangan as a mannerist and dandy. Mangan was fond  of wearing a blue cloak, baggy pantaloons, a witch's hat, and carrying umbrellas under each arm, modeling himself  after  the style of  dress worn by Oscar Wilde's great uncle Charles Maturin. Mangan's writing is characterized by puns, inverted hierarchies, and jocularity. Lloyd describes the dandies as "the nonproductive men of  fashion,"  revolting against the values of  both the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy {Minor  202; 195-204); nonetheless, Lloyd studiously makes no analytical link between the dandy figure and gender dissonance, or nineteenth-century conceptions of  homosexuality. the war-like imagery of  their prose and verse" an inclination towards political violence (Famine  106-7). These underlying tensions, combined with the onset of  the Great Famine and—as was the case with the United Irishmen—the British crackdown on the Nation  newspaper, assisted in making possible the farcical  rebellion of  1848. Irish nationalisms' revisiting of  an romanticized past for  the purposes of grounding a noble identity worthy and capable of  independence in the present depended upon the rapidly declining images of  Gaelic Ireland that had been uncovered by the antiquarians of  the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and promoted in the Nation.  As Joseph Leerssen posits, "the icon, indeed the image, of  Gaelic nationality for  Ireland could survive the extinction of  the Gaelic tradition in Ireland, and be transmitted to, translated into, a new English-speaking, middle-class, urban tradition" (443-4). In many ways, this phenomenon was a passion of  educated Dubliners who were invested in studying the folklore  and Gaelic sagas in order to revive old myths which would eventually, and not without irony, provide tremendous political capital for  the Irish-Ireland movement and the Anglo-Irish Revival. Romantic nationalism's focus  upon language and cultural issues stringently defined  itself  against British modernity, industrialization, and materialism. From this, Irish-Ireland also inherited the romantic nationalist mythos which recounts the story of  an exclusive community of  long-suffering martyrs whose status of  victimhood and experience of  treachery and betrayal justifies  the recourse to violence and bloodshed when constitutional means of  nationalist desire are frustrated,  all the while reciting a litany of  heroic Irish resistance to British tyranny and oppression. Ulster Unionism Ulster Unionism, or Loyalism (in its more extreme mode) locates its immediate origins in the conversion of  Gladstone's Liberal party to Irish Home Rule in the mid-1880s and in the Ulster Crisis of  1912 when the government introduced the third Home Rule bill with its enactment imminent. To resist the implementation of  "Rome Rule", as they called it, Unionists formed  the Ulster Volunteer Force, a militia 100,000 strong; moreover, 470,000 Ulstermen and women signed either the Solemn League and Covenant (men only), or a declaration (endorsing the men's covenant), stating that they would use "all means which may be found  necessary to defeat  the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland" (Travers 127, 128). Pledging to refuse  to recognize its authority, Loyalists threatened London with civil war over the legislation; by late 1913, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith budged from  a "wait and see" policy to one of  political compromise (Travers 129). With the intervention of  World War I, Home Rule was suspended, and Ulster leaders pressed to be excluded from  any future  independent Irish state. The British Government of  Ireland Act of  1920, which officially  partitioned the island, granted a devolved form  of  parliamentary government at Stormont to the six counties in the northeastern region of  the country with a future  Boundary Commission to finalize  the border between the new statelet and the Irish Free State. In 1921, the Belfast  government passed the Local Government (Emergency Powers) Act, which enabled them to disband any local councils with allegiance to Dublin, and likewise approved the draconian Special Powers Act in 1922. This act furnished  the police force  with the authority to "search, arrest and detain without warrant, impose stiff  penalties, and...to suspend civil liberties when deemed necessary" (Harkness 29; 1-14). Protestant politicians, with the support of the Protestant majority, managed the province as a one-party state in which Northern Irish Catholics were treated as second-class citizens in theory and practice: as new Prime Minister of  Northern Ireland, Sir James Craig, stated, the Six Counties would be "a Protestant nation for  a Protestant people" (Hachey et al. 231). The hegemony of  the Unionist establishment survived until the late 1960s when demands for  Catholic civil rights exploded into low-grade guerrilla warfare  between a reinvigorated Irish Republicanism and its Loyalist paramilitary counterparts. The British government deployed the army in August 1969 to protect the communities from internecine violence with thousands fleeing  from  their burning neighbourhoods. The Stormont regime ended with the imposition of  Direct Rule in early 1972 following  the shootings on Bloody Sunday, marking the beginning of  almost three decades of  political and military stalemate (Hachey et al. 230-5; Harkness 152-73). Beginning with the Anglo-Irish Accord (1985), and followed  by the Downing Street Declaration (1993), the Framework Document (1995), and the Good Friday Accord (1998), Irish and British governments have cautiously worked towards a permanent settlement of  Northern Ireland's status. Consequently, Unionist fears  of  being sold-out by London have increased as Dublin now has input into Northern affairs  through the setting up of  power sharing institutions; these developments are read by many in the Protestant community as paving the way for  the eventual reunification  of  the island. Ulster Unionism presents a philosophical challenge of  structural asymmetry in relation to that of  romantic Irish nationalism. In contradistinction to identification  as a 'nation,' Ulster Unionist ideology traditionally has offered  its allegiance to the British Crown. Often  configured,  rather, as an embattled garrison defending  Protestantism, Ulster maintains its ties to Great Britain as an integral part of  the United Kingdom which serves as its guarantor of  liberties and, historically-speaking, cultural privilege. Critics like Edna Longley view Unionism, however, as a reactionary cultural phenomenon: Unionism since the first  Home Rule bill has always been reactive: a coalition of  sects, interests, loyalties and incoherent hatred in the face  of  a perceived common emergency. No totalising philosophy covers the whole coalition, even if  religious and secular alarms fuse  on its fundamentalist wing. Orangeism and Paisleyism maintain a select tribal memory-bank of historical persecutions, in which emblematic events (1641, 1690) are reinforced  by biblical parallels. But this has never developed into a comprehensive symbolic system. You can't personify  Unionism. (174) Commentators such as Gerald Dawe, Sally Belfrage,  and Cathal McCall agree with Longley in her characterization of  Unionism and additionally assert that Ulster identity has a weak claim to an independent "ethnic" culture distinct from  their English and Scottish ancestors. Dawe argues that Unionist identity has remained undefined historically and imaginatively, shaped instead by stereotypes from  outside forces  (108), or as Belfrage  suggests, Loyalists suffer  from  "culture-envy" (294) and that they are "patriots without a patria" (265). Terence Brown, Marianne Elliott, and John Wilson Foster, however, dispute these assumptions and contend that there exists a separate Unionist culture that closely overlaps with Protestantism, which must not be prejudged because the culture has not been adequately studied nor well-articulated outside of  Northern Ireland. Observers are also cautioned not to ignorantly assume that the politics of  Orange marches or the actions of the U.D.A. are coextensive with Ulster culture. Elliott, for  example, emphasizes the laudable heritage of  Irish Protestantism, especially Presbyterian notions of  libertarianism, radicalism, contractarianism, freedom  of  conscience, and opposition to authoritarianism. Irish Presbyterians supported the Stuart monarchy against Cromwell, denounced the regicide of  Charles I, and promoted the Restoration of  1660, all contrary to later Loyalist mythology ("Watchmen" 9). Elliott maintains, furthermore,  that "it is a reflection  of  the 'loyalist' and 'nationalist' misrepresentation of  Irish history that the United Irishmen are traditionally considered part of  the catholic nationalist heritage," as their leadership was, in fact,  largely Presbyterian in composition ("Watchmen" 20). In addition, Foster underscores the liberal individualism of  Presbyterianism and the cultural links with the English literary tradition, while Terence Brown demolishes the idea of  the monolithic nature of  both Protestantism and Unionism. Brown accentuates the differences  between Episcopalians and Presbyterians as well as ultraconservative fundamentalists  and the tension generated amongst these denominations in regards to the province's cultural history of  egalitarianism and radical dissent (Foster, "Unionist" 59-64; Brown, "Whole" 4-7). Finally, Foster astutely grasps that part of  the quandary of  Northern Ireland remains the "racialist withholding of  Irishness from  [Ulster Protestants] by the majority culture" (Colonial  249; emphasis Foster's), and, thereby, eliding the Protestant communities' unique, though often  times, misunderstood identities. Sexuality and Gender in Ireland and the Victorian Legacy In Writing  Ireland:  Colonialism,  Nationalism  and  Culture  (1988), David Cairns and Shaun Richards establish that a crucial component in the Irish history of  sexuality is the institutional practice of  familism.  Building on the pioneering work of  sociologists Conrad M. Arensberg and Solon T. Kimball in Family  and  Community  in Ireland  (1968), Cairns and Richards depict familism  as a post-famine  phenomenom where tenant farmers attempted to consolidate their landholdings in order to pass on inherited wealth from  one generation to another. Fathers nominated an heir, typically the eldest son, to inherit. Strict codes of  behaviour between men and women controlled access to marriage, and celibacy was espoused outside matrimony which was delayed in farmers'  families  until the heir took possession of  the land. Other post-famine  behaviourial changes included the expansion of  matchmaking before  marriage, emigration pressures on surplus children, communal demands to observe strict chasity—all in the name of  not risking the transmission of  inheritance on account of  gratuitous sexual desires. Marriage patterns were endogamous in character within a narrow social circle: women were pawns in a marriage game that included cousin marriages, double marriages, and marriages across generations, which all attempted to preserve family  interests (Whelan 29-30; Cairns and Richards 42, 43). Tenant farmers  comprised the most numerous class in Ireland following  the Famine, replacing the previously numerically-superior agricultural labourers and their families.  The omnipresent impact of  familism  was felt  most keenly by this demographic of  the populace: For familism  to operate it was essential that the codes of  belief  and behaviour upon which it depended, particularly the regulation of  sexuality, and unquestioned patriarchal authority guaranteed by the Church's sanctions and underpinning stem inheritance, should be accepted both by the family  and the whole community. Only widespread acceptance could make it possible to perpetuate a system which demanded so much of  individuals. (Cairns and Richards 59-60) Familism and Catholicism were intimately linked and constituted two strands of  Irish nationalist identity interwoven with the discourses of  sexuality. At the turn of  the century, many emigrants from  the countryside brought the codes and practices of familism  with them into the cities and towns, thereby not restricting familism's  alliance with Catholicism to rural parts of  Ireland (Cairns and Richards 42, 43, 60). Sexuality was (and remains) deployed through the institution of  the family.  The powerful  connections amongst marriage, fertility,  and succession to property increased the bargaining power of  landowners and competition among possible inheritors. In Irish culture, sex became subsidiary to the more important, material, and pressing issues of inheritance and legacy (Cairns and Richards 61). More prosperous, Catholic families were "obsessed, almost to the point of  neurosis, with ancestry, family  background and the Cromwellian rupture," states Kevin Whelan (10). Any attempts to resist or subvert familial  codes through promiscuity, extra-marital pregnancy, or elopements were viewed as challenging sanctified  nationalist norms and were regarded as sinful.  No public recognition or understanding of  common sexual desires and needs existed since all eros was harnessed to serve economic imperatives. Yet this unspoken cultural arrangement was problematic as cheap English literature, in the form  of  titillating gothic shockers and penny dreadfuls,  were easily available and popular in Ireland's open market. The Roman Catholic hierarchy condemned these English imports as "immoral trash" since familism's  survival depended upon the proscription of  sexual activity outside marriage. Sexuality, at every turn, was equated with sin. "The Irish in effect  mortgaged bodily pleasure (the repression of  which was one salient mark of  Catholic difference),  to retain cultural autonomy," maintains Margot Gayle Backus ("Sexual Figures" 114). Hence, the nationalist defence  of  familism to secure tenant farmers'  economic and social position demanded intense cooperation between priest and laity as they countered cosmopolitan discourses of  sexuality. Unregulated desire was a disruptive threat to livelihoods and the social order and, thus, explains the success of  the Catholic Church's indoctrination of  their flock  with norms of extreme sexual restraint, intensified  by the late nineteenth-century 'devotional revolution' in Ireland (Cairns and Richards 62). George L. Mosse's seminal work, Nationalism  and  Sexuality:  Middle-Class Morality  and  Sexual  Norms  in Modern  Europe (1985), investigates the reign of respectability and the development of  "manliness/womanliness" as ideal stereotypes of masculinity and femininity  within nationalisms in England, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. European nationalisms, argues Mosse, "absorbed and sanctioned middle-class manners and morals and played a crucial part in spreading respectability to all classes of the population" (9). As women were consigned to the domestic sphere as passive, virtuous, and motherly, the stereotyped masculine male was characterized by physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength and righteousness. A well-developed body-strong, muscular, and virile—was modelled after  the Greek kouros,  the ideally proportioned male nudes in marble (10, 13-6). Victorian respectability for  the culturally triumphant middle classes was hinged upon a distinction between the "normal" and the "abnormal". Pitted against the "normal", "manly" patriot were those who threatened with their trademark vices, disease, and licentiousness: drunkards, Jews, criminals, the insane, and homosexuals (10, 32). The maintenance of  all of  these binaries fell  under the aegis of  a regime of  normality, testified  to by the medical and early psychiatric establishment, for  it was these men who did the most to raise the alarm about degeneracy, abnormality, disease, and effeminization  (27, 33-6). With national health being intricately bound up with sexual health, the homosexual male emerged as the antithesis to the masculine Christian gentleman and his way of  life  from  the normalizing pages of  the medical journals and writings of  sexologists such as Iwan Bloch, Richard von Krafft-Ebing,  and Max Nordau— the popularizer of  theories of  degeneracy. The symptomatic signs of  homosexuality ranged from  fatigue,  a nervous disposition, a feminine  appearance, to physical weakness, sensuality, and compulsive onanism (28-31). The erroneous tacit assumption was that the homosexual man was neither "manly" nor healthy by any index. At the turn of  the century, Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, and Magnus Hirschfeld  took a somewhat more enlightened and sympathetic approach by arguing that homosexuals were victims of either a congenital condition or psychological underdevelopment which should elicit pity and sympathy from  the public (Mosse 32-40; Cohen 9-10, 15-9). Victorian institutions such as public schools, universities, and professional  and athletic clubs were locations where masculine privilege was nourished by male friendship,  whose articulation, along with homosexual love and the ambiguous middle ground between them, utilized the lexicons of  "comradeship, religious devotion, aesthetic pleasure, and the recurrent lure of  ancient Greece" (Hammond 127). The necessity of marrying and having children meant that "the intensity and sufficiency  of  male bonding needed to be strictly controlled by homophobic mechanisms" (Dellamora 195). In late nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, public anxiety was high, however, as various sex scandals—homosexual and otherwise—were splashed onto the pages of  the homophobic press. The Cleveland Street Affair  (1889-1890) involved the investigation into a male brothel in Cleveland Street, near Tottenham Court Road, where teenage boys, employed as telegraph messengers, served clergy and upper-class clientele, including, it was alleged Prince Albert Victor, the Earl of  Euston, Colonel Jervois as well as Lord Arthur Somerset, who fled  to France in exile. The justice system prosecuted the men involved in running the operation, but members of  the nobility or high society avoided penalty, creating in the minds of  the public a sense of  cover-up and unequal application of  the law when it came to sexual transgressions of  the wealthy and powerful  elites (Cohen 91-3, 121-5). This chain of  events sparked controversy, instigated by the newspapers and by Henry Labouchere, who on 28 February 1890 in the House of  Commons alleged that Cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister were conspiring to silence the matter (Hyde, H. Montgomery, Other 123-7; Fisher 144-6). Dublin Castle had been home to an earlier homosexual scandal involving high-o ranking officials  in 1884, yet, as in the case of  Cleveland Street, people of  privilege 8 In 1907, another homosexual scandal involving Dublin Castle transpired when the Irish crown jewels were stolen from  a safe  in the library of  the College of  the Heralds. Sir Arthur Vicars, the homosexual Ulster King of  Arms, was responsible for  the jewels' safe-keeping.  His live-in assistant Francis Shackleton and Captain Richard Gorges, an army musketry instructor who had been booted out of  his regiment in the Boer War because of  his dalliances with a drummer-boy, got Vicars drunk one night and made wax impressions of  the keys to the safe.  Shackleton and Gorges made off  with the jewels and fled  to Amsterdam, where Shackleton pawned them for  £20,000, a quarter of  their value, and then returned to Ireland. When the jewels were discovered to be missing, authorities met with blackmailing contempt on the part of  the thieves. They threatened to shake the government by revealing the "dirt" about prominent escaped legal censure. Two Irish Nationalist MPs, William O'Brien and Tim Healy, both leading advocates for  Home Rule, publicly exposed the questionable behaviour. O'Brien and Healy had learned through an inspector with the Royal Irish Constabulary that according to rumour certain Castle employees were engaging in homosexual acts. The head of  the Criminal Investigation Department, James Ellis French, was attacked by Healy in an unsigned article in the Home Rule journal United  Ireland.  French sued for libel and £5000. However, Irish police officers,  fearing  the loss of  their jobs, refused  to assist O'Brien by giving evidence in the lawsuit. O'Brien hired a private detective named Meiklejohn, who within two weeks, '"got into his hands the clues of  a criminal confederacy,  which for  its extent and atrocity, almost staggered belief,'"  to quote O'Brien (Hyde, H. Montgomery, Other 129), for  "'[i]t included men of  all ranks, classes, professions,  and outlawries, from  aristocrats of  the highest fashion  to outcasts in the most loathsome dens'" (Hyde, H. Montgomery, Other 129). Meiklejohn found  four  young men, including an army officer,  who were willing to give evidence about sexual relations with French as well as with Gustavus Charles Cornwall, Secretary of  the General Post Office  and Captain Martin Kirwan of  the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. O'Brien raised the matter in Parliament charging French and Cornwall with "certain felonious  practices" and accused Crown Solicitor George Bolton (French's superior) of  conspiracy. O'Brien men; consequently, a Royal Commission that was inquiring into the theft  met for  just a week and then permanently adjourned. It was said that King Edward VII, alarmed at potential scandalous disclosures involving high persons, including his brother-in-law, the Duke of  Argyll, had intervened and put a stop to the inquiry. Shackleton quit his post as Herald, and Vicars quietly retired to his estate in County Kerry until he was murdered by Sinn Fein in 1921 during the Civil War. No arrests were made and the jewels were never recovered. Shackleton and Gorges ended up in prison on unrelated charges. H. Montgomery Hyde confides  that Desmond Fitzgerald, Minister of  External Affairs  for  the Irish Free State from  1922-1927, personally told him that the jewels surfaced  in Paris and were offered  for  sale to the Irish government which turned them down, not wanting any former  vestiges of  British rule (Other 155-7). overstepped parliamentary privilege when he reproduced his accusations in the United Ireland.  Cornwall and Bolton also began libel proceedings against O'Brien claiming (with French's suit) a staggering £70,000 in damages. French, because of  financial problems, delayed his action, and, subsequently, O'Brien successfully  had French's lawsuit dismissed (Hyde, H. Montgomery, Other 127-33; Fisher 143-4). In the first  week of  July 1884, the case of  Cornwall  v. O'Brien  was tried in Dublin and lasted five  days, generating sensational news. After  a short period of  time when the defence  witnesses refused  to appear—the army officer  had fled  to France—the remaining three young men changed their minds yet again and gave testimony of  the intimate details of  sexual liaisons with Cornwall. The jury took only an hour to render a verdict for  O'Brien and Irish nationalists celebrated; furthermore,  O'Brien won the Bolton case too. Irish nationalist newspapers tracked homosexual scandals as an instrument to ruin particular high-ranking bureaucrats within Dublin's seat of  British administration (Rose Diverse 6). Cornwall, French, and Kirwan were arrested, a Grand Jury returned True Bills against the men and seven other defendants.  The Grand Jury asked that the evidence presented should be banned from  publication, and, consequently, no evidence was published in either the Irish or English press. What's more, the court records were destroyed in the Irish Civil War, so the details are vague, but, according to H. Montgomery Hyde, Cornwall and Kirwin were acquitted on charges of  conspiracy to commit homosexual acts after  the jury's opinion was divided. As for  French, he faced three trials before  he was finally  convicted and faced  two years imprisonment. These Irish cases of  "homosexual vice" hurt Gladstone's Liberal administration, and along with the withdrawal of  support from  Home Rule MPs the next year, the government was defeated  and replaced by Lord Salisbury's Conservatives (Hyde, H. Montgomery, Other 127-33; Fisher 143-4). Both the Cleveland Street affair  and the sexual shenanigans in Dublin Castle prepared the way for  the phenomenal trial of  Oscar Wilde, who was prosecuted and punished under the 1885 Labouchere Amendment, which coincided with the evangelically-inspired purity movements. In the mid-Victorian period, homosexuality was not a public controversy; however, by the 1880s the knowledge that a homosexual underworld existed moved into the public realm, and it was in the 1890s when moral panic over homophobia became endemic (Fisher 136-40). Finally, the Dublin Castle scandal of  1884 highlights O'Brien's and Healy's public homophobia as a force  in nationalist politics, serving to bring English rule into disrepute. The intermingling of  hegemonic discourses of  nationalism, respectability, and sexuality shaped public attitudes throughout the Western world by stereotyping sexual "degenerates." By the 1870s Irish nationalisms began to congeal into their familiar divisions in tandem with the seeds of  the Irish Literary Renaissance being sewn. Strands of  Irish nationalism took onboard discourses of  respectability and normative gender roles and ideals as part of  their definitions  of  Irishness,  unwittingly, yet inevitably, producing homosocially-inflected  nationalisms that drew upon normative models of  masculinity and its various repudiations of  the feminine.  For example, Margot Gayle Backus cites James Joyce's distinction between bourgeois and revolutionary forms  of  nationalism and his recoil at "bourgeois nationalism's regulation of  national identity through the institutionalized regimentation of  sexuality and the body" ("Sexual" 119-20). Luke Gibbons further  observes the overlap between strands of  nationalism and bourgeois standards: "through an accommodation of  Victorian values," the Irish Catholic hierarchy launched a widespread programme of  social reconstruction focusing  on health and education initiatives, church construction, and "a pursuit of  respectability consistent with the emergence of  middle-class constitutional nationalism" (Gaelic 13). Andrew Parker cautions that sexuality and nationality are not transhistorical nor supranational realities as each country experiences these constitutive discourses differently  (Nationalism  5). The most germane difference  between Ireland and England was the former's  unequal historic partnership within the United Kingdom as a settler colony. In many ways, Irish culture was attuned to England's ideal stereotypes of masculinity and femininity,  but Ireland differed  in its Catholicism and familism's imbrication of  gender and sexual norms that were crucial in the articulation of  romantic and constitutional nationalist ideals. In urban centres such as Dublin, Belfast,  Cork, and Waterford,  where the Irish middle class lived, it is reasonable to assume that the cultural affinity  and identification  of  Irish and Ulster Protestants with English concepts of respectability and normality was common. But Countess Cathleen, as it is always objected to, is not John Bull; nonetheless, the experience of  settlement impacted the metaphorical construction of  international sexual dynamics: Post-colonial countries like Ireland have particular difficulty  with the real presence of  the homoerotic. Colonialism itself  generates a gendered power relationship and, inevitably, casts the colonising power as masculine and dominant and the colonised as feminine  and passive. One of  the consequences of  this resistance to the imperial was an increased unease with the shifting  and 'unstable' nature of  sexual difference,  and so a narrowing of  gender hierarchies ensues. In Irish cultural discourse, silencing sexual difference  became imperative because of  a supposed link between homosexuality and enfeebled,  'feminised'  masculinity. The post-colonial struggle to escape the influence  of  the colonising power became a struggle to escape the gendered relation of  male coloniser to female colonised. Therefore  the post-colonial culture could not permit any public, ideological acknowledgement of  the actuality of  the sexually 'other'. (Walshe, "Introduction", Sex  5) Within this tension of  contradictory discourses of  sexual identity, the Irish cultural imaginary became more tightly bound to the veiled homoeros repressed within ideological stereotypes of  normative Irish masculinity and its attending anxiety over effeminization,  surfacing  covertly and then overtly in Irish writing. A chief  intellectual source of  the discourses of  gendered relations and femininity in Ireland is Matthew Arnold, the representative spokesmen for  conservative mid-Victorian sensibilities. In 1867, Arnold presented his series of  Oxford  lectures and essays, "On Celtic Literature," within the context of  the Fenian uprisings that same year and the Manchester executions of  three young Irishmen in retaliation for  an alleged police slaying, which served as "a sharp reminder," as F. S. L. Lyons puts it, "of  the turmoil just below the surface  of  Victorian life"  (Culture  4). Arnold's romantic construction of  the Celt partially drew upon Adam Smith's representation of  the Scottish Highland militia as physically "soft",  less "manly", less disciplined, less capable in the use of  arms, and inclined to a domestic lifestyle  (554). The image of  the Celt contrasted with that of  the Saxon had far-reaching  implications. First, Arnold's lectures further  stimulated interest in romantic Celticism based on over a century of  academic scholarship and popular publications ranging from  James Macpherson's contentious Ossianic9 poems that synthesized traditional tales and ballads to the work of  Irish scholars Eugene O'Curry, John O'Donovan, and German philologists Heinrich Zimmer and Kuno Meyer. Second, as an explanation of  the cultural, linguistic, and temperamental differences  between the Irish and the English, Arnold produced a version of  the Celt that was overall sentimental--'always  ready  to react against the despotism  of  fact"  (Arnold 344; emphasis Arnold's). According to him, the Celt was variously, undisciplinable, anarchical, and turbulent by nature, but out of  affection and admiration giving himself  body and soul to some leader, that is not a promising political temperament, it is just the opposite of  the Anglo-Saxon temperament, disciplinable and steadily obedient within certain limits, but retaining an inalienable part of  freedom  and self-dependence;  but it is a temperament for  which one has a kind of  sympathy notwithstanding. (347) Arnold's depiction of  this imaginary feminized  figure,  who willingly offers  his body and soul to his leader (always another male), is placed side by side with the "manly" Saxon, who would not compromise his limits, and, I would argue, his, implied, bodily integrity. However, Arnold develops this idea as he continues on the same page with, "no doubt the sensibility of  the Celtic nature, its nervous exaltation, have something feminine  in them, and the Celt is thus peculiarly disposed to feel  the spell of  the feminine  idiosyncrasy; he has an affinity  to it; he is not far  from  its secret" (347). Arnold's portrait of  the Celt 9 For a compact assessment of  the Ossian controversy, see Clare O'Halloran's article, "Irish Re-creations of the Gaelic Past: The Challenge of  Macpherson's Ossian." Past and  Present.  124 (August 1989): 69-95. illustrates the convergence and mutually supportive echo of  discourses on race, colonialism, gender, and (homo)sexuality. The Celt is de-masculinized and childlike and made to share many of  the same symptoms as the homosexual, in contrast to the superior, "manly", and born-to-govern Anglo-Saxon. Arnold's definition  of  the Celtic disposition would be influential  and commonplace for  the remainder of  the nineteenth-century and beyond (Fallis 60). Generally, as Britain faced  growing demands for  women's suffrage, the fear  spawned by this development was projected onto populations labelled as "feminine",  which undercut support for  both suffrage  and Irish Home Rule (Curtis 61-2). There exists, however, a native Irish tradition in song and in literature of  Ireland troped as Woman. Declan Kiberd informs  us that "one of  the most ancient and... subversive conceits in bardic tradition was the notion that the land was a woman, to be worshipped, wooed, and won, if  necessary by death" ("Literature" 235). Underneath this trope is the ancient ideal of  the fertility  of  the land tied to the beneficence  and wisdom of the king. In the aisling  poetry of  the seventeenth century, a defenceless  virgin—deserted by her spouse and menaced by a masculine England— symbolizes Ireland, where "[h]er only hope is the return of  her rightful  husband... one of  the Stuart pretenders" (Harrison 276). Later in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the passive girl appears, instead, as an aggressive mother goddess summoning her loyal sons to fight  and die for  her so that she might be redeemed to her pre-colonial condition by means of  a "pristine virginity of language, land, and liturgy" (Kearney, "Myth" 77). Arguably, if  nationalist traditions configure  Ireland as "feminine"  and pure or, moreover, as a born-again virgin and if sexual knowledge is the sole prerogative of  Irish men, then theoretically with whom are the men in their bonded communities sanctioned to have sexual relations if  Irish women are to remain untouched? The latter version of  Ireland as a mother figure  with heroic or betraying sons is seen in Yeats's "womanly" nationalist paragon in Cathleen  ni Houlihan  (1902). There remains a certain vampirism to the Old Woman, however, as she feeds  off  the blood of young Irishmen to avenge injustice and to restore her queenly beauty. Seamus Heaney's bog poems utilize the older formulation  of  Ireland as a young traumatized woman, where the relationship of  England/Ulster to Ireland is not only gendered, but also where sexual violation occurs. In "The Ocean's Love to Ireland," Sir Walter Raleigh ensnares an Irish maid who is backed up "to a tree/As Ireland is backed to England," resulting in the girl's downfall  (Heaney, North  46). According to Vincent Quinn, Heaney, under the voyeuristic gaze of  the speaker, indulges in heterosexualizing the myths of  Irish culture and history and, thereby, marginalizes homosexuality (267-9). Nevertheless, Edna Longley cautions that to embody Irish cultural nationalism as "archetypally female  both gives it a mythic pedigree and exonerates it from  aggressive and oppressive intent. Its patriarchal elements also disappear....While Virgin-Ireland gets raped and pitied, Mother Ireland translates pity into a call to arms and vengeance....Traditionally, it is her sons whom Mother Ireland recruits and whose manhood  she tests" (189, 190; emphasis Longley's). Longley is correct to refocus  the rhetorical emphasis back onto romantic nationalism's masculine character and testosterone-driven aggressiveness. Elaine Sisson concurs with Longley that "although the female  body continued to have currency as a literary and visual metaphor for  Ireland, it was the 'real' male body which was seen to 'embody' Irish identity and social and political reality. By implication the male body was considered to represent a 'natural' and 'native' Irishness" (15). So too Seamus Deane acknowledges the shift  away from the earlier trope of  Ireland as Woman, which "has now yielded to a concept of  national identity that has physical virility, both athletic and sexual, as its indicative characteristic" (Strange  144). Dion Boucicault's Sentimental Drama Queens Elizabeth Butler Cullingford's  research into narratives of  on stage, homosocial/erotic bonding between English and Irish men, who function  as vectors in overcoming the animosity between the two nations, partly corresponds to my own arguments. "The stage Englishman is seldom the villain," observes Cullingford;  "indeed, he is usually a decent chap, and often  he becomes the object of  Irish desire" (Others  7). Cullingford's identification  of  theatrical Irish homosociality in the melodramas of  Dion Boucicault mark the early development of  a history of  homoeros in nineteenth-century Irish theatre. Boucicault became the leading and most popular playwright in the English-speaking world as his career spanned almost four  decades, composing over forty  plays with hits in London and New York such as London  Assurance (1841), An Irish  Heiress  (1842), Old Heads  and  Young  Hearts  (1844), The  Corsican Brothers  (1852), The  Vampire  (1852), The  Colleen  Bawn (1860), Arrah-na-Pogue  (1864), The  Rapparee (1870), The Shaughraun  (1875), and Robert Emmet  (1884) (Parkin 13). Although George Bernard Shaw accused him of  perpetuating Irish stereotypes, Boucicault transforms  the stage Irishman from  "a foolish,  drunken butt of  English wits...into a clever, courageous and resourceful  descendant of  the tricky slave of  ancient comedy" (Parkin 19; Cullingford, Others 14). In his pamphlet The  Story  of  Ireland  (1881), Boucicault is passionate in his denunciation of  what he perceives as the imperialism of  the British government and Ireland's victimization and neglect. These political sentiments translate, however, into Boucicault's tactful  rendering of  the Irish question through soliciting compassion from English audiences. Boucicault manipulates the politics of  sympathy in driving home the similarities between the English and the Irish, divided, not by their inherent natures, but by the political interests and policies of  their rulers (Cullingford,  Others 19, 33; Parkin 19). Critic Augustin Filon states that '"until Boucicault's time it had been the fashion  to laugh over Ireland, never to weep over her'" (Parkin 15). As a genre, meldodramas of  the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries adaptively intermingle sentimental, romantic, didactic, and moral elements into a powerful  instrument for  endorsing the emergent cause of  Irish nationalism (Brannigan 109). In Boucicault's play entitled Robert Emmet  (1884), the plot centres around the homosocial triangulation amongst the three lead characters: Scottish soldier Norman Claverhouse is in love with Irishwoman Sarah Curran yet bitterly stifles  his affections  as she is in love, in turn, with rebel Robert Emmet, despite her father's  desire to see her united with Claverhouse. In the opening scene, Claverhouse becomes complicit in a plan to smuggle Emmet out of  the country, shirking his duty and guided by his emotions as evident when he tells Sarah, "'Tis hard on me to say the words; it is verra bitter, dear. Before  this night is past you must bear my rival's name....1 will never quit your side until you are Robert Emmet's wife"  (Boucicault 338, 339). Emmet is shocked and grateful  at this seemingly altruistic gesture since the soldier risks his career and his life  by not arresting his adversary, but Claverhouse explains, "I only know that she loves you—that makes me at once your foe  and your accomplice" (Boucicault 250). The closing scene stages the slipperiness of  the homosocial and homoerotic continuum when Emmet faces  execution by firing  squad. Claverhouse comes to bid farewell  and to deliver the news that Sarah has died; "My sentence killed her!" cries Emmet (Boucicault 396). With the mediating presence of  Sarah removed, Claverhouse's obsessive relationship of  "foe"  and "accomplice" with the rebel reaches a climax in his sensational swooning at Emmet's brave heroism: "NORMAN falls  in his arms weeping. Come, come, do not let your tears unman me," counsels the condemned, "Men! you have your duty to perform—do  it bravely, as I have done mine! This death is a boon, not a penalty!" (Boucicault 396). Emmet then embraces Claverhouse "tenderly"  (397) and kisses him twice—once for  Sarah and the other for  Tiney Wolfe,  which ostensibly legitimates the gesture through calling to mind the missing women (Cullingford,  Others 36). The drama concludes in a tableau where Emmet's spirit gazes into the face  of  the figure  of  Ireland wearing a coronet of  shamrocks in her hair, no less, as his body is drawn backstage (Boucicault 397). Robert Emmet  endeavours to seduce both genders and nationalities in the audience into "a quasi-erotic relation with the dying hero, and by implication with the cause for  which he died" (Cullingford,  Others 36). On Boucicault's stage, it seems, that tear-prone Englishmen such as the benevolent sergeant who weeps at Shaun's impending execution in Arrah-na-Pogue, Captain Molineux in The  Shaughraun,  and, here again, Claverhouse, all signify  the playwright's reversal of  the Celtic stereotypes of  feminine  sentimentality, assigning them to the Saxon instead (Cullingford,  Others 36). "Boucicault, and later Whitbread, Mangan, and Bourke among others, appropriated this model of  popular theatre for  Irish nationalism," posits John Branningan, "focusing  in particular on the mythology of  the 1798 Rising in order to garner popular patriotic support for  revolution and independence" (109). Boucicault's early depictions of  homosociality within sentimental nationalist melodramas made visible these representations in culturally acceptable forms,  channeling them into the homosocial/homosexual thematics implicated within romantic and revolutionary nationalist discourses and identity constructions. Boucicault's pervasive influence  in Ireland is evident by the fact  that his melodramas remained a much-loved favourite  at the Queen's theatre in Dublin into the 1930s, with Arrah-na-Pogue,  The Shaughraun,  and The  Colleen  Bawn, presented regularly (Brannigan 106-7). The Irish Gothic and Homosexual Panic Heavily indebted to the earlier Romantic Gothic tradition, inaugurated in Ireland by Charles Maturin's novels, especially Melmoth  the Wanderer  (1820), the nineteenth-century Anglo-Irish horror-mystery genre assisted in spreading to the public scenes of homoeros, especially, homosexual panic as a mechanism of  control over men's bonds. Eve Kosofsky  Sedgwick explains that "the paranoid Gothic [is] the literary genre in which homophobia found  its most apt and ramified  embodiment" (Closet  186). With tropes of  the "unspeakable" and the role of  the aristocratic homosexual, Gothic fiction "crystallized for  English audiences the terms of  a dialectic between male homosexuality and homophobia, in which homophobia appeared thematically in paranoid plots. Not until the late-Victorian Gothic did a comparable body of  homosexual thematics emerge clearly, however" (Men  92). In early Romantic Gothic novels such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein  (1818), William Godwin's Caleb  Williams  (1794 ), and James Hogg's Confessions  of  a Justified  Sinner  (1824), homosocial desire registers in the male hero's often  intimate yet fatal  relationship with his "double" (Closet  186). The Gothic genre not only frequently  codes these "doubles" as monsters such as the vampire, but also exploits a culture's worst fears  by the common themes of  incest and sexual deviancy. As a creature of  the Un-dead, part human and part beast, that subsists by feeding  on the blood of  the living, "the vampire is perhaps the most absolute embodiment of  'the unnatural'" (Williams 3). In 1872 Sheridan Le Fanu published the novella "Carmilla" in his collection In  a Glass Darkly.  Le Fanu's plot closely echoes the events of  Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Gothic poem "Christabel" (1816), and the text remains the most noteworthy of  the Victorian vampire tales since "Carmilla" connects "Romantic vampires and their late-Victorian 'grandchild,' Dracula" (Williams 8). "Carmilla" tells the story of  Laura, the nineteen-year-old narrator, and her harrowing ordeal following  the arrival of  Carmilla after  a stagecoach accident. Immediately the two teenagers bond with one another, taking on an aura of  lesbianism with constant references  to handholding, caressing, and kissing. All is not well, though, as Le Fanu presses the homosexual panic "button" early on through the narrator's misgivings: "I wonder whether you feel  as strangely drawn towards me as I do to you: I have never had a friend—shall  I find  one now?" She sighed, and her fine dark eyes gazed passionately on me. Now the truth is, I felt  rather unaccountably towards the beautiful  stranger. I did feel,  as she said, "drawn towards her," but there was also something of  revulsion. In this ambiguous feeling,  however, the sense of  attraction immensely prevailed. (Le Fanu 101) Following Carmilla's disturbing insinuations about eros and thanatos,  Laura confesses  to experiencing "a strange tumultuous excitement that was pleasurable, ever and anon, mingled with a vague sense of  fear  and disgust" (Le Fanu 104). After  a passionate kiss, Laura ascribes to Carmilla a romantic nature; to which her pale languid companion whispers, '"I have been in love with no one, and never shall...unless it should be with you'" (Le Fanu 112). Horrifying  nightmares, late night visits by unidentified  creatures, a mysterious "disease" or "infection"  that kills local villagers, all culminate in terrorizing Laura who suffers  Carmilla's bites to her breast and neck. General Spielsdorf  reveals that Carmilla is, in fact,  Mircalla, Countess Karnstein, a vampire who ultimately meets the fate  of  many demonized scapegoats with questionable sexual tastes: ritual staking through the heart, decapitation, and incineration (Le Fanu 145). Margot Gayle Backus argues that Gothic tales such as "Carmilla", Maturin's Mel  moth the Wanderer,  and Bram Stoker's Dracula are all cautionary tales and relief  maps of  the internalization of  heteronormative sexual and gender identity constructions within the Anglo-Irish family,  marked off  from  and defined  against, in this instance, lesbianism, and designed to engender homophobic anxiety in Le Fanu's audience (Gothic 133). Because of  lesbianism's relative invisibility, Victorians found  it less problematic per se than male homosexuality; nonetheless, Le Fanu utilizes Laura's homoerotic/homophobic response to her bosom companion to contain the threat of  the lesbian vampire and to retain the "natural" order referred  to frequently  by Laura's father.  This dynamic psychological reaction produces the thrill of the vampiric encounter for  both the audience and Laura, who narrates her tale, not once but twice, through an act of  ventriloquism via the General's account within the double-folded  structure of  the novella. Le Fanu's fiction  directly influenced  Bram Stoker's10 imagination as female vampires, sexual transgression, and paranoid homophobia are surfeit  in Dracula, published in 1897 (Wilson ix). Several critics11 have commented on the homoeros between Count Dracula and Jonathan Harker and amongst Lucy Westenra's suitors, Arthur Holmwood, Dr. John Seward, Quincey P. Morris, and not to mention, Dr. Van Helsing. The men's blood transfusions  necessary to save Lucy's life  underscores not only the homosocial triangulation of  the Count and his adversaries mediated through a mixing of  their blood within Lucy's anemic body, but also the symbolic and physiological equivalence of  blood and semen's life  force  (Hammond 133). In a confrontation  with Harker and the others, a cornered Dracula, underlining this point, threatens revenge as he has been drinking Harker's wife's  blood: "Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine—my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed"  (Stoker 306). Likewise with Le Fanu's defensive  closure and exploitation of  homophobic 1 0 Stoker's father,  Abraham, was chief  secretary of  Dublin Castle mid-century, so, when Stoker graduated from  Trinity College, he became a clerk in the Irish civil service at the Castle from  1868-1878. Then he left  Ireland, following  actor Henry Irving, ten years his senior, to the theatrical world of  London but not before  marrying his nineteen-year old neighbour, Florence Balcombe, twelve years Stoker's junior. Stoker remained Irving's faithful  friend  for  twenty-seven years. Although there appears to be no evidence of  a physical relationship between the men, "Stoker had fallen  in love" (Farson and Dematteis 248, 249). Writing about his relationship with Irving, Stoker later records, "in those moments of  mutual emotion he too had found  a friend  and knew it. Soul had looked into soul! From that hour began a friendship  as profound,  as close, as lasting as can be between two men" (qtd. in Farson and Dematteis 248). 1 1 For further  detailed discussion of  homoeros in Stoker's Dracula,  see Marjorie Howes's "The Mediation of  the Feminine: Bisexuality, Homoerotic Desire, and Self-Expression  in Bram Stoker's Dracula."  Texas Studies  in Literature  and  Language  80.1 (Spring 1988): 104-19; Christopher Craft's  '"Kiss Me with Those Red Lips': Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker's Dracula.''''  Representations  8 (Fall 1984): 107-33; Margot Gayle Backus's The  Gothic Family  Romance: Heterosexuality,  Child  Sacrifice,  and  the Anglo-Irish  Colonial  Order  (1999), 135-41; and Paul Hammond's Love between Men  in English  Literature, (1996), 131-3. thematics, Stoker attempts to contain the homosocial from  sliding into the homoerotic within the intimate encounters between vampire and victim by safeguarding  its ostensible heterosexual relation (Howes 119). Imprisoned in Dracula's castle, Harker experiences homosexual panic as "a vague feeling  of  uneasiness which I always have when the Count is near" (Stoker 26). In the heterosexual seduction scene, Harker passively rests in feminized  "languorous ecstasy" (39) where he observes of  the three women, a "deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive" (38); however, it is Harker's relation with Dracula that is paramount, for  "another sensation swept through me.. .1 was conscious of  the presence of  the Count" (38). In a jealous rage, Dracula reprimands his three minions: "How dare you touch him, any of  you? How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden  it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me!....when I am done with him, you shall kiss him at your will" (39). Harker passes out unconscious and later records in his journal that he has awoken back in his guest room, evidently undressed by the Count (40). Yet Harker possesses no puncture wounds on his body after this experience, begging the question: what exactly did the Count want with the unconscious man if  not sustenance? This mystery remains the unresolved secret which hangs over the text and only is acknowledged to Mina as a "great shock" (104) that must be redressed through heterosexual marriage. The betrothed wed that day, thereby, creating a buffer  between the bourgeois normality of  the couple and Dracula's abnormal world as well as trying to banish any lingering doubts about Harker's "manly" desires (Hammond 131). At the end of  the novel, the Harkers have a baby, completing the traditional family  unit but still bearing the mark of  the male homosocial bond: "His bundle of  names links all our little band of  men together; but we call him Quincey" (Stoker 378). Dracula  inexorably "feminizes...  irrepressible and subversive desires and represents the fear  of  succumbing to the seductions of  a vampire as the fear  of  being emasculated," remarks Marjorie Howes (107). Seamus Deane expands the scope of  this reading to the national level as "sexual degeneration has been prevented by chaste heroics, [and] the family  has asserted its values against those of  the mob. Politically, the family  is.. .the embodiment of  the nation and the national values, and it speaks the nation without flaw"  (Strange  93). Moreover, Count Dracula allegorizes both the sense of  racial threat posed by the Irish in the period and the coeval "racial crisis constitutive of  Britishness itself'  with its coexistence of opposed ethnic communities under a mutual national identity where difference  was internally inscribed (Valente, Dracula's  76). The Gothic genre aligned itself  with the emerging racial discourses that were built upon a scientifically-validated  medicalized regime of  normalcy and its concern over the racial hygiene of  the nation with all of  its impacted prejudices and paranoia in tow. "Though originally a literary genre with a distinctively popular or sensational appeal," states Luke Gibbons, "the Gothic spread out into the recesses of  everyday life,  giving rise to a phantom pubic sphere haunted by fear,  terror, and the dark side of  civility" (Gaelic 10). The racial theories, incorporated by the Gothic, expanded their formulation  of threats to national health to embrace more intangible markers of  regression, infection,  and contamination. The Gothic aided in propagating this new pathology obsessed as it was "with invisible adversaries, and fantasies  of  corruption, infiltration,  and pollution from within" (Gibbons, Gaelic 38; emphasis Gibbon's). The consequences of  these discourses of  normality appropriating the resources of  Gothic fiction  in the analogous rhetorical construction of  both Irish and homosexual identities through recourse to homophobic tropes as "pollution", "pathology", "degenerates", and as the "enemy within" were enormous. For the Irish posed a threat of  contamination insofar  as they were associated with the spread of  cholera, "the Irish disease", which was cited as further  evidence of  their national deficiency.  With the outbreak of  Fenian violence in the 1860s, the resulting moral panic set off  a fear  of  Irish infection  of  Britain's working class, both epidemiologically and politically via Chartism, and became transformed  into "a fully fledged  political Gothic, visualized above all in the pages of  Punch and like-minded periodicals" (Gibbons, Gaelic 69; 46, 68). Underpinning this Gothic fear  is the nightmare of  a "reverse colonization" through a massive internal immigration of  Irish people within the United Kingdom, especially during the Great Famine of  the 1840s: a panic that the Irish "would return, perhaps vengefully,  to England's shores, with disruptive effects  on English life,  degrading effects  on English culture, and degenerative effects  on the Anglo-Saxon race" (Valente, Dracula's  62). This Gothic inheritance disseminated in the popular press and fiction  with its dialectical relation of  homosexual identity and homophobia impacted the nationalist and literary conceptions of  male subjectivity in Ireland. Queering the Irish Revival It is instructive to read the reaction of  the Anglo-Irish Revivalists to the feminine stereotyping of  the Celt, the Gaelic tradition of  the Shan Van Vocht or Mother Ireland, plus the homosexual panic in Gothic fiction.  Standish O'Grady's History  of  Ireland: Heroic  Period,  published in 1878, became "almost a bible for  young Irish writers and nationalists. They found  in his Cuchulain an exemplar of  the Irish spirit, manly, courageous, extravagantly emotional, and genuinely noble" (Fallis 63; 60-2; emphasis mine). The Revivalists turn to and disseminate the hypermasculine heroic figures  of ancient Irish saga with Celtic Supermen such as Finn mac Cool and his Fianna, Ferdia, Conn, Cu Roi, and, above all, Cuchulain. This masculine Irish role model is paired with a glamorization of  violence and bloodletting incorporated into nationalist iconography and rhetoric. For William Butler Yeats, Cuchulain personifies  the pagan aristocratic warrior ideal —a "man of  passions and ungovernable will" (Hutchinson 145) as discussed in Lady Augusta Gregory's Cuchulain  ofMuirthemne  (1902) and Gods  and Fighting  Men  (1904). Paradoxically, it is these qualities that were anathema to middle-class respectability but acceptable in Irish tales of  heroism and tragedy. In his essay "Return of  the Fenians", Douglas Hyde, head of  the Gaelic League, playwright, and scholar prophesizes a Messianic return of  Finn mac Cool and his strong men to restore a Golden Age through the resurrection of  the Gaelic tongue which will serve as a weapon to "put an arrow through that monstrous poisonous crow" of  the English mind (Gregory, Ideals  65-7). In addition, the motto above the entrance to St. Enda's College, founded  by Patrick Pearse, was an aphorism attributed to Cuchulain: "I care not if  I live but a day and a night, so long as my deeds live after  me" (Kiberd 241). Irish Revivalists draw upon the fantastic  elements of  hyperbolized heroism and bloodshed found  in ancient Gaelic literature for  reconfiguration  in redressing their own contemporary circumstances. In Dublin, visitors and the Irish alike can still view the imposing Laocoonesque bronze statue of  a dying Cuchulain by Oliver Sheppard inside the General Post Office  on O'Connell Street. However, Declan Kiberd also mentions the homoerotic features  some scholars ascribe to the bardic tradition of  hypermasculine warriors. The bardic "poet was married  to his chieftain,  with whom he had the right to share a bed," and, "the physical attractions of the ruler's visage were described by many poets in precisely the same terms which they had already used to celebrate their actual lady-love" (Kiberd, "Literature" 236; emphasis Kiberd's). The lack of  sexual orthodoxy among the Celts and the early Christian Irish before  Anglo-Norman contact is verified  by the non-judgemental Brehon laws that regarded homosexuality as a ground for  divorce and the fact  that medieval Gaelic poetry is often homoerotic (Rose, Diverse 8). Lillis O Laoire acknowledges the homosocial nature of  the relationship between Cuchulain and his foster  brother, Ferdia, in the Gaelic epic the Tain, partially evidenced by Cuchulain's grief-stricken  lamentation over Ferdia's death (229-30; • 1 2 • Kinsella 199-200). Inevitably, as attempts to reign in and contain meaning within the delimited stereotypes of  "manliness" or the ideological practices of  familism  occur, homoeros subversively threatens the stability of  nationalisms' homosocial ideals. Dublin journalist and political commentator, D. P. Moran, is best known as the main proponent of  the Irish-Ireland movement, characterized by insular chauvinism illustrated through its exclusive focus  upon race, religion, language, and economic protectionism. From the columns of  his weekly newspaper, The  Leader,  founded  in 1900 and widely read in Ireland, Moran pours scorn and vitriol on Irish failings  and English pretence or raimeis as he calls it. Not unwilling to stoop to the level of  bigoted 12 In Gaelic and  Gaelicised  Ireland  in the Middle  Ages, Kenneth Nicholls further  explains that the Irish married their own kinfolk  even to degrees forbade  by the Catholic Church, practiced fosterage  of  children to cement political ties, and illegitimate children were not legally excluded from  inheritance through the practice of "naming", where the mother simply announced paternity (73-9). sectarianism, Moran labels Protestants, particularly Northerners, "sourfaces",  the Anglo-Irish are contemptuously "West Britons", the Irish who ape English manners and customs are labelled "shoneens", while Jews and Africans  are routinely despised and dismissed. Moran also opposed drinking, the politics of  the Irish Parliamentary Party, and all English and "foreign"  influence  in Ireland (Lyons, Culture  58, 59). Moran has no qualms about shaming his fellow  countrymen by emphasizing their supposed lack of  masculinity: On all sides one sees only too much evidence that the people are secretly content to be a conquered race, though they have not the honesty to admit it... .There is nothing masculine in the character; and when the men do fall into line with green banners and shout themselves hoarse, is it not rather a feminine  screech, a delirious burst of  defiance  on a background of sluggishness and despair? (Moran, Irish  6) Moran frequently  castigates Irishmen as feminine,  emotional, and irresponsible as a reaction to the incessant Irish complaint of  failure: If  I were autocrat of  Ireland to-morrow, and someone were to come to me and ask what I wanted most, I should have no hesitation in answering— Men. And if  we are to have men, we must make the population of  Ireland either thoroughgoing English or thoroughgoing Irish. (Moran, "Battle" 39) In Moran's biography, historian Patrick Maume clarifies  that Moran's project is to resist the feminization  of  the Celt and to express a political preference  for  "real" men who are masculine, strong, confident,  and assertive. On 16 July 1904, a cartoonist for  The  Leader "portrayed Moran's symbol of  Ireland [as] a powerful  male nude  grappling with the serpent of  Anglicisation" (quoted in Maume 9; emphasis mine). Paradoxically, it seems homoeros resurfaces  in the organ of  Irish-Ireland's masculinist mouthpiece, where the quagmire of  interpenetrative discourses opens up to subversion and reversal nationalism's accepted symbolic rhetoric. Against this backdrop of  sexual norms and regulations in Ireland and England, the Irish cultural Revival emerges after  the failure,  albeit temporarily, of  the Home Rule movement and the sex scandal that brought down Irish parliamentarian and "uncrowned king of  Ireland," Charles Stewart Parnell. Parnell's adulterous relationship with Katherine O'Shea became public knowledge in December 1889 when her husband, Captain William O'Shea, filed  for  divorce. Viewed as another Cuchulain-like figure  to supporters as well as having his own narrative of  homosocial triangulation over eight years among the O'Sheas and himself,  Parnell was a victim of  hypocritical respectability, prudery, and Realpolitik  (Lyons, Famine  195-6). Moreover, the attacks by the nationalist press in addition to Tim Healy's efforts  to destroy confidence  in Parnell were synonymous with feminizing  him, implying "a view of  Parnell as henpecked, uxorious, even emasculated, unable to control the private affective  side of  himself,  as evidenced by his destructive passion for  Mrs. O' Shea" (Valente, Justice  60). With the 1891 fall  of  Parnell, nationalist energies focus  upon the realm of  culture: literature, theatre, music, language, folklore,  dance, and sports. Irish cultural nationalism is lead by a combination of  Anglo-Irish Revivalists and Catholic constitutional nationalists whose political interests diverged  far  more than they overlapped. The Irish Renaissance is influenced  by romantic nationalism which had inspired the antiquarian scholarship in Celtic languages and texts of  the previous century as well as Young Ireland's non-sectarian focus  upon nurturing sovereignty through the medium of  cultural and literary production. Swayed by the nationalist ideals of  John O'Leary, Yeats's initial ambition is to mould the Irish imagination by avoiding English models and creating a national literature upon Irish themes in an Irish style that would educate the people about their own traditions (Fallis 3-6). Lionel Pilkington argues, though, that the Irish Revival, particularly as it pertains to the Irish theatre movement terminating in the founding  of  the Abbey Theatre, is not as decisively "nationalist" as is assumed and that Yeats, Lady Gregory, Synge, and others—all members of  the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy or gentry class—favoured  policies aligned with constructive unionism13 over constitutional or revolutionary nationalism and the spectre of  Catholic democracy: a national theatre was not a forum  for  the expression of  majority orthodoxies, but rather a means to critique dominant, widely held opinions from  a critically sceptical perspective. In this, Gregory and Yeats were, of course, articulating the core element of  a commonly accepted literary aesthetic. What may be less obvious, however, is that they were also expressing a distinctive cultural response to Ireland's envisaged political future,  a response that has its roots in fin  de  siecle southern Irish unionism.... [T]he defiantly  literary impulse of  Ireland's early national 1 3 Constructive unionism involved the British government's strategy of  attempting through progressive legislation to create conditions on the ground in Ireland that would mitigate the need for  Home Rule and end agrarian unrest. Under the stewardship of  Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and Irish Chief  Secretaries Arthur J. Balfour  and, later, his brother, Gerald Balfour,  land acts in 1887, 1888, and the Wyndham Act of 1903 resulted in the establishment of  a stable peasant proprietorship 200,000 strong, who collectively owned half  of  all the arable land in the country. These reforms  stripped away the last vestiges of landlordism and ended the land war. In 1891, the Congested Districts Board was formed  to help with poor relief  and to assist in economic growth. In 1898, the Irish Local Government Act set up county councils as well as urban and rural district councils, voted on by a franchise  that included women, and, in the following year, Gerald Balfour  and Sir Horace Plunkett established the Department of  Agricultural and Technical Instruction, which endeavored to modernize Irish agriculture and the fisheries  through education (Lyons, Famine  202-23; Hachey et al. 134-6). theatre movement arises, at least in part, from  a desire to anticipate and moderate the traumatic prospects of  majority rule. (Theatre  3, 4) This Anglo-Irish coterie of  artists perceives its positions on the national stage as a type of philanthropy (10). As custodians of  a range of  Irish traditions, these writers' exaltation of a harmonious society based upon heroes and peasants it was hoped would have salutary pedagogical effects  on the "plain people" of  Ireland. The contradictory tensions between the writers and the public flared  frequently  during times of  controversy surrounding productions of  the Abbey Theatre and its precursor, from  Yeats's alleged anti-Catholicism in The  Countess  Cathleen  (1899) to the modern approach to questions of sexuality in Synge's work. Nationalists were especially affronted  by the fact  that The Countess  Cathleen  was presented under the sponsorship of  a theatre which proclaimed itself  as "national"; in spite of  this, Cathleen  ni Houlihan  restored Yeats's nationalist credentials with Maud Gonne performing  the key role in 1902 (Pilkington, Theatre,  24, 32). The ideological discourses that conflate  the Irish with a subservient femininity ignite a reaction in the Revival movement and other nationalists as they embark on constructing another version of  Irishmen, drawing upon not only the noble "manly" warrior but also the noble masculine peasant. The new cultural masculinist manifesto  is best summarized in a letter to Michael Cusack of  the Gaelic Athletic Association by Archbishop Croke of  Cashel. Croke attacks the importation of  English fashions,  immoral literature, dances, games, pastimes, mannerisms, and English sports, disparaging tennis, polo, and cricket (Travers 93). He carries on: Indeed, if  we continue travelling in the next score years in the direction that we have been going in for  some time past, condemning sports that were practiced by our forefathers,  effacing  our national features  as though we were ashamed of  them, and putting on, with England's stuffs  and broadcloths her masher habits, and such other effeminate  follies  as she may recommend, we had better at once, and publicly, abjure our nationality, clap hands for  joy at the sight of  the Union Jack, and place 'England's bloody red' exultantly above the 'Green', (qtd. in Travers 93) This attack on presumed English femininity  reverses the polarity of  colonial discourse and emphasizes the importance of  Irish sport to nationalist identity. The Irish athlete becomes a kind of  modern day warrior. Further, in Douglas Hyde's essay "The Necessity for  De-Anglicising Ireland," Hyde comments on the impact of  the G.A.A. and the revival of  ancient Irish sports: "the physique of  our youth has been improved in many of  our counties; they have been taught self-restraint,  and how to obey their captains....Wherever the warm striped green jersey of  the Gaelic Athletic Association was seen, there Irish manhood and Irish memories were rapidly reviving" ("Necessity" 157). Hyde's support for  abstaining from  English sport in order to revive Irish ones through the intense bonding of  the homosocial world of  male athleticism underscores the nationalist belief  in the importance of  physical vigour and moral fortitude  in the healthy building up of  the body of  the nation while keeping in tact the reification  of  that male body in its physical and athletic glory. The Anglo-Irish Revival's ideals and assumptions surrounding masculinity and "manliness" surfaces  as a concern in the writings of  A.E., Yeats, and Synge. In a classic instance of  sublimation, George 'A.E.' Russell believes that a new soul for  the nation can only appear artistically through the restraint of  passion and the rejection of  decadent art and its coterie: Whether the art of  any of  the writers of  the decadence does really express spiritual things is open to doubt. The mood in which their work is conceived, a sad and distempered emotion through which no new joy quivers, seems too often  to tell rather of  exhausted vitality than of  the ecstasy of  a new life....  Art in the decadence in our times might be symbolized as a crimson figure  undergoing a dark crucifixion;  the hosts of light are overcoming it, and it is dying filled  with anguish and despair at a beauty it cannot attain. All these strange emotions have a profound psychological interest But in Ireland we are not yet sick with this sickness. As psychology it concerns only the curious. (Russell 79, 80) A.E.'s rhetoric reiterates the anxiety surrounding decadent art and, by implication, its emblematic high priest Oscar Wilde; moreover, the notion of  "sickness" and "exhausted vitality" and his triumphalist vision of  decadence being crucified,  no less, in a battle of righteousness and evil, reinscribes some of  the disavowed homoerotic associations within Revivalist thought. A.E.'s comments, written in 1899 and four  years after  Wilde's trial and imprisonment, fail  to acknowledge that, especially in an Irish context, crucifixions are routinely followed  by resurrections and returns. The idealized peasant serves as the other stock image of  the "manly" Irish, besides the Celtic warrior, for  most of  the poets and playwrights of  the Abbey Theatre and its precursors. For Anglo-Irish writers, the imaginary peasants' symbolic value resided in their physical hardiness, spiritual superiority and virtue, and imaginative genius demonstrated in folklore,  poetry, and song; however, the reality for  most peasants was one of  grinding poverty and isolation. The male peasant is the antithesis of  the modern urban man through avoidance of  cosmopolitan vices associated with degeneracy, decadence, and "abnormality" that supposedly saps the body and soul of  its health. The peasants are imagined akin to simple "noble savages", who endure and battle the Irish elements, bravely fish  in curraghs on the open sea, stoically subsist on the meagre agricultural yields from  family  plots of  poor and rocky soil, all the while happily tending to their small herds of  cattle and sheep. For other romantic nationalist writers however, the basic literary function  of  the peasantry is to demonstrate the acceptance of  the familial order and rigid morality of  Irish Catholicism; thereby, peasants would be inoculated from the influence  of  the corruption and materialism of  English culture (Cairns and Richards 71). The synergy of  Catholic and pagan elements results in the peasantry, paragons of innocent moral Irish virtue, being stripped of  any inkling of  sexual desire by Yeats, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde, A.E., Padraic Colum and other Revivalists as they compile and translate Irish peasant stories, ballads, poetry, heroic tales, and music before  encroaching Anglicization and the catastrophic effects  of  the Great Famine separate the native Irish from  their linguistic and literary heritage forever.  The peasant poetry is esteemed by Yeats for  its "passionless virtue and passionless vice" (Gregory, Ideals  90), echoing the values of  control and restraint. Michael Gillane in Cathleen  ni Houlihan  represents a proper peasant masculinity by nobly turning away from  his bride-to-be in order to join French forces  who have arrived, albeit late, at the invitation of  the United Irishmen in 1798. Similarly, Yeats underscores the masculine nature of  archetypal peasant men in the lyrics "The Fisherman" and "The Host of  the Air" (Poems  90, 251). Additionally, after  reading some poems by A.E., Yeats displays an anxiety about gender norms when he writes in a letter of  response that he would "underrate" the collection because the "dominant mood in many of  them is the one I have fought  in myself  and put down... .an exaggeration of sentiment and sentimental beauty which I have come to think unmanly" (qtd. in Fallis 127). Furthermore, by characteristically avoiding all overt references  to racial or religious identities, Yeats wishes to create a spiritual sense of  national unity that would overcome all contemporary differences  and lead to a transcendental Irish essence grounded in a culture symbolized by the peasantry, on the one hand, and Celtic warriors on the other (Cairns and Richards 65). This Irish essence was to be shared by Anglo-Irish aristocrats and the "indomitable Irishry" (Yeats, Poems 451) alike in a nostalgic return to pre-conquest days of  an ancient tribal society with its characteristic fantasies  of  "natural" and "organic" socio-political hierarchies. On the other hand, John Millington Synge, the Irish Revival's chief  playwright until his untimely death in 1909, takes a more frank  stance on peasant sexuality as his more modernist, yet iconoclastic, representations, especially of  women, attest In Synge's In  the Shadow  of  the Glen (1903), Nora Burke abandons her older husband and runs off  with a tramp, which unleashed a storm of  condemnation that criticized Synge's 'slanders' upon Irish women based on the implication that Nora might have sexual desires. Maude Gonne objected to Synge's play and resigned as the theatre society's vice-president, complaining of  a "unionist agenda" amongst Yeats's friends  (Pilkington, Theatre  39, 40). Arthur Griffith  of  Sinn Fein responded to the play with, '"all of  us know that Irish women are the most virtuous in the world'" and '"in no country are women so faithful  to the marriage bond as in Ireland'" (qtd. in Lyons, Famine  242). For the Irish nationalists who attended the play, there was little room to manoeuvre in the judging of acceptable peasant stereotypes that, ironically, Synge's fellow  Revivalists were actively producing. Synge's next major work, The  Playboy of  the Western  World,  ignited hysterical riots in Dublin in 1907 and, later on, in America when the play opened. Synge's Playboy confronts  some of  the sexual contradictions and disavowals of nationalist ideology. Irish separatists believed that Irish theatre was to be a suitable vehicle for  propaganda, so the ideals of  purity and respectability were offended  when Christy Mahon refuses  to abandon his love of  Pegeen Mike for  "a drift  of  chosen females, standing in their shifts  itself'  (Playboy  75). It is ironic that such outrage over a reference  to women's nightgowns occurred in the context of  a dark comedy where an exposed hero functions  as the villagers' scapegoat for  failing  to live up to his own parricidal fantasy  and the audience's standards of masculinity within the cultural imaginary. Synge's insinuation "that the rhetoric of violence so beloved of  Irish peasant society collapses when confronted  by its brute reality" unpopularly implies that the contemporary agrarian unrest may also crumple when met head-on by "the violence of  the state" (Pilkington, Theatre  59). Additionally upsetting for  the audience was the numerous instances of  "unmanly" behaviour by Christy: his cross-dressing in Sara's petticoat to hide from  the angry villagers (Playboy 75); his having been ignored by the girls in his parish (24); his admiration of  the softness of  his lovely skin in the mirror (32); Sara and his own father's  feminizing  mockery of him (34, 49); and, not to forget,  Shawn Keogh's own marked lack of  "manly" courage and slavish piety (9). Seamus Deane notes the nature of  Christy's liberation at the play's conclusion: "male freedom  is not accompanied by freedom  for  women. Rather it is through freedom from  women" (Strange  143) with all of  its homosocial connotations that the audience is left  with. Synge was censured for  "betraying the duty of  the Abbey to support 'the forces of  virile nationalism' against an insidious decadence" (Tifft  317); moreover, as an index of  hypocrisy, a doctor in attendance told Synge that some members of  the howling mob were under his care for  venereal disease (Tifft  317-8). The controversy over The  Playboy of  the Western  World  presented an opportunity for  unionists to take a stand against the nationalist mob mentality, as they discerned it, and to press for  police and legal protection in the name of  individual rights of  artistic expression (Pilkington, Theatre  59). Synge's implicit acknowledgement of  the instability of  gender identity and of  peasant female desire moreover, evidenced by Widow Quin and the young villager girls' interest in Christy, critiques the ideological restraints and limitations furnished  by homosocial nationalism and its theatre. After  the 'Revolution'.. .Brendan Behan The years 1914-1918 witnessed the Irish populace shifting  away from  constitutional avenues of  attaining independence towards a more militant Anglo-phobic nationalism that emphasized a distinctive cultural identity, renewal of  the national "manly" fibre,  and the need for  self-reliance  as espoused by D. P. Moran and Arthur Griffith.  The new nationalism was sustained by the campaigns of  miscellaneous literary, cultural, and political organizations which the Irish Republican Brotherhood (I.R.B.) had infiltrated, accustoming them to the inevitability of  physical force  (Travers 92). Following the 1916 Easter rebellion, the guerrilla warfare  of  the Anglo-Irish War of  1919-1921, the establishment of  the Irish Free State in 1922, and the ten months of  Civil War that followed  in 1922-23, Ireland found  itself  militarily exhausted and morally weary, a dominion within the British Empire, and, for  most Republicans, grievously partitioned with the creation of  Northern Ireland in 1920 with its own Home Rule government established at Stormont. With the achievement of  formal  Irish independence, romantic-inspired revolutionary nationalism had achieved its raison d'etre  even though the problems of  political violence, partition, and republic status remained unresolved. When not fighting  the British or each other, the I.R.A. was busy disciplining other "enemies" of the nation, for  between January 1920 and May 1923, 207 individuals were shot: 36% were Protestants, 8% tramps or tinkers, 7% "feeble-minded",  and 5% "sexual deviants" according to I.R.A. sources (qtd. in Walshe, "Wild(e)" 65). Obviously, not all Irish people in southern Ireland, even those with nationalist leanings, could wholeheartedly rejoice in Irish freedom  as its parameters became clear. In 1932, Easter veteran Eamon de Valera took over the Irish government and began to dramatically shape the country for  the next three decades while he remained in power. De Valera's vision of  Ireland as an "asexual Utopia" (Cullingford,  Others 215) was characterized by Catholic obedience and piety, the Gaelic language, rural family values, and isolation from  the modern and cosmopolitan influence  of  London, Europe or North America. The most distinguishing feature  of  de Valera's era was the control and power of  the Catholic Church over government legislation, social and family  matters, and artistic expression and freedom.  For in the new 1937 constitution of  Eire, the Catholic Church's special status was enshrined as was women's domestic position in supporting the state; separation of  church and state was made, therefore,  a fiction.  Catholic family values and teachings permeated all facets  of  life:  divorce, abortion, and contraception were proscribed by legislation in the 1920s, and homosexuality remained criminalized as the Irish government retained British law barring sex between men (Hachey et al. 191-219; Cullingford,  Others 227). According to a government committee in the 1930s, '"gross indecency between male persons' was 'spreading with malign vigour,'" on account, they believed, of  poor parental control and the spread of  dance-halls, movie theatres and motor vehicles; what's more, in 1946, a Labour Party report on the Portlaoise prison claimed that homosexuals constituted 30% of  its population and had to be separated out from  other prisoners (Rose, Diverse 9). De Valera's narrative of  Irish identity was seized upon and adhered to, thus creating a culture whose values were shared by the main political parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, alike, for  de Valera bore "the rural pieties of  Corkery's Hidden Ireland out of  the closet in order to censor another Ireland, one that was less easy to contemplate with equanimity" (Cullingford,  Others 215). In 1929, the Irish Censorship of  Publications Act banned "immoral" or "obscene" literature in a defence  of  Irish identity and Catholicism both threatened by sexual immorality and a decline in public virtue. The Catholic Church feared  losing control over Irish society if  their flock  abandoned the Church for  modern values. Intellectuals, writers, and artists entered what Colm Toibin calls a "sort of  dark ages" (Love  255). Almost every major twentieth-century writer was banned: Aldous Huxley, F. Scott FitzGerald, William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O'Casey, George Moore, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, and John McGahern; by 1965, almost 10,000 books were forbidden  (Fallis 172). But the authoritarianism of  the Church did not go unchallenged as the writings of  Sean O' Faolain, Frank O'Connor, and Liam O'Flaherty attest as they became spokesmen against religiously-fuelled  state censorship, the Catholic Church's abuse of  power, and for  the need for  liberalization (Deane, Celtic  188-203). Needless to say, there was no public discussion in the media or open presentation on stage of  same-sex desire or gender dissonance for  fear  of  the censors. Irish and British state censorship of  publications, stage performances,  and in film  and television did not cease until the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the United Kingdom, the authority of  the Office  of  the Lord Chamberlain, empowered since 1737 to license and censor plays, was not revoked by parliament until 1968, when playwrights were free  to stage sexuality as they wished. A decade earlier, the Lord Chamberlain had permitted discussions of  homosexuality, but no embraces or other displays of  same-sex affection  were tolerated (de Jongh 12, 90). Unlike Britain, Ireland was not subject to the censoring eye of  the Lord Chamberlain, but all of  Dublin's letters of  patent, including the Abbey Theatre's, forbid  "the presentation of  any work 'which should be deemed or construed immoral,' 'profane  or obnoxious,' 'whereby the Christian Religion may in any manner suffer  reproach,' or be 'offensive  to piety or good manners'" (O'Donnell 312). Against this history of  censorship, the Irish theatre remained a conservative milieu copacetic with romantic nationalism's narratives and mythology. Dramatists that broached, or included, facets  of  homoeros tended to revisit the earlier iconography of  homosexuality: effeminacy  in appearance or gesture, the use of  camp language, being fussy,  overdressed, or narcissistic, gentle, or nervous, artistic, and emotional—all functioned  as coded clues telling an audience what type of  man they were watching. But as Alan Sinfield  cautions the stereotypes of  the finicky  bachelor or sissy-boy, some of  whom possessed heterosexual credentials, sometimes failed  to translate into an awareness of  queerness; rather, a "cat-and-mouse game" (Stage  115) of  stage representations of  other men culturally reinforced  what Sedgwick terms the epistemology of  the closet, where both a "knowing" and an "unaware" audience were paradoxical concurrent possibilities. The resilient and long-lived stereotype of  the homosexual created by the Victorian media and medical establishment reinforced  homoeros's  alleged threat to marriage, the family  unit, and to heterosexual men with their phobic fear  of  "conversion" via seduction (de Jongh 3, 4, 9). John Clum posits, in the theatrical world, that when an audience confronts  the spectacle of  physical affection  or interaction between men or the appearance of  the nude male body, many in the audience lose a sense of  context: a drama staged by actors, often  of  differing  personal sexual identities, role-playing. This shocking sight presses into action the codes of  respectability and propriety and the programmed psychological reflex  of  disavowal, shame, and revulsion intimately tied to viewing the male as the object of  the male gaze. Drag, another common strategy of  representation of sexual dissonance in modern theatre, remains a safer  choice for  mass consumption since it allows the audience to maintain its imaginative distance from  the performer  and his/her gender while underscoring the historic link between effeminacy  and homoeros (Clum 7, 19,29,30). With his sheer magnetic force  of  personality and manic energy, not to mention legendary partying, Brendan Behan was the enfant  terrible  of  the international theatre scene in the 1950s, rather a quare fellow  himself, 14 and a former  member of  the I.R.A. who spent several years incarcerated.15 Behan's literary career marks an age of cynical disillusionment with the decaying idealism associated with romantic nationalism and the residual struggle in the North in 1940s and 1950s. Within the space between ideological rhetoric and social reality, Behan's hybrid dramas The  Hostage  (1958) and 1 4 Ulick O'Connor's 1970 biography, Brendan  Behan, tentatively broke the official  silence surrounding the hitherto iffy  subject of  Behan's sexuality. O'Connor labels Behan a "bi-sexual"—a product of  the same-sex environment of  the Borstal reform  school (59-60). Michael O'Sullivan's 1997 biography Brendan Behan: A Life,  however, greatly expands the treatment of  Behan's sexuality and cites the furore  in Ireland over the publication of  O'Connor's book. O'Sullivan examines Behan's three year friendship  with the attractive twenty-eight-year-old Irish sailor/boxer/aspiring actor, Peter Arthurs, whom Behan and his wife Beatrice ffrench-Salked  met at a Y.M.C.A. in Hollywood in May 1961 during one of  Behan's stints in America (279-82). In his memoir, With  Brendan  Behan (1981), Arthurs claims Behan fell  in love with him, relished his stories of  naval sodomy and constantly asked for  sexual favours—which  Arthurs provided (23-5, 37-9). Along with Beatrice, Arthurs became Behan's caregiver and support system, rescuing him from  his debilitating drinking binges and bar room brawls (Arthurs 175-7, 248). 1 5 In 1937 Behan became involved with the I.R.A. at age fourteen  following  membership in the youth wing Fianna  Eireann. Behan was arrested in Liverpool for  delivering explosives; subsequently, he was sentenced to three years in Hollesley Bay Borstal Institution in Suffolk.  In 1942 Behan faced  fourteen years imprisonment for  shooting at an Irish policeman during the annual commemoration of  the Easter Rising. Four years later, in 1946 he was released from  prison due to a general amnesty; nonetheless, he was in-and-out of  detention for  attempts to free  an I.R.A. prisoner, assaulting police, and breaking deportation orders (Mikhail, 11-2; Brannigan 130n.l4). The  Quare Fellow  (1954) and autobiographical prison narratives Borstal  Boy (1958) and Confessions  of  an Irish  Rebel (1965) push the revisionist envelope and pose a queer challenge to hegemonic nationalism's manufacture  of  a secure Irish identity. Featuring working-class Dubliners blended with the voices of  other figures—prostitutes,  soldiers, prisoners, and gay men—that he knew so well from  the margins of  British and Irish society, Behan's writing resists conformity  by stressing the subcultural heterogeneity of modern Dublin. Behan frequently  revisits the theme of  a fusion  of  British/Irish cultures and highlights how these two nations are largely indistinguishable from  one another (Brannigan 21-2). Borstal  Boy (1958) is an autobiographical account of  Behan's time while imprisoned in Suffolk  and was immediately banned in Ireland upon publication. Behan's carceral narrative harkens back to the nationalist tradition of  jail journals by John Mitchell, Wolfe  Tone, and Michael Davitt. Behan's sense of  nationalist masculinity breeds a competitive rivalry between himself  and his jailers; in spite of  this, Behan realizes the futility  of  non-compliance and, by inference,  the failure  of  nationalism's performative  masculinity (Brannigan 134-6). Rather, resistance takes the form  of Behan's homosocial/homoerotic relationship with fellow  prisoners Charlie Millwall and Ginger, yet John Brannigan maintains that homoeroticism operates "not by subterfuge  or conflict  with the prison system, but by borrowing from  the homosocial bonds encouraged within the prison itself'  (141). The penal institution facilitates  comradeship by dividing the men into houses after  the public school system and by promoting sports and fitness. Ironically, it is the English penal system that alters Behan's position as belligerent nationalist martyr to one where he identifies  erotically with the English Other. Behan ostensibly exchanges one set of  nationalist desires for  another set of  sexualized bonds with English men, seemingly unaware of  nationalisms' own constitutive homoeros. Following the success of  1954's The  Quare Fellow,  Behan composed the Irish language tragedy An Giall  (1958), which he then translated and transformed  into his smash hit The  Hostage.  This drama centres upon the capture of  Leslie, a British soldier, by the I.R.A. in hopes of  a prisoner exchange; what's more, Neil Jordan reimagined this story in The  Crying  Game (1992). The  Hostage  is a vaudevillian music-hall show crossed with a sentimental drama and shot through with doses of  queer camp that mock Irish cultural nationalism—the I.R.A. are depicted as religious fanatics  and buffoons. Diverging from  An Giall,  Behan, in his English play, introduces a gay couple, Rio Rita, a homosexual navvy, and Princess Grace, his African-Irish  boyfriend,  who enliven existence within the brothel setting; at one point, Princess Grace carries a large banner across the stage with the devastatingly trenchant message: "KEEP IRELAND BLACK" (Plays  204). Behan taunts the Lord Chamberlain's powers of  censorship when the players dance provocatively and sing Rio Rita's "ancient song": "We're here because we're queer,/Because we're queer because we're here" (Plays  225). In this period, homosexuality was back on the moral agenda with the release of  the 1957 Wolfenden Report16, and Behan exploits this fact  by making queer people visible in a carnivalesque satire on sexual and national hypocrisy. The playwright, however, refuses  to sanitize or glorify  his marginalized characters, deciding rather to depict them warts and all. At the climax, Rio Rita, Princess Grace, and Mulleady, seemingly motivated by love for  the soldier, direct an abortive rescue mission to save him, but Leslie is accidently shot in the melee. In The  Hostage,  "the repressiveness of  extreme nationalism," remarks Elizabeth Butler Cullingford,  "contends with the power of  homoerotic desire to breach national and racial boundaries" (Others  58). The lampooning of  naturalist theatrical conventions 1 6 In September 1957 the Wolfenden  Committee, a British inquiry into prostitution and homosexuality, released its final  report: "We accordingly recommend that homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offense"  (Miller, Out 283). Behan refers  to the report on stage, "Have you read the Wolfenden  report/On whores and queers?" (Plays 226). Wolfenden  also recommended that the age of  consent for  male homosexual relations be fixed  at twenty-one. Britons at the time were divided as a Gallup poll shows: 38% backed decriminalization, but 47% preferred  the status quo. The British government took ten more years to finally  change the law in 1967 (Miller, Out 283-7). within a supposedly nationalist worldview generated controversy among critics who tried to assimilate the joking, dancing, and singing into a hostage drama (Brannigan 100-5). Given Behan's complex attitudes to sexuality uneasily poised between valourizing intimate fraternity  and the fear  of  public exposure, a productive tension between queer and nationalist identities surfaces  in his work. Increasingly critical of  the hollowness of  the nationalist rhetoric that once enthralled him, Behan states that "the first duty of  a writer is to let his Fatherland down, otherwise he is no writer" (Confessions  84). Behan is a transitional figure  between the Irish Revival and our contemporary Irish renaissance, for  his writing signals what John Brannigan designates as a "crisis" in nationalisms' representation which would only be intensified  in the next decades (12). Following Behan's death in 1964, Ireland witnessed the lessening of  film censorship, and, in 1967, a limit of  twelve years was placed on the publications ban. This resulted in 5000 formerly  banned titles being released at once (Hachey et al. 222-6) and coincided with the British passage of  the Theatres Act of  1968, ending the Lord Chamberlain's powers of  censorship there as well (de Jongh 90). Most of  the Irish texts at hand avoid staging explicit homoeroticism and sexual activity, preferring  to keep it off-stage or implied between the lines. Jaime O'Neill is the one exception here. When Eamon de Valera retired as Taoiseach  in 1959, Sean Lemass lead the country in a new direction by opening the doors to foreign  investment and industrialization. As well, the appearance of  television throughout the Republic had the greatest liberalizing impact socially and politically. In 1965, Lemass met the Prime Minister of  Northern Ireland, Terence O'Neill; the first  time ever that the leaders of  the two Irelands had done so. Tragically, O'Neill's small steps towards reforms  for  Northern Catholics could not prevent the explosion of  the "Troubles" as romanticized revolutionary nationalism re-materialized in the form  of  the Irish Republican Army, which lay claim to the Republican tradition of  Easter 1916. In 1972, the Catholic Church's special status in the constitution was repealed, and the next year Ireland joined the European Economic Community, diminishing the country's insularity and backward-looking cultural orientation of  the de Valera years. The last two decades in Ireland have witnessed an atmosphere of  rapid legal liberalization as contraception and divorce have been sanctioned (though not abortion), the Censorship Act canned, and the Catholic Church's hold on Irish society dramatically weakened, in large part, due to numerous sex scandals involving the clergy. Lately, Ireland has been experiencing an unprecedented economic boom generated by informational  capitalism and the flourishing  of  new technological industries, earning the country the moniker the "Celtic Tiger." Most Irish people, particularly younger generations, have jettisoned traditional notions of  Irish culture and have, sought further integration within the European Union in their desire to attain a thoroughly modern, cosmopolitan society. Irish critics of  this dominant, neo-liberal consensus in Ireland, however, cite serious concerns such as the lack of  control over international investment, the retraction of  public sector spending, the revisionist historiography of  the country's discredited revolutionary past, the transmutation of  that past into nostalgic tourist commodification,  and the erosion of  Irish identity within a globalized culture dominated by American values and representations (Kirby et al., "Introduction" 1-18). So too, the Irish and their government have repudiated militant violence emanating from  the North, celebrating the recent unprecedented pace of  change with the creation of  a Northern Ireland Assembly, free  democratic elections in the province, and the startling declaration by the I.R.A. ending all hostilities and the decommissioning of  its armaments in 2005. Amidst this remarkable transformation  in Ireland, on 7 July 1993, through the efforts  of  human rights lawyers like former  President Mary Robinson and feminist  and gay and lesbian organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (G.L.E.N.), founded  in 1974, the British legal inheritance of  Henry VIII's act of  1533 and the Labouchere Amendment were struck down, and homosexuality was decriminalized. The Dail established an equal age of  consent of  seventeen years and passed anti-discrimination legislation; furthermore,  gay and lesbian citizens are free  to openly serve in the Irish armed forces,  ironically, placing Ireland as a global leader, relatively speaking, in gay and lesbian equality rights.17 Queer 'Troubles' in Ulster Ulster Unionism is the other great strand of  political identity and allegiance for  the mainly Protestant community of  Northern Ireland. When it comes to issues of  sexual diversity and women's reproductive rights however, Catholics and Protestants alike are vociferously  anti-abortion, and both communities opposed the decriminalization of homosexuality in Northern Ireland in 1982 following  Jeffrey  Dudgeon's victorious human rights case against the British government (Belfrage  116). As for  Sinn Fein's official  position on the matter, the nationalist political party has paid lip service to queer equality since 1996 (Quinn 264). Beyond the fickleness  of  politicians, Ulster Unionism is structured by a male homosocial cultural imaginary similar, I argue, to that which operates in romantic and other forms  of  Irish nationalism; moreover, this Protestant Unionist version of  homosociality manifests  itself  in the street culture during the Loyalist marching season and within the fraternal  organizations of  the Orange brotherhoods and Loyalist paramilitary groups such as the outlawed U.D.A., U.F.F., and U.V.F. These i o terrorist factions,  along with the nationalist I.R.A. and I.N.L.A., have frequently 1 7 See Kieran Rose's Diverse Communities:  The  Evolution  of  Lesbian and  Gay Politics  in Ireland,  Cork UP, (1994), 1-4, and Rose's article "Being gay, staying Irish" in Fortnight  magazine (April 1994): 36-38; Colm Toibin's piece "Dublin's Epiphany" in The  New  Yorker  (3 April 1995): 45-53 for  a longer reflection on the meaning and impact of  these dramatic social changes in Ireland; and David Norris's speech to the Seanad  Eireann 29 June 1993 transcribed in Lesbian and  Gay Visions  of  Ireland,  eds. Ide O'Carroll and Eoin Collins, Cassell (1995), 13-24. 1 8 The official  names of  some of  Northern Ireland's paramilitary groups are as follows:  U.D.A.: Ulster Defence  Association; U.F.F: Ulster Freedom Fighters; U.V.F.: Ulster Volunteer Force; I.R.A.: Irish Republican Army; I.N.L.A.: Irish National Liberation Army. targeted and attacked gay men and lesbians for  violating notions of  moral and tribal purity, not unlike couples of  mixed-religious backgrounds who have also faced  related retributive violence (Quinn 263). Clearly, the Ulster Protestant community remains as traditionally patriarchal as its Ulster Catholic counterpart as Edna Longley satirizes the homosociality shared by the cultures living in the province: This tribe too has its cult of  male chieftains:  Carson, Moses, Paisley the 'Big Man' (compare Dev the 'Long Fellow', the Pope, the Boss). And the whole country abounds in Ancient Orders of  Hibernian Male-Bonding: lodges, brother-hoods, priesthoods, hierarchies, sodalities, knights, Fitzwilliam Tennis Club, Field Day Theatre Company. (187) Longley contends that the homosociality of  Ulster is to blame for  what she discerns as a thematic male death cult manifested  in the martyrdom of  revolutionary terrorism and Protestant expectations of  Armageddon heralding their community's last stand (192). What's more in Sally Belfrage's  monograph Living With  War:  A Belfast  Year (1987), she observes the homosocial nature of  a Twelve of  July Orange march, which celebrates the 1690 defeat  of  Catholic King James II at the Battle of  the Boyne: All men. The only women who marched were under twenty and with suitable thighs for  short skirts. Along the edge an occasional older woman from  the Ladies' Orange Order jingled a collection tin for  the Orange Widows. But it was a male thing. Or a boy thing. Protestant Boys from Glasgow, Apprentice Boys from  everywhere. Why did they style themselves boys, even limping old gents of  seventy-five  or eighty? This perverse insistence on their childishness seemed especially jarring considering the gravity of  their expressions—but it's an Irish tradition, from  the Whiteboys and the Rightboys through the Peep O'Day Boys and the Oakboys and the Steelboys....As they were locked in step, so they were locked in an idea, and there were too many of  them, far  too many of them, to discount. What made it all stranger and the stronger was that this idea they were locked in was such a myth. They were patriots without a patria. (264,265) The marching season exudes male energy, pride, and, unfortunately,  aggression and violence when a parade encounters either Catholic protestors or British soldiers there to enforce  British government bans or the detouring of  parade routes. Orange parades are communal celebrations proudly displaying symbols of Unionist identity: fifes  and lambeg drums, bands, banners, flags,  the Orange sash, sham mock battles, ceremonial gunfire,  and the painting of  murals on city walls and of  British and Unionist colours on street curbs. Sociologist Desmond Bell argues that the marches are more of  a cultural practice than a specific  loyalty to a political philosophy. In terms of  actual active involvement, male working-class adolescents dominate this street culture of  parades that are symbolic responses to the crisis of  security within the homosocial Protestant community (Bell, "Contemporary" 94). In a street interview in Londonderry/Derry, Bell records the remarks of  14-year-old Keith Hope who disagrees with girls directly participating in the marches: Cause it's too cissy lookin'. Some Bands got wee girls flutin'  an all but it doesn't look right with wee girls in the band. A flute  band was always usually young fellahs  like. If  you're goin' te have a flag  carrier you'd be better having a young fellah  carrying it with dark glasses or something.. .better than a crowd of  wee girls wavin' the flag,  disgrace themselves with that there. It looks more. Bell: More? Keith: More military. Bell: Military? Keith: Ye know more—more Protestant\ike!  (Acts,  103-4; emphasis Bell's). Bell explains that the emphasis on sexual difference  and the division of  gender roles is increasingly an assertion of  stylized masculinity and youthful  bravado in the face  of  high unemployment for  low-skilled youth in the province (104). Unionist cultural practices are "the specific  means by which an exclusive Protestant identity is represented and renewed in the Protestant mind. Here primarily an embodied  ideology  is at work" (Bell, "Contemporary" 95; emphasis Bell's). Specifically,  it is the male body and its relationship with other male bodies that guarantees the Unionist cultural imaginary. The exclusively fraternal  Unionist organizations such as the Orange Order, Royal Arch Purple Chapter, and the Royal Black Institution are structurally similar to the Freemasons. F. S. L. Lyons estimates that two thirds or more of  the adult male population possibly belongs to the Orange Order, and it is only recently that a man could become a politician without Orange credentials (Famine  720). These Loyalist organizations have taken men from  different  Protestant sects and classes and created a significant  solidarity and cultural cohesion in the face  of,  what they perceive as, the implacable threat of  Irish nationalists. Furthermore, historian Anthony Buckley states that the initiation rites and upward movement within the ranks of  these Orange institutions involve the retelling or re-enactment of  prescribed Bible stories, most with similar themes: God's chosen individual or group encountering wicked aliens and foreigners  where the moral imperative is to remain true and faithful  to God and community. By implication, Ulster Protestants replace the Hebrews as God's chosen people19 (Buckley 264). But this projection of  a holy, virtuous image does not translate across Loyalist opinion as seen when Sally Belfrage  interviewed a member of  the U.D.A. in his local office  in Belfast  a few  years before  the 1992 government ban on the organization. The U.D.A. spokesman slagged  the Orangemen by resorting to the discourse of  effeminacy: "As for  the Orange Order, 'This society is full  of  perverts.' Supposedly they stand by the philosophy of  giving 'not an inch', but when the police reroute their marches they're just 'nice wee men who say '"Yes sir,'" and '"You are absolutely right, sir: we are not marching up that street because we are too respectable.'" Respectability will kill them" (Belfrage  253). A rhetoric of  masculinity and sexual "normality" function  as distinguishing criteria within the litmus test of  true blue Unionism. Another case in point of  Unionism's anxious repudiation of  homoeros materialized in the long resistance for years by Unionist politicians to bring the Homosexual Law Reform  Act of  1967 into force  in Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party's and Reverend Ian Paisley's 1 9 Ian Adamson, a Belfast  medical doctor, has written two books on ancient Irish mythology and history which argue that the "true" inhabitants of  Ulaid (ancient Ulster)—another chosen people—were the Cruthin, akin to the Picts of  Scotland, and, therefore,  not Gaels. To this end, Adamson appropriates the hypermasculine warrior hero Cuchulain from  the Irish cultural nationalists for  the descendants of  the plantations (Buckley 269-70). Adamson's importation, no less than that of  the Irish Revivalists, inexorably bears the marks of  homoeros. unsuccessful  1981 campaign to "Save Ulster from  Sodomy," which collected 70,000 petition signatures, was reprised in 1998 to fight  the British government's decision to equalize the age of  consent to sixteen for  both hetero- and homosexuals (Quinn 274-6; Rose, Diverse 38). Vincent Quinn scrutinizes the ambiguous position of  the city of Derry/Londonderry within this gendered cultural framework.  The Northern Irish Tourist Board and local business associations initiated a campaign whereby the term "Maiden City" served as a circumlocution to avoid reiterating sectarian loyalties signified  by the literal doubleness of  the city's name. Structurally analogous to Heaney's poems in North (1975) but with a reversal of  the political players, the "Maiden City" campaign underwrites a narrative of  a vulnerable municipal virgin threatened with rape and despoliation by perfidious  natives (read: Catholic nationalists). Innocent Derry/Londonderry shuts her gates just as she did in 1689, remaining unravished. Each year, the Protestant Apprentice Boys of  Derry commemorate this victory over impending invasion and dissoluteness by defending  the "Maiden City's" honour and territorial integrity. Quinn reasons that these homosocial marching rituals annex public space for the prerogative of  masculine ideals and displays of  power, ironically, not only proffering protection from  threats outside of  their city, but also from  threats of  the feminine  or dissident inside (264-5). Within this hostile masculine environment, gays, lesbians, and progressive straights of  differing  faith  communities confront  a quandary. The discourses of  identity in Northern Ireland remain so overdetermined by sectarianism that there exists little space to negotiate the perilous straits of  Protestantism's Scylla and Catholicism's Charybdis. "A deviant sexual identity is therefore  doubly dangerous in Northern Ireland," states Quinn, "as well as being a rival identification  it has also been actively proscribed by the discourses which shape sectarianism" (263). Homosocial Loyalist and nationalist communities perceive any efforts  to circumvent religious polarities by envisioning a queer alterity, or even, apparently, any celebration of  the feminine,  as a treacherous betrayal of  Ulster or Irish identity20 (Quinn 263-5). What follows  are three biographical case studies of  queer Irishmen whose lives were inextricably bound up with homoeros and nationalism. James Chandler argues that case studies consist of  more than a simple genre of  representative samples embedded within interpretive schemas; rather case studies have a temporal dimension and a dramatic or performative  character inasmuch as there remains a process of  judgement or of  weighing involved between the particular and the general. This performative judgement is posited against a contextual background where the current state of  things is reflexively  measured against a future  state or order, carrying its own implicit normative framework  that will replace present circumstances. "It is to compose a historical situation in one's representation, and it is to act on that represented state of  affairs  in such a way as to transform  it," posits Chandler (240). The historical conditions of  a society become the "object of  a 'national' or 'general will,'" whereby determinations about the system of  representations are made by the people (Chandler 208-9, 234-40, 245, 251). It is appropriate that the case study's close affiliation  with nationalism foresees  change insofar  as one my underlying purposes in the dissertation is to anticipate the birth of  a far-2 0 In contrast, progressive change has taken root as well here as Annie Courtney, the mayor of Derry/Londonderry, helped to proclaim Ireland's first  ever Gay Pride Week in June 1993. "In the Bogside, on the obverse of  the wall bearing the 'Free Derry' mural, a new mural appeared," reported Marie Smyth in Fortnight,  "painted by two local (heterosexual) men, it [was] a large pink triangle with a logo in Irish and English" (45). reaching queer dispensation, not just in Ireland, but elsewhere. 1.2. Case Studies: Quare and Irish i) Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) On peut adorer une langue sans bien la parler, comme on peut aimer une femme  sans la connaitre. Fran?ais de sympathie, je suis Irlandais de race, et les Anglais m'ont condamne a parler le langage de Shakespeare. -Oscar Wilde, letter to Edmond de Goncourt, 17 December 1891, cited in William A. Cohen's "Willie and Wilde: Reading The  Portrait  of  Mr.  W.  //.", 231. .. .Wilde's lifelong  performance  as a stage Englishman was a commentary on the hollowness of  the stereotype of  the stage Irishman as well, and an unmasking, as we have learned to say—ultimately from Oscar himself—an  unmasking of  the distinction between English and the Irish in the first  place. And between heterosexual and homosexual. —Seamus Heaney, "Oscar Wilde Dedication: Westminster Abbey, 14 February 1995", Wilde  the Irishman,  175. Anyone who follows  closely the life  and language of  men, whether in soldiers' barracks or in the great commercial houses, will hesitate to believe that all those who threw stones at Wilde were themselves spotless. In fact,  everyone feels  uncomfortable  in speaking to others about this subject, afraid  that his listener may know more about it than he does. -James Joyce, "Oscar Wilde: The Poet of'Salome"  (1909), The  Critical  Writings,  204. Martyrdom was to me merely a tragic form  of  scepticism, and attempt to realize by what one had failed  to do by faith.  No man dies for  what he knows to be true. Men die for  what they want to be true, for  what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true. -Oscar Wilde, "The Portrait of  Mr. W. H." (1893) 219. In Wilde's last epigraph above, his anonymous narrator in "The Portrait of  Mr. W. H." has been on a fruitless  quest for  the identity of  Willie Hughes, but after  learning of Erskine's death, he reflects  on the futility  of  martyrdom, especially in the name of—of  all things—a literary theory (Halpern 45-6). The narrator's counter-intuitive observation makes an implied distinction between those motivated by zealous fanaticism  of  whatever stripe which leads to self-sacrifice  and those who choose a different  path. If  belief  must be forced  or if  recourse to violence against others is necessary to renew faith,  then Wilde's novella suggests that an error or a weakness surely exists within such convictions. People who are confidently  assured of  their 'truth' do not need to die for  it. "Early in his life,"  writes David Alderson, "Wilde had come to a conviction that the realm of  freedom  was severely circumscribed and that the culture of  self-sacrifice  was both deluded and ineffective  in terms of  its purchase on the future"  (48). The narrator's words have striking implications for  the myth of  martyrdom and the cult of  blood sacrifice  in standard formulations  of  Irish romantic nationalism. Any belief  system, / ideology, or cause is founded,  to a degree, on some falsehood,  repression, or contradiction in order to constitute and define  itself.  This foundational  lie haunts patriotic ideology as an "enemy within" and, as I have already suggested, identity formation  as well. Wilde's statement on martyrdom dovetails with my argument of  a repressed homoerotic element in homosocially-structured nationalisms. Oscar Wilde was born into a family  of  Irish nationalists: Sir William Wilde, his father,  wrote books on Irish landscape, folklore,  and mythology as part of  the Celtic Revival; his mother, Jane Lady Wilde nee Elgee (a.k.a. Speranza), wrote patriotic verse for  the Nation  newspaper (Ellmann, Wilde  6-7, 10-1). Wilde, his brother Willie, and Speranza joined London's Irish Literary Society, which played a key role in promoting the Celtic Revival, and Wilde's own texts influenced  Yeats, Synge, and Joyce (Coakley 188; Ellmann, Wilde  121). Scholars such as Richard Ellmann, Declan Kiberd, Vicki 21 Mahaffy,  Jerusha McCormack, and Davis Coakley have assessed Wilde's non-fictional prose: his letters, reviews, speeches, and essays, and they have clearly shown Wilde's support for  Irish Home Rule and, even more radically, republicanism. However, Wilde 2 1 For Oscar Wilde's relationship to Ireland and Irish nationalism see Richard Ellmann's classic biography Oscar Wilde.  Penguin, (1988); Declan Kiberd's chapter on Wilde in his tome Inventing  Ireland:  The Literature  of  the Modern  Nation.  Harvard UP, (1995); Vicki Mahaffy's  comparative study States  of Desire: Wilde,  Yeats,  Joyce  and  the Irish  Experiment.  Oxford  UP, (1998); Jerusha McCormack's collection of  essays in Wilde  the Irishman.  Yale UP, (1998); and Davis Coakley's Oscar Wilde:  The Importance  of  Being Irish.  Town House and Country House, (1994). did not countenance brutality or bloodshed in the name of  Irish freedom  as an efficacious means of  bringing about a just dispensation for  the country, instead he preferred  to call himself  "a most recalcitrant patriot" (Coakley 195). In a review of  imperialist James Anthony Froude's book on the British governance of  Ireland, Wilde takes English attitudes to task: "If  in the last century [Britain] tried to govern Ireland with an insolence that was intensified  by race hatred and religious prejudice, she has sought to rule her in this century with a stupidity that is aggravated by good intentions" (qtd. in Kiberd, Inventing  37). During his North American speaking tour on the Celtic Revival in 1882, Wilde publicly insisted, "Yes, I am a thorough republican" to his Irish-American audience as "[n]o other form  of government is so favourable  to the growth of  art" (qtd. in Ellmann, Wilde  186). Apparently, Wilde made no other public remarks on Irish politics, except for  a half-dozen 2 2 • impromptu comments to reporters before  and after  this tour (Pepper 18). Wilde also registered his support of  Irish nationalism by his attendance at the Parnell Commission in 1889 with his brother Willie, who reported on the findings  of  the investigation into the Irish Parliamentary Party leader's alleged ties to terrorism. Later, following  Wilde's disastrous legal battles, thirteen volumes of  the Parnell Commission's report were found in his library at the time of  auction (Coakley 195). The 1890s, the Irish Revival's first  major decade in terms of  cultural capital and literary output, overlapped with Wilde's own rising star as a writer; morever, both Wilde and the Revival were contemporaneous with the historic emergence of  the social 2 2 Susan de Sola Rodstein examined Robert D. Pepper's 1922 edition of  Wilde's lecture given on 5 April 1882 in Piatt's Hall, San Francisco, and she mentions that on page 36 Wilde used "the analogy of  a patriot dying for  the love of  his country (in eerily prescient terms) to describe the love of  boys" (151.n.l3). However, in the 1972 edition of  Wilde's lecture that I examined in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of  Toronto, page 36 is blank, and the comments about the love of  boys are missing. construction of  homosexual identity. Wilde became the stereotypical paradigm of  the modern homosexual who combined decadence and aestheticism with sexual "deviance" and effeminacy,  which until his trials in 1895 had not been widely linked in the public's perception according to Alan Sinfield  (Wilde  1-3). After  Wilde's outing and fall  from grace, Ireland in its nationalism banished the writer from  his own cultural heritage, in part, explaining the recurrent association between Wilde and England. Wilde was definitely  never one of  the boyos, but the scandal greatly increased the degree of estrangement between the public persona of  Wilde and the image of  the Irishman. Not only was hostile revulsion against Wilde routine in the British tabloids and the establishment press, but the Irish were not any more charitable. Frank Harris's biography on Wilde cites an Irish gentleman who expressed his abhorrence and suggested what, he believed, was a fitting  punishment: "Oi'd whip such sinners to death, so I would... hangin's too good for  them" (qtd. in Mahaffy  48). This disavowal of  Wilde's achievements and identification  with Ireland was part of  the dominant logic of  Irish culture, where one could not be both Irish and quare at the same time, nor would one desire to be. Wilde's disgrace foreclosed  his access to a publicly acknowledged Irish identity until recently, for  it has taken a century for  Wilde to be officially  honoured with Danny Osbourne's new bronze and granite statue unveiled in Dublin's Merrion Square in October 1997. In addition, Wilde has also earned his place in Poets' Corner in London's Westminster Abbey on Valentine's Day 1995 (Murphy 127-28, Heaney, "Oscar" 174). Wilde's dramatic work was not completely ignored in Ireland however, for despite the antipathy towards the author personally, the Belfast's  Grand Opera house served as the venue for  Lady  Windermere's  Fan  in 1900 and The  Importance  of  Being Earnest  in 1901. The Abbey Theatre presented The  Importance  of  Being Earnest  in 1926, and, in Dublin, productions of  other Wilde plays ran throughout the 1930s and 1940s, chiefly  at Michael MacLiammoir's and Hilton Edwards's Gate Theatre. What's more, MacLiammoir's one-man play, The  Importance  of  Being Oscar (1963), was very successful  throughout the 1960s and 1970s, in part, because the production heterosexualized Wilde, offering  a more palatable rendering of  his personal drama to Irish theatre-goers. As of  the late 1990s, nearly 150 performances  from  Wilde's ceuvre or about the playwright himself  have been performed  in Ireland (Walshe, "Wild(e)" 67, 74). Terry Eagleton's nationalist play Saint  Oscar (1989), produced for  Derry's Field Day Theatre Company, endeavours to dramatize the overlapping nature of  homosexual and Irish identities; both vectors of  identity, however, are "used to present a timeless thesis about imperialist oppression," according to Edna Longley (183). Wilde here describes himself  as a racial and sexual hybrid, "Half  man and half  woman, part Paddy part Brit" (5), which tends to be an oversimplification  of  Wilde's gender mixing and of homosexuality in general. During the libel trial in Saint  Oscar, Carson probes: CARSON: Sodomistic. You are a bugger, Mr. Wilde, are you not? WILDE: Not at all, sir; I am Irish. There are no buggers in Ireland; the Church would not allow it.. ..Unlike the English, we tend to believe that one thing is true, but also its antithesis. It is not that we are illogical, merely economical. A belief  in the unity of  opposites is quite 2 3 Actor and writer Michael MacLiammoir assisted in rehabilitating Wilde's dramatic reputation in Ireland. Along with his life  partner, Hilton Edwards, MacLiammoir founded  Dublin's Gate Theatre in 1928, which offered  a cosmopolitan alternative to the cultural nationalism of  the Abbey Theatre. MacLiammoir and Edwards also have the unique distinction of  being Ireland's only public gay couple. Ironically and fittingly enough, MacLiammoir was born Alfred  Willmore in Kensal Green, London in 1899. MacLiammoir left Britain because of  conscription and "reversed Wilde's own journey" by heading for  Dublin, adopting a performative  mask, and, thereby, refashioning  himself  as an Irishman (Walshe, "Wild(e)", 73). incompatible with any form  of  homoeroticism. (Eagleton35) Eagleton's clever ventriloquism of  Wilde's inverted logic and razor-sharp reversals implies that the English are, therefore,  of  course, the "buggers" here. Typical of  Wilde to attribute stereotypes of  the Irish, whether racial, gendered, or emotional, back onto the English, he questions the assumption that the structural relationship between the English and Irish is oppositional to begin with (Kiberd, Inventing  35, 39). The figure  of  Wilde remains illustrative of  the colonial subject's complicit mimicry of  hegemonic cultural and economic systems, where the subject's mark of difference  is constituted by the mandatory approximation of  imperial and bourgeois norms: again, a case of  "being more British than the British". Through his mimicry, slippery wit and epigrams, Wilde undermined the values and ideologies of  the Victorian middle class with their rapacious materialism and their hypocrisy surrounding sexual manners and behaviour. The epigram in Wilde's hands is "a lethal weapon[,] for  the epigram is the mind's momentary triumph over the dead matter of  conventional wisdom, a piece of  linguistic deviancy, a sagacious saying gone suddenly awry" (Eagleton, Heathcliff334). Wilde's inversion of  gender in dramas such as The  Importance  of  Being Earnest (1895) and An Ideal  Husband  (1895) creates "manly" women and "womanly" men. The contrived spectacle of  Wilde's own deportment, dress, and mannerisms directly challenged the age's clear division of  the sexes underpinned by a deterministic worldview and sexual repression. Even though Wilde unquestionably satirized the sexual double-standards of  the English bourgeoisie and aristocracy, he necessarily depended upon them and basked in the support of  the very classes whose social attitudes he had no qualms in ridiculing, making him both brave and foolish  in his provocation of  a homophobic public (Bristow 11). Moreover, Wilde's effeminacy  was in stark opposition to the British notions of empire and the masculinist nationalist's notion of  normative manhood (Bristow 9-10). Some of  the condemnation leveled at Wilde curiously binds his "degenerate" effeminacy with a racial discourse of  the inferiority  of  the Irish; Essayist and decadent poet Arthur Symons writes of  Wilde: Wilde's vices were not simply intellectual perversions, they were physiological. This miserable man had always been under the influence  of one of  those sexual inversions which turned him into a kind of Hermaphroditus....Lautrec...shows Wilde, swollen, puffed  out, bloated and sinister. The form  of  the mouth which he gave him is more than any thing exceptional; no such mouth ought ever to have existed: it is a woman's that no man who is normal could ever have had. The face  is bestial, (qtd. in Bristow 17) Political cartoons of  the day by men like Sir John Tenniel frequently  depicted the Irish as apes or gorillas in publications varying from  Punch magazine, to Harper's  Bazaar and The  Washington  Post. Wilde, himself,  was simianized and effeminized  simultaneously within their pages, coupling together two categories of  Otherness vis-a-vis the British Empire ("Mr. Wilde  of  Borneo"  Cartoon. The  Washington  Post 22 January 1882; "The Aesthetic Monkey." Cartoon. Harper's  Weekly  28 January 1882 both reproduced in Jerusha McCormack; Kiberd Inventing,  35). Celtic peoples were persistently associated with African  inhabitants, not only in terms of  tropes, but as biological fact,  and both groups were assigned to the bottom rungs on the ladder of  racial superiority. At the peak of  Celtophobia in the late Victorian period, the Irish were eventually consigned to being a species of  ape (Cheng 26). Arthur Symons's hatred of  Wilde and the cartoons depicting the man as a primate demonstrates how Wilde was the embodiment of  many Victorian fears  and prejudices in relation to a rage for  respectability. Despite Wilde's own aversion to the self-serving  mythology of  martyrdom, ironically, "Wilde became 'a dishonored exile'," writes Richard Ellmann, "the type of  the 'betrayed artist,' in fact  a, [sic] a Christlike figure"  (Joyce  275). The theme of  the martyred artist betrayed and persecuted by his or her own community would become commonplace in Irish literary production as Joyce's dissemination of  this trope, inspired by both his and Wilde's experience, had a far-reaching  impact on writers worldwide. Wilde's texts and his life  story undermine any binary logic of  identity as he continuously crosses boundaries and categories: a pseudo-aristocrat of  middle-class Anglo-Irish Protestant origins, a superlative conversationalist, a deathbed convert to Catholicism, a husband, a devoted father,  a perjurer, a lover of  both aristocrats and working-class rent boys, an Irish nationalist, a femme,  a socialist, a fly  on the wall, a father  of  gay literature, and so on. Jerusha McCormack comments on the meaning of Wilde's life  that "to be Irish is to have multiple, and divided, loyalties: to be both colonizer and colonized, native and official,  within the Pale and beyond it: to inhabit a space where contraries meet and are transvalued into something else, a something which by definition  escapes definition"  ("Introduction" 3). Wilde's sheer complexity and proliferation  of  personalities evinces not only the instability of  identity categories, but also highlights the torturous tightrope act Wilde performed  as he struggled to navigate i • • rival and paradoxical discourses of  identity at the fin  de  siecle. i For Wilde, the famous  green carnations that he and other homosexual men in-the-know sported to identify  one another symbolically unite the colour of  Catholic nationalist Ireland, oppressed by the British, with an identical colour signifying,  at the time and within a particular milieu, a homosexuality oppressed by everyone and everything else. Wilde's writings as well as his triumphs and tragedy cast lengthy shadows over Irish culture and literature as he functions  as a martyred artist and an "enemy within" who persists in haunting Dublin into the twentieth-first  century. ii) Patrick (Padraig) Henry Pearse (1879-1916) We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying  thing, and the nation which regards it as the final  horror has lost its manhood. There are many things more horrible than bloodshed; and slavery is one of  them. —Patrick Pearse, "The Coming Revolution", November 1913, Collected  Works  of  Padriac  H.  Pearse: Political  Writings  and  Speeches,  98-9. But Pearse's work is at times far  more openly homoerotic than other works of  the same time. His heroes are almost always young boys, occasionally young girls; he usually portrays adults as enervated failures confronted  with virtuous and heroic youths. Thus his constant dwelling on the subject of  boys in his work suggests that, despite the successful  repression of  his sexual feelings,  he could not hide the fact  that his desires were with boys. —Sean Farrell Moran, Patrick  Pearse and  Politics  of  Redemption:  The  Mind  of  the Easter  Rising, 1916, (1994) 124. MACDARA: .. .One man can free  a people as one Man redeemed the world. I will take no pike, I will go into the battle with my bare hands. I will stand up before  the Gall as Christ hung naked before  men on the tree! He  moves through  them, pulling  off  his clothes as he goes. As he reaches the threshold  a great shout goes up from  the people. —Patrick Pearse, The  Singer  (1915), The  Literary  Writings  of  Patrick  Pearse, 125. ...in general, people do not have a difficulty  with the knowledge that Pearse was a homosexual man who sublimated his erotic desire for  the male body into his work, his writing and his politics. The question that dare not speak its name is whether or not Pearse was a paedophile. However, to be a homosexual man is not the same as being a paedophile. For older generations who grew up respecting the venerated status of Pearse within the Irish state the very conjunction of  the words Pearse and paedophile may seem treasonable, yet today it is the unarticulated subject which continues to circle around any debate about Pearse's life. —Elaine Sisson, Pearse's  Patriots:  St.  Enda's  and  the Cult  of  Boyhood  (2004) 152. On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, nationalist revolutionaries seized the General Post Office  and other strategic buildings in the Irish capitol. Patrick Pearse, a poet and schoolmaster, lead the insurgents and proclaimed the Poblact  na hEireann, summoning the Irish people to the tricolour flag  of  the new sovereign Republic of  Ireland (Travers 104). The Easter Rising lasted for  six days before  Pearse and the other members of  the Irish Republican Brotherhood surrendered to the British on April 29. Over the ensuing year and a half  after  the rebellion, changing political attitudes transformed  Ireland as the country promptly venerated the men of  the Easter Rising as nationalist martyrs following their secret court-martials and hasty executions by firing  squad, entrenching them as the latest generation of  Irish freedom  fighters  within the historic pantheon. Pearse was the principal ideological architect of  the Rising who had renewed the link between a mythology of  blood sacrifice  and apocalyptic national salvation. Today, Patrick Pearse remains the symbolic father  figure  of  the modern nation. As a Messianic Republican martyr, Pearse became venerated as an Irish saint, and his political and literary writings were infused  into Irish society through both official educational policy and the nationalist milieu following  formal  independence in 1922. Irish nationalists quickly and unreservedly adopted the myth of  sacred martyrdom, an extant ideal within the culture but exacerbated and brought to the forefront  of  nationalist orthodoxy by the events of  1916. Following Pearse's death, street posters in Dublin represented him "reclining pieta-\\ke.  on the bosom of  a seraphic celestial woman brandishing a tricolour" (Kearney, "Myth" 75). Along with the crucifix,  portraits of Pearse and other Easter heroes adorned Irish classrooms and homes throughout the country and within nationalist communities in the North (Walshe, "Oscar's" 149-50). Pearse's politics of  a cult of  redemption developed into a posthumous cult of  personality persisting for  decades up until 1966, the fiftieth  anniversary of  the Easter Rising, when revisionist historians and the media began to re-examine Pearse's legacy and to debunk the mythology that had accrued around the man. Was he a visionary hero of  great prescience, or was he a religiously-crazed warmonger? The hagiography of  Pearse championed a sacrificial  purgation in order to oust the British and to sanctify  the nation, viewing redemption through violence as not only acceptable but as a positive duty.24 The romantic nationalist ideology of  sacrificial  martyrdom appealed to a Christian symbology to account for  the failed  rising of  1916; however, with the fulfillment  of  the Irish revolution five  years later, nationalists then could triumphantly appropriate the concept of resurrection to suit their ends. In 1908, prior to the tumultuous events of  Easter Week, Pearse founded  St. Enda's College25 in Dublin for  the purpose of  furthering  bilingual and nationalist education for boys, and in 1910 established St. Ita's for  girls, which he played a minor part in managing (Quinn, "Fostering" 72). As an educational reformer  and the headmaster at St. Enda's, Pearse labeled the current British system of  education as a "Murder Machine" in a 1912 essay of  the same name; instead, he advocated an early version of  what is now commonly referred  to as a child-centred approach (Political  Writings  21-2, 49). According to Elaine Sisson, in her recent groundbreaking monograph Pearse's  Patriots:  St.  Enda's  and  the Cult  of  Boyhood  (2004), just as Pearse departed from  the pedagogical orthodoxy of  the time, he also wished to resist the imperial discourses of  feminization  that Irish-Ireland advocates like D. P. Moran railed against. To accomplish this, Pearse desired to establish a model of  Irish masculinity that was "both pagan and Christian, warrior and scholar" for Irish boys to imitate (Sisson 14). Pearse's "cult of  boyhood" intersected with the cultural nationalist project by not only training boys in Gaelic language, literature, and drama as 2 4 Irish historian J. J. Lee critiques Pearse's wholehearted espousal of  bloodshed and the glorification  of war. Lee catalogues Pearse's abhorrence to violence: he opposed capital punishment; in 1916, he refused to distribute and to use explosive bullets that were available to his men; he refused  to execute looters during the Rising; and he surrendered to the British, in his own words, "to prevent the slaughter of  unarmed people and in the hope of  saving the lives of  our followers"  (Pearse, Letters  375; Lee 133-4). Lee posits that the verdicts passed on Pearse are based primarily on the violent nationalist rhetoric of  some of  his rather belligerent passages in his writings, yet Pearse's actions reveal a more cautious and sensible man. 25 Out of  the Easter martyrs shot by the British, five  of  them taught at St. Enda's College, and over thirty boys from  the school both past and present participated in the rebellion (Sisson 4). well as in ancient Irish sports such as hurling and Gaelic football,  but also by offering instruction in military drilling, scouting, marching, and the wearing of  uniforms.  The ultimate goal was the creation of  a class of  young warrior scholars—the macaomh— defenders  of  Celtic Christian purity and truth who would lead the nation (Sisson 63). The boys of  St. Enda's earned fame  by performing  seven Irish language plays-penned by Pearse—at the Abbey Theatre as well as six outdoor pageants of  Irish history within the first  four  years of  the school's opening. Dublin's cultural elite, including Yeats, Martyn, Hyde, and O'Grady among others, were generous with their praise of Pearse's productions (Sisson 8; O Buachalla, "The Literary Works" 16). After  the Rising however, some condemned Pearse for  training revolutionaries at the school (Edwards 204). At St. Enda's, Pearse's plays and addresses constantly fed  the boys revolutionary ideals, and military arts, taught by Con Colbert, further  linked Irish pride to anti-imperial sentiment. A branch of  the Na  Fianna  Eireann, an organization not unlike the Boy Scouts in appearance but with an ideological agenda of  Irish independence, was formed at St. Enda's in 1910, and Colbert was a key force  in recruiting older boys into the I.R.B. (Sisson 123, 126). Pearse addressed the Na  Fianna  Eireann in a 1914 article entitled "To The Boys of  Ireland", emphasizing that the rationale of  the organization was to "train the boys of  Ireland to fight  Ireland's battle when they are men" (Political  Writings  112). Pearse challenged his young audience to assist in building "a brotherhood of  young Irishmen strong of  limb, true and pure in tongue and heart.. .and ready to spend themselves in the service of  their country" (Political  Writings  116). Under Pearse's supervision, St. Enda's groomed future  Irish nationalists in a homosocial environment that stressed honesty, faith,  physical fitness,  and a revitalized version of  respectable Irish manhood. Pearse's personal life  and sexuality remain a flashpoint  as his physical attraction to boys, as inscribed in his stories and poetry, has generated rancorous controversy in Ireland in the past few  years. One manifestation  of  Pearse's sexual/gender "irregularity" in his poetry is his adoption of  a woman's voice, who praises her beloved man or male child as in "I am Ireland," "The Mother," "A Mother Speaks," "Lullaby of  a Woman of the Mountain," and "A Woman of  the Mountain Keens her Son" (Pearse, Literary  27-35). In the mournful  "A Woman of  the Mountain Keens her Son", for  example, the poet cries, "And O gentle little son, what tortures me is/ That your fair  body should be making clay!" (Pearse, Literary  31) and, in a lighter vein, in "Lullaby of  a Woman of  the Mountain," the mother focuses  on the physicality of  her small child's anatomy: "Little gold head", "Little soft  mouth", "Little round cheek" (Pearse, Literary  30). These rather innocent seeming phrases, however, reoccur throughout Pearse's creative work in surprising contexts. The poetic strategy of  employing a woman's persona is far  from unique to Pearse as it is found  in Gaelic verse and in the poetry of  the Irish Revival including Yeats; however, this device permits the male poet to express passion for  a man or boy without opening himself  up, on the surface,  to the charge of  sexual "peculiarity". This is not, by any means, the only possible reading of  this technique, but it is appropriate here given Pearse's blending of  the homoerotic with Christian symbolism elsewhere. Furthermore, Sean Farrell Moran and Elaine Sisson cite intriguing evidence of Pearse's early transvestism as both he and his brother, William, wandered around the streets of  Dublin's notorious red light districts dressed as poor women. Sometimes Pearse dressed in his mother's nightdress and pretended to say Mass. According to Pearse's sister Mary Brigid, these cross-dressing masquerades lasted until Pearse was in his late teens (Moran 48-9; Sisson 151, 21 ln.32). Pearse's adoption of  female  dress and poetic personas in turn of  the century Ireland, if  widely known, would have raised concerns among his contemporaries. Given the relative obscurity and lack of  familiarity  with Pearse's poetry outside of Ireland, I have reproduced three other of  his lyric poems in their entirety below, where he does not resort to utilizing a woman's voice but does clearly illustrate the conflicted homoeroticism and abnegation of  the speaker: 1) Little Lad of  the Tricks Little lad of  the tricks, Full well I know That you have been in mischief: Confess  your fault  truly. I forgive  you, child Of  the soft  red mouth: I will not condemn anyone For a sin not understood. Raise your comely head Till I kiss your mouth: If  either of  us is the better of  that I am the better of  it. There is a fragrance  in your kiss That I have not found  yet In the kisses of  women Or in the honey of  their bodies. Lad of  the grey eyes, That flush  in thy cheek Would be white with dread of  me Could you read my secrets. He who has my secrets Is not fit  to touch you: Is not that a pitiful  thing, Little lad of  the tricks? (Pearse, Literary  32-3) 2) To A Beloved Child Laughing mouth, what tortures me is That thou shalt be weeping; Lovely face,  it is my pity That thy brightness shall grow grey. Noble head, thou art proud, But thou shalt bow with sorrow; And it is a pitiful  thing I forbode  for  thee Whenever I kiss thee. (Pearse, Literary  34) 3) Renunciation Naked I saw thee, 0 beauty of  beauty, And I blinded my eyes For fear  I should fall. 1 hear thy music, 0 melody of  melody, And I closed my ears For fear  I should falter. 1 tasted thy mouth, 0 sweetness of  sweetness, And I hardened my heart For fear  of  my slaying. 1 blinded my eyes, And I closed my ears, I hardened my heart And I smothered my desire. I turned my back On the vision I had shaped, And to this road before  me I turned my face. I have turned my face To this road before  me, To the deed that I see And the death I shall die. (Pearse, Literary  36) This representative sample from  Pearse's poetry illustrates the homoerotic impulse, the youth of  the object of  desire, and the emotional torment and recurring melancholy of  the speaker common to much of  his literary writing. Eibhear Walshe argues that Pearse was not "blind to the instincts reflected  in his poetry" ("Introduction" 5), particularly the unsettling "Little Lad of  the Tricks", first published in Irish as "A Mhic  Bhig na gCleas"  in 1909 without comment. But after Pearse translated it into English in 1914, "Little Lad" caused great consternation amongst Pearse's friends,  especially fellow  writers and I.R.B. men, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett, who were scandalized by the poem's revelation of  paedophilic desire and who worried about the impact upon Pearse's reputation: "a decadent poem unsuitable for  the unmarried head of  a boys' school" (Boss 285). Since that time, many attempts have been made to explain away and to contain the sexually self-conscious nature of  this lyric (Walshe, "Introduction" 4; Edwards 127). In the poem "Renunciation," the speaker, more remarkably, asserts the necessity of  sexual sublimation in the service of  a more pressing nationalist sacrificial  martyrdom as the poet "reaffirms the sexual tension at the core of  the nationalist commitment to Ireland" (Moran 154). In Pearse's dramas, Irish patriotism intermixes with nostalgic boyhood in equal measure as boy actors predominantly performed  the roles in these plays at St. Enda's or at the Abbey Theatre. Pearse's The  Master,  written and produced for  the Irish Theatre in 1915, dramatizes the conflict  between Christian religion and Celtic druidism as typified by the debate between the schoolmaster, Ciaran, and his erstwhile boyhood friend,  Daire, the pagan king. The apple of  Ciaran's eye, in any event, is his student Iollarm as acknowledged in the following  conversation amongst the other pupils: BREASAL: He is fond  of  little Iollann. MAINE: Aye; when Iollann is late, or when he is inattentive, the Master pretends not to notice it. BREASAL: Well, Iollann is only a little lad. MAINE: He is more like a little maid, with his fair  cheek that reddens when the Master speaks to him. ART: Faith, you wouldn't call him a little maid when you'd see him strip to swim a river. RONAN: Or when you'd see him spring up to meet the ball in a hurley match. MAINE: He has, certainly, many accomplishments. BREASAL: He has a high, manly heart. MAINE: He has a beautiful  white body, and, therefore,  you all love him; aye, the Master and all. We have no woman here and so we make love to our little Iollann. RONAN (laughing):  Why, I thrashed him ere-yesterday for  putting magories down my neck! MAINE: Men sometimes thrash their women, Ronan. It is one of  the ways of  loving. (Pearse, "The Master", Literary  82) This bizarre exchange underscores Pearse's fixation  on the beauty of  young male bodies and the interplay of  concepts of  manhood and effeminization  in much of  his drama. By way of  explanation, Elaine Sisson comments that Irish nationalism "made available a discourse of  male heroism and sporting camaraderie in which it was possible for  men to praise other men's bodies, to admire their prowess and skill and to express love for  them as comrades and friends"  (137). This homosocial camaraderie, subtended by homoeros within a nationalist culture, is not unique to Pearse however. Pearse's epigraph, cited above, from  the ending of  his best known play, The Singer,  reveals his jingoistic hero, MacDara, confronting  the English and intending to sacrifice  himself,  in full  imitation of  Christ, for  the collective salvation of  his people and their mutual redemption. Pearse intermingles homoeroticism and Christian martyrdom as MacDara's final  sublime act—the tearing off  of  his own clothes—invokes Christ's public nudity. As Pearse places great weight upon Christ's nakedness on Golgotha, this iconographic image should be considered more closely: ... [T]he main impact of  Christianity on men's desire for  the male body— and the main stimulus it offers  to that desire—is prohibitive....And presiding over all are the images of  Jesus. These have, indeed, a unique position in modern culture as images of  the unclothed or unclothable male body, often  in extremis and/or in ecstasy, prescriptively meant to be gazed at and adored. The scandal of  such a figure  within a homophobic economy of  the male gaze doesn't seem to abate: efforts  to disembody this body, for  instance by attenuating, Europeanizing, or feminizing  it, only entangle it the more compromisingly among various modern figurations  of  the homosexual. (Sedgwick, Closet  140) As Sedgwick argues, the identification  with Christ is not without homoerotic undertones, particularly as an object of  worship. A tension between sexual passion for  the same gender and religious purity exists within Christian cultures, including Ireland's. I term this tension—this classic double-bind—hieratic  homoeroticism. A sublimated and displaced yearning for  the flesh  from  afar  and a disavowing self-hatred  that demands celibacy characterizes this paradoxical set of  opposing longings. "Lured and stopped by the same desire," as Anthony MacMurrough puts it in Jamie O'Neill's At Swim, Two Boys (260). The dilemma for  Pearse, then, is this imbrication of  patriotism and homoeros, especially the sacrifice  of  homosexual desire for  the principle of  a fraternal  nationalism. For Pearse, Ireland required the banishment of  the English element in order to overcome emasculation and to restore authenticity to the nationalist community. "Pearse's nationalism got its peculiar emotional and religious colouring because he unconsciously associated his own unresolved personal traumas with what he regarded as the problems of the Irish nation," writes Michael Boss (274); yet, Boss's analysis, although acknowledging Pearse's internal demons—here construed as the logical endgame of  a "sacrificial  ritual performed  by a man who was seeking deliverance from  the "foreignness"  within himself'  (274)—exhibits its own heterosexual anxiety in refusing  to call a spade a spade. Other historians and biographers of  Pearse similarly have chosen either to remain mute and to avoid the topic of  Pearse's sexuality entirely or to maintain his sexual innocence. Given the centrality of  the national mythology surrounding Pearse, it is not surprising that the Irish have not wanted to examine too closely this sexually-conflicted Irish hero. Ruth Dudley Edwards's classic biography, Patrick  Pearse: The  Triumph  of Failure  (1977), attempts to mitigate any queer appraisal of  the man; however, the more Edwards tries to extricate her subject from  claims of  homosexuality, the more Pearse becomes entangled. Edwards defends  Patrick's sexual innocence thus: Pearse found  boys physically attractive: this emerges from  many similar passages in prose and verse. As the tone of  his later writings show, this taste becomes more pronounced as he grew older, while remaining wholly innocent of  lasciviousness. He never had an inkling that there was anything sexual behind it, and indeed no man of  his reticence and obsessional purity of  thought and deed could have written as he did otherwise. In the social sphere in which Pearse moved, relations between men and women could be viewed in a sexual light; homosexuality was so aberrant as to be almost beyond comprehension.... (52-53) Edwards's consistent and, at times, credulous explaining away of  the sizeable evidence continually begs the question throughout her otherwise excellent biography. Elaine Sisson's recent study offers  the most persuasive case of  Pearse having sublimated his homosexual desires for  young boys and adolescents, yet she rightly resists affixing  a sexually-determinate label on the man. Sisson fails  to account, however, for the impact of  the closet and its relation to Pearse's sacral nationalism and Messianic desires, his own tortured literary texts, and, more broadly, the homoeros at the heart of  a homosocial Irish Catholic culture. In a containing maneuver, Sisson furthermore minimizes the magnitude of  Pearse's sexual identity by stating, "it is questionable why 26 Edwards further  exhibits her defensive  anxiety when describing some of  Pearse's leading women colleagues in the Gaelic League as "either mannish or odd.. .unfeminine..  .in dress and manner" (55). She further  recounts that "Norma Borthwick was fractious,  even venomous, by nature. Mary O'Reilly, who lived with her, was unhinged, and died in a lunatic asylum" (55). Although the hoary weariness of Edwards's lesbian stereotypes vexes, this strongly suggests the presence of  queer people at the centre of Irish cultural production and in close proximity to Pearse himself. such information  is so keenly sought after"  and that Pearse's "sexual behaviour seems secondary to his larger legacy" (139), which translates as: Does it really  matter? What difference  does it make? Who cares? Sisson's apparent lack of  understanding of minority identity politics, especially in a country like Ireland, by basically dismissing the critical importance of  the question remains problematic. Curiously, Edwards and Sisson 'revised' some of  their assertions about Pearse's sexual identity for  a 2001 documentary for  R.T.E. Irish television, entitled Pearse—Fanatic  Heart  by Stephen Carson, where both scholars were "in agreement as to Pearse's sublimated homosexuality and the homoerotic tendencies of  his work" (Sisson, 224n.65). Sean Farrell Moran, the only other scholar to substantially tackle Pearse's sexuality, employs a conventional Freudian lexicon for  his analysis and views Pearse's attraction to boys as a "lack of  maturity, a kind of  stunted sexuality" (125). Yet this approach reinscribes the standard normativizing homophobic psychoanalytic paradigms of  homosexuality as a form  of  'arrested development' and the irresolution of  Oedipal relations, again fudging  the distinction between paedophilia and homosexuality. Where Moran is closer to the mark metaphorically is when he draws upon Brigid Brophy's work to analyze men's motivation in retributive violence within Irish nationalism, noting that, the attraction of  violence lies in one's potential homoerotic experience of penetration.. ..Because the weapons of  death happen to be those able to pierce the body, violence can fulfill  the human desire for  sexual penetration and union. Death can thus be eroticized into a desirable experience that has the potential to beatify  the individual: it allows in death what has been denied and repressed in life—union  with one's forbidden  sexual object. The process of  eroticization makes death legitimately desirable on its own. (99,100) The Republican tradition of  atoning for  guilty feelings  of  powerlessness for  Ireland's sorry state through self-destructive  violence transforms  and reifies  this sacrifice  into a paradigm of  homosocial Irish masculinity (Moran 99, 100). Edwards, Sisson, Boss, and Moran dismiss, equivocate, or normalize, at times, their readings of  Pearse's enigmatic sexuality, assuming that Pearse's religiosity largely fuelled  his ideology, writings, and participation in the Easter Rising. These biographers reproduce the conservative nationalist impulse of  containment, on the one hand, and the conservative scholarly struggle on the other in how far  revisionist projects can go in demolishing carefully  managed and sanitized reputations. Of  the three case studies, Pearse remains the figure  most closeted, where, unlike Wilde or Casement, there has never been an official  public acknowledgement of  Pearse's ambiguous sexuality. There is also considerably more at stake in controlling Pearse's legacy because of  his pre-eminent centrality to Irish nationalism as a founding  father,  one who re-asserts the Irish masculinity of  the nation. The biographers curtail the possibility that Pearse's sexuality might be far  more crucial to an enhanced understanding of  the man, his motives, and actions than previously thought. For alternatively, obsessive forms  of  religiosity and Messianism may be productively read as symptomatic effects  of  the closet, of  an internalized homophobia, of homosexual panic, or of  a drive towards the "sacred" as a countervailing antidote to the "sinful",  non-normative desires of  the human heart and body. Pearse's life  may be read as a case of  the epistemology of  the closet's "open secret". Kieran Rose, Eibhear Walshe, and Vincent Quinn have already claimed and problematized Pearse as a gay Irish forefather  (Rose, Diverse 9; Walshe, "Oscar's" 150; Quinn, "Fostering" 76-9) based on the considerable evidence published by eminent historians and commentators that strongly indicates that the most venerated hero in the modern Irish nationalist pantheon was quare. And that matters a great deal. iii) Roger David Casement (1864-1916) In the psychology of  political commemoration, the relationship between Pearse and Casement is intriguing. There was no denying official  perfidy  in circulating—especially in America—evidence about Casement's sexual life....Prompted  by the very elusiveness of  that evidence after  1916, did something work to siphon off  domestic anxiety about Pearse, anxiety which could never be (even privately) expressed? Casement was both saint and scapegoat. His utility to the cause he had served lay in sustained ambivalence. ~W. J. McCormack, Roger Casement  in Death or Haunting  the Free  State  (2002) 9. After  they hanged him, they had a doctor examine him, who said that he had 'found  unmistakable evidence of  the practices to which it was alleged the prisoner in question had been addicted'. In all the images we have of  Anglo-Irish relations over the centuries, perhaps this one is the saddest and the most stark: a prison doctor examining Casement's arsehole a short time after  he had been hanged, on the orders of  the British Government. —Colm Toibin, Love in a Dark  Time:  And  Other Explorations  of  Gay Lives and  Literature  (2001) 106. .. .the question of  whether or not Casement was a homosexual is not directly relevant to the part he took in the Irish revolution—or rather it would only be relevant if  anything in his conduct had suggested that his private life  was influencing  his public actions. Since there appears to be no firm  or clear-cut evidence that was actually the case, the question of  homosexuality loses much of  its historic importance, except, of course, to those who subscribe to the doctrine that every patriot must be like Caesar's wife. —F. S. L. Lyons, Ireland  Since the Famine  (1973) 324. Author: If  Ireland would undo the damage the British have done to Casement's name, then let her look this Casement square in the eye, and defiantly  wave his sodomies at England like a flag.  They are integral to Casement's triumph. And triumph, his was....What is his triumph? This. Through horror, sickness, danger, sodomy, farce,  he hacks out a new definition  of  himself.  For that, is he a hero: and not for  Ireland only.. ..But Casement has a relevance to all mankind. He recreates himself  in terms of  his own inner truth. That act, courageous, at times humiliating and absurd, transcending poetry and lust and death, make Roger Casement a hero for  the world— -David Rudkin, Cries  from  Casement  as His  Bones Are Brought  to Dublin. BBC Radioplay (1974) 24-5. Roger Casement, today the most famous  and recognized of  the Irish martyrs of  1916, remains a contentious figure  responsible for  spawning a national debate over his sexual identity and patriotic credentials that has lasted for  eight decades. Casement was born into an Ulster Protestant family  from  Co. Antrim and was orphaned at age twelve in 1877. Through extended family  connections, the young Casement went to the Belgian Congo in 1884 to labour for  the International Association in its mission to "civilize" the region and, subsequently, to carry out survey work for  the Congo Railway Company. Four years later, he served as an agent of  the British Consular Service in other African colonies, returning to Congo in the pay of  the British Foreign Office  in 1900. In 1903, Casement investigated and documented the colonial rubber industry's systemic violence, including murder, sadistic torture, and starvation against an enslaved native population. Likewise, less than a decade later, he exposed strikingly similar atrocities against the indigenous people of  the Putumayo jungles of  Peru for  which Casement was knighted in 1911 as a celebrated humanitarian (Sawyer, 27-32; Weale 26-7, 50-2). In spite of  this achievement and renown, Casement's contact with imperial European excesses and the exploitation of  colonial subjects sparked his growing interest in Ireland's state as he began to discern parallels between the Celtic Irish and Africans. Accordingly, under the influence  of  historian Alice Stopford  Green and her social circle of  Irish patriots, Casement became a strident critic of  imperialism. Part of  Casement's disillusionment with the British state lay in the Foreign Office  having dragged its feet  on the Congo file,  and more scandalously, the government's awareness of  what was happening in Africa  for  years yet failing  to act upon this knowledge (Weale 52-6). After retiring from  the Consular Service in 1913, Casement wholly converted to Irish Republicanism and resolved to aid the nationalist cause by embarking on missions to Germany for  the purposes of  securing troops, arms, and ammunition as well as recruiting an Irish brigade from  prisoners captured by the Germans. Returning from  his final expedition to Berlin on 21 April 1916 with a handful  of  weapons, Casement found himself  alone, literally washed up on the shore of  Banna Strand, Co. Kerry. Irish locals betrayed Casement (not to mention his Norwegian lover, Eivind Adler Christensen, who had regularly informed  on him), turning him into authorities, and, unlike his fellow  Easter conspirators, was sent to England where he was tried for  high treason, stripped of  his knighthood, and executed on 3 August 1916. Before  his execution however, the British privately circulated, to members of  the press and to powerful  politicians in England, Ireland, and America, Casement's confiscated  personal diaries that revealed his sexual taste for  men (Fry 282-4). This homophobic strategy of  blackmail prevented any successful  reprieve in sparing Casement's life.  As the legal advisor to the British Home Office  wrote to the Cabinet, "it would be far  wiser from  every point of  view to allow the law to take its course and, by judicious means, to use these diaries to prevent Casement attaining martyrdom" (Toibin, Love 98). Naturally, Irish nationalists, most of  whom were raised within a prevailing conservative Catholic ethos, have claimed that the "Black Diaries" are counterfeit,  and this was yet another malevolent recurrence of  the forgeries  that very nearly brought down Parnell in 1889. The British government has always maintained that the five  diaries and ledgers attributed to Casement are genuine, but many Irish have seen them as an element of  a smear campaign designed to discredit the Irish revolution and the memory of  its leaders. In 1994, the British government allowed access to all of  the documents relating to the Casement diaries under the Open Government Initiative, and, subsequently, the Royal Irish Academy held a symposium in May 2000 where forensic  and handwriting experts examined the materials. Audrey Giles published the results which concluded that the diaries were written by Casement, generating wide, but not universal acceptance (Cronin 41). From a contemporary perspective, the sexual material in these texts is rather tame if  not innocuous. The entry for  Wednesday, 2 March 1910, for  example, reads, "Breathed & quick enormous push. Loved mightily. To Hilt Deep X" (Sawyer 43), or on 29 May 1910, Casement writes of  an encounter with Joseph Millar Gordon in Belfast,  "First time—after  so many years & so deep mutual longing. Rode gloriously—splendid steed. Huge—told of  many—'Grand'" (Sawyer 53). What mortified  everyone who read these diaries, or, more accurately, accounts of  these texts early on, were the laundry lists of  the author's homosexual liaisons with men in Africa  and South America. As Wilde had betrayed his social class through contact with working-class youth, Casement's crossing of  cultural and class lines compounded his violation of  Edwardian sexual/gender taboos. Nevertheless, in an emotionally moving note to a friend  concerning the freedom  of  the heart, Casement discloses, I love Naples. It has all its sins and all its beauties upon its face;  it hides nothing; it is the most human town in Europe. People there do what they think and as they are in the privacy of  their own room... so they are in the streets....Whether it is better to hide our hearts to muffle  up our lives and to live the truer part of  our lives in secret as we do today, the future  only knows. (Dudgeon 594) Casement's dilemma serves as a pertinent description of  the inner debate he faced  over the unthinkable prospect of  "coming out" and honouring a vital ingredient of  his personal, yet politicized, identity. In Roger Casement  in Death or Haunting  the Free  State  (2002), W. J. McCormack focuses  on Casement biographer and medical doctor, W. J. Maloney, who collated and disseminated the conspiracy theory of  forgery  in his 1936 book The  Forged Casement  Diaries. Maloney, an American of  Scottish origin, was a shell-shocked veteran of  the Gallipoli campaign. Maloney never had access to the "Black Diaries" as the British government brooked all requests at that time, but this did not prevent him from  defending  Casement by denouncing the journals as phony nonetheless (McCormack, Casement  30-\, 155-6). McCormack thoroughly critiques Maloney's inadequate scholarship and his incoherent claims about Casement's alleged "investigation" into the sadistic and depraved behaviour of  Armando Normand, a manager for  the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company. Based on interviews with Casement's family,  Maloney constructs a narrative where Normand was the source of  the offending  sexual "abominations" within the "Black Diaries" since Casement was supposedly "translating" Normand's own sexual exploits to be used as evidence in some future  prosecution. McCormack crucially observes that Normand was heterosexual and that Casement's grasp of  Spanish and Portuguese was abysmal (Casement  37-8). McCormack characterizes Maloney as a partisan zealot, revealing the ideological requisite generated by Irish nationalism in the wake of  the Casement controversy to sanitize the lives of  its martyrs following  independence. Significantly,  Maloney's indignant tone in The  Forged  Casement  Diaries is compounded by the virtual absence of  the words "homosexual" and "homosexuality", for it seems impossible for  Maloney to even articulate the accusation laid against his idol, bringing to mind the presiding judge's reticence at Wilde's trial to name that  "crime" (McCormack, Casement  35). Equally fascinating  is the effect  that Maloney's book had in marrying Irish public opinion to the conspiracy theory; even W. B. Yeats's ballad, simply entitled "Roger Casement," acknowledges Maloney's influential  position (Poems  423-4). Initially, this public relations campaign succeeded in affirming  British treachery and Casement's pristine saintliness, but this did not last. Lucy McDiarmid reminds us that rumour functions  as a "corrective to 'official'  information  in Irish public life"  (129), reflecting  a legacy of  distrusting authority and partially justifying  a willingness to embrace Maloney's assertions without solid evidence. Patrick McCartan, an Irish government TD, was upset when prominent men such as Trinity College science professor  Joseph Warwick Bigger, landlord Sir John Randolph Leslie, and novelist Francis Hackett made it clear in a private statement that it was well-known that '"Casement was a homo'" (McCormack, Casement  77). McCartan, in contact with the I.R.A. and Fenians in America, wrote to I.R.B. man and close associate of Casement's, Bulmer Hobson, in April 1937: It seems there is but one way to stop this—it is a rotten way but still—I shall pass the word to the I.R.A. to give Bigger or any other Irishman found  preaching this yarn one warning... .If  [Shane] Leslie or any other Irishman help [s7c] to substantiate the charge against Casement Maloney will have a lot more to say. Others who will say nothing may act. Some of  the men involved in shooting [Sir Henry] Wilson on his own doorstep are yet alive & they will get all the facts  from  me. (McCormack, Casement  79) McCartan's chilling threat of  I.R.A. reprisals of  blackmail or murder against anyone dissenting from  Maloney's theory of  forgery  underscores how high the stakes were in preserving Roger Casement's presumptive heterosexuality. Furthermore, McCartan advised Hobson, "If  you can, advise any Irishman who may be asked to keep off  that Committee of  Investigation. Let it be a purely English Committee. I hope Shaw won't let himself  be dragged in. Yeats took the wise course" (McCormack, Casement  80). McCartan and the threat of  violence stifled  questions from  being asked, Irish public opinion was manipulated, and the truth about Casement's sexuality and the authenticity of  the diaries was quashed. Irish nationalists like McCartan exerted pressure for  years to keep the diaries suppressed so as to save Casement's standing as an Irish martyr (Sawyer 11-2). Despite Yeats's public ballads about Casement functioning  almost as a proxy for the Irish Free State's position on the "Black Diaries," Yeats's private correspondence with lesbian friend  Dorothy Wellesley reveals that the Nobel Prize-winning poet hoped that the Casement's diaries proved to be authentic: Public opinion is excited & there is a demand for  a production of  the documents & their submission to some impartial tribunal. It would be a great relief  to me if  they were so submitted & proved genuine. If Casement were a homo-sexual what matter! But if  the British Government can with impunity forge  evidence to prove him so no unpopular man with a cause will ever be safe.  (Wellesley 126) Yeats's hypocritical ambivalence or Realpolitik  shines through as a case in point of  the differing  masks he wore in public and in private. Additionally, in the Dail, Eamon de Valera refused  to launch an impartial investigation into the diaries, but, curiously, he did not fail  to name one of  his sons after  Casement; however, de Valera chose the Gaelic version, Ruaidhri (McDiarmid 136; Dudgeon 22). Other than the outstanding emotive issue of  Casement's physical remains then still buried at Pentonville Prison in England, the Irish government, for  its part, preferred  to let sleeping dogs lie, and as for  the British, they had no interest in releasing some of  the diaries for  examination and publication until 1959, forty-three  years after  their discovery. Nevertheless, many refused  to either believe in the conspiracy theories or to remain silent in the face  of  a broad national consensus and threats of  republican violence. Casement's personal life  was seen as a political liability as far  back as 1917 when John Dillon Nugent objected to his homosexuality (McCormack, Casement  6). At the time of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, Irish negotiators Eamon Duggan and Michael Collins were allowed to read the diaries, and Collins confirmed  that the sexual escapades were indeed in Casement's handwriting (Toibin, Love 92). Monk Gibbon, a second-cousin to Yeats, sent a letter to the Irish  Times  in 1956, following  the publication of  yet another Casement biography. Gibbon courageously suggested homophobia was the problem, not Casement's sexual activities. After  referring  to one of  Roger's homoerotic poems, Gibbon writes somewhat satirically that, [i]t is a remarkably fine  sonnet, and I suppose I am starting another argument now which can be carried on till doomsday. I can only say that in my opinion that sonnet was written by a homosexual....A man is a great patriot; at all costs it must not transpire that he was also a homosexual! Ireland, presumably, would not still want his bones if  he were? (Gibbon 9 ) Dissension from  nationalist orthodoxy or the expression of  a progressive view on Irish sexuality arose with each new published biography and controversy. What is also clear is that many of  the elite in the new Ireland personally believed that the diaries belonged to Roger Casement. By the mid-1960s, historians had been granted access to some of  the "Black Diaries" for  a few  years, furthering  the case for  authenticity in the public's mind, which also coincided, perhaps fortuitously,  with the waning of  the I.R.A. as a discredited force  in Irish politics prior to the explosion of  the "Troubles" in the North. The relentless deluge of  material about Casement, more than any other participant of  1916, comprises six plays, memoirs, poetry, songs, three monuments, two ballads, paintings, orations, jokes, legends, anecdotes, three documentaries, film-scripts,  a novel, and thousands of  letters-to-the-editor (McDiarmid 131). In 1965, Casement's remains were exhumed and re-interred in Dublin—the occasion reimagined in David Rudkin's radioplay Cries  from  Casement  as His  Bones Are Brought  to Dublin (1974). Rudkin's apt phrase "a public orgy of  morality" (39) to describe Parnell's fall  from  grace equally applies to the state and church hierarchy on hand to sanctimoniously receive Casement's body. When Casement's ghost realizes he is to be buried in Glasnevin Cemetery rather than his home plot in Co. Antrim, he refuses  to be dead and have his true legacy whitewashed. In response, the attending Catholic Cardinal berates him, "I'm disgusted at you. Lie down. Be a good hero, shut your mouth. Be a good patriot. Lie down" (Rudkin 76). All of  this cultural production, including Rudkin's text, elicits the question: why does Roger Casement refuse  to "lie down"? Why does he still haunt Ireland? Why has there been such a prurient interest in the sexual details of  the diaries and their authorship? Why have so much time, energy, and resources been used to debate, refute, and impose an answer to the question? Some answers, I argue, to Ireland's psychological and ideological obsession with Casement lies, to a certain degree, in the homosociality and sexual ambivalence found within Irish nationalisms. There is a "perverse" pleasure, for  some, to be had in denying Casement his sexuality and, thereby, disavowing that emblematic "homosexual" figure from  within. This fascination  with Casement is also a testament to the psycho-sexual process functioning  underneath the surface  of  nationalist communities that have been dominated by a repressive homosocial Catholic Church—an intense site of  homoerotic desire to boot—and by nationalisms defined  and shaped by a reactionary type of heteronormative masculinity. Moreover, contra to F. S. L. Lyons's dismissal of homosexuality's significance  in his epigraph above, W. J. McCormack suggests the controversy over Casement drew attention away from  a close examination of  the (homo)sexuality of  the other great Irish hero of  1916, Pearse, thereby providing an outlet for  anxieties and phobias to vent even as many defended  a man whom they knew was 'guilty' as charged. In the figure  of  Roger Casement, the necessity of  fighting  for  national liberation and the parallel need for  resistance to sexual oppression is evident, particularly since British imperialism and its Irish nationalist counterparts speak in homosocially-laden discourses. The politics of  sexuality generally has been underestimated by those working in Irish Studies, for  the task of  demythologizing Irish nationalisms involves grasping the coexistence of  dissident sexual and patriotic identities. As Lucy McDiarmid argues the Casement controversies became "a site for  Irish thinking about sexual behaviour, and more generally, about the taboos that Free State social legislation linked with the State's definition  of  itself'  (143); nonetheless, Michael Cronin adds that lately Casement is being harnessed by the Irish state to "symbolically reconcile contemporary southern Ireland to its revolutionary past while also embodying the liberal conception of  the society as modern, diverse and pluralist" (48). Casement's life  and death clearly speaks of  the value of  transgressions, cosmopolitan solidarity with outcast peoples, the expansion of  the parameters of  Irishness,  and the limited horizons of  prejudice. Roger Casement, Patrick Pearse, and Oscar Wilde defied  the social and political conventions, understandings, and dispensations of  their time and were tragically punished and put to death for  doing so—Wilde being served a slower demise. Wilde and Casement were publicly outed  in their lifetimes,  but Pearse officially  remained off  the public's radar of  sexual difference.  Wilde's fate  and Pearse's hieratic homoeroticism however, like Edward Martyn's, converge with the sacrificial  artist/leader so prevalent in Irish literary texts. The diversity and "truth" of  experience amongst these men and their differing  public personas confound  nationalist categories and boundaries through their negotiation of  contending contradictions of  identity and demands of  allegiance. These case studies of  three quare Irishmen compel us to interpret Irish history and culture afresh by revising the role played by sexual minorities in seminal national events and by acknowledging the crucial role that sexualities play in constructing a nation-state's imagined definition  of  itself. Edward Martyn's Hieratic Homoeroticism .. .it is none the less true that Life  imitates art far  more than Art imitates life. —Oscar Wilde, Intentions  (1919) 30. No other Irishman, in the various movements which together may be generally described as the 'Irish Revival'—between the eighteen-nineties and the establishment of  the Irish Free State in 1921—occupies the same prominent place as Edward Martyn as a connecting link between so many intellectual activities. —Denis Gwynn, Edward  Martyn  and  the Irish  Revival (1930) 13. What drove him to those long prayers, those long meditations, that stern Church music?' What secret torture? —William Butler Yeats, Dramatis Personae (1953) 235. Did you hear Miss Mitchell's joke about Moore and Martyn? That Moore is Martyn's wild oats? —James Joyce, Ulysses,  1922, (1986) 9.306-8. An incongruent mystery exists between Denis Gwynn's assertion of  Edward Joseph Martyn's position as a founding  member of  Ireland's national dramatic movement and Yeats's and Joyce's questioning of  the playwright's private life.  The public image of Martyn's involvement with a myriad of  Ireland's most significant  cultural activities contrasts with the muted exclusion of  homoeros in shaping the writer's austere celibacy, suggestively inscribed not only within the literary portraits of  Martyn by fellow  Irish Revivalists George Augustus Moore and Yeats, but also within his own writing for  the theatre. Both Martyn's dramatic work and his life  story convey an ironic, yet fitting,  case in point, for  The  Heather  Field  (1899), as one of  the premier productions of  a national theatre for  an Irish people, introduces ciphers of  homoeros into the modern Irish theatre at its inception. The question is not whether one can prove the truth  of  Martyn's sexuality--an elusive and futile  venture—but rather the salutary effects  of  others' perceptions of Martyn's work. Adrian Frazier, the only critic to engage with Martyn's "queerness", states that "Moore provided a way to read Martyn's plays as involuntary coming-out stories" (27). This chapter serves two purposes: first,  to flesh  out the ways in which the writings of  Moore and Yeats as well as that of  biographers and literary critics consciously colour their representations of  Martyn with suggestions of  closeted homosexuality; second, to contend that this textual construction of  the author enables a crucial understanding of  how homoeros operates in his plays within the cultural nationalist enterprise of  the Irish Literary Theatre. For Martyn's principal characters, torn by thinly concealed queer desires, suffer  comparable sacrificial  fates  for  the sake of  Ireland in one formulation  or another. According to Frazier, "cultural nationalism was an offshoot  of  London 'Decadence' as much as of  the Dublin 'Irish Party'; begotten by an inflow  of  Wilde upon an upwelling of  John O'Leary" (9). The artistic incursion of  the Irish movement was known to men like D. P. Moran, who spoke disagreeably of  the "effeminate  character of the new Irish literature" with its lisping and crooning poets (Frazier 9). This acknowledgment of  queer elements circulating within the Literary Revival by Moran and others, may be considered an instance of  what Sedgwick labels the epistemology of  the closet and its complement the "privilege of  unknowing". "'Closetedness' itself  is a performance  initiated as such by the speech act of  a silence," writes Sedgwick (Closet  3). In other words: don't  ask,  don't  tell;  one should not know. But this privilege of unknowing frequently  exposes itself  when someone comes out of  the closet; "it can bring about the revelation of  a powerful  unknowing as unknowing, not as a vacuum or as the blank it can pretend to be but as a weighty and occupied and consequential epistemological space" (Closet  77; emphasis Sedgwick's). Frequently, coming out of  the closet confirms  others' suspicions and intuitions which may have existed for  years. "After  all, the position of  those who think they know something about one that one may not know oneself  an excited and empowered one" {Closet  80; emphasis Sedgwick's). In these circumstances, the closet operates as if  made of  glass where individual sexuality becomes an open secret; with Martyn, one discerns the Irish Renaissance's own instance of  the epistemology of  the closet. Perhaps, as his critics and the Revivalists suggest, everyone knows  about Martyn's sexual yearnings even before  he does, reflecting  the transparent structure of  the closet and the crucial role ignorance plays in identity construction. Martyn's intense piety can easily be read as a compensatory reaction to the horror of  his own alterity and the very real fears  of  degeneracy, effeminacy,  and sin so much embedded in the Victorian public's mind through a combination of  the spectacular falls  of  Parnell and Wilde in the 1890s and Roman Catholic doctrine. Amidst the cultural veil of  knowing silence however, abundant references  in memoirs, biographies, collections of  letters, pages of  literary criticism, theatre reviews, and in Martyn's own hand, reveal a consistent and provocative pattern of  homoeros. Typically, Martyn's dramas are marked by overwrought, suggestive dialogue between male figures,  sexually ambiguous diction, and the presence of  inverted love triangles, whereby the woman ceases to be the desired object vied for  by male rivals but becomes the impediment between two men's ties with one another. Homosocial/erotic desires register in the disembodied symbols of  the heather field,  the sea, Greek marble statues, and, even, Maeve's ethereal (and never seen) "Prince of  the hoar dew" (Martyn, Maeve 294). Specifically,  in Martyn's texts a double movement unfolds  whereby characters valourize a philosophy of  aesthetic idealism, specifically  coded as masculine/male, in contrast to the traditional configuration  of  the Irish national ideal as feminine/female, while simultaneously shunning direct engagement with this idealism's homoerotic ramifications.  Restrained desire functions  as a source of  torment that haunts the quotidian lives of  the playwright's protagonists. This oppositional tension between passion and asceticism or, as I call it—hieratic homoeroticism, underwrites the topos of the conflicted  interaction between religious belief  and the demands of  the flesh, epitomizing Martyn's dialectical dance of  (homo)sexuality and cultural nationalism within Ireland's embryonic theatre. Born in the west of  Ireland in 1859 to an aristocratic Catholic landowning family, Martyn remained an anomalous figure  in his own country during the twilight years of  the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. In the late 1870s, Martyn attended Oxford,  becoming interested in the aestheticism of  Walter Pater and John Ruskin, but he did not finish  his degree. Returning to his estate at Tillyra, Co. Galway in the 1880s, after  living in Paris and London with his distant cousin and tutor George Moore, Martyn assumed the position of landlord, managing his estate with an unsympathetic disposition towards his Catholic 27 • • tenants. Stringently adhering to the values of  his social class, Martyn possessed a reputation as a severe landlord—his land agent having been the target of  assassination; however, later in his life,  Martyn's politics became increasingly nationalistic, serving a term as president of  Sinn Fein from  1904-1908 (Gwynn 54-5; Hall 117-20). Martyn was involved with inciting minor agitations such as protesting Edward VII's visit in 1903 as well as backing the Gaelic League's promotion of  the Irish language (Eakin and Case xix). Along with Lady Gregory, Yeats, and, later, Moore, Martyn founded  the Irish 28 Literary Theatre (1899-1901), contributing three plays and substantial finances  to the fledgling  venture. In the movement's initial days, a struggle for  artistic direction ensued: what types 2 7 As Kevin Whelan's research has shown, the survival of  Catholic or pseudo-Catholic landowners challenges the common belief  that almost all Irish landlords from  the eighteenth-century onwards were Protestant (5-6). The year 1879 marked the beginning of  the Land War (1879-1882) as Irish peasants, attempting to secure fair rents and proprietorship of  the land, resorted to violence against the landed gentry particularly in western Ireland. Historians cite a host of  contributing factors  to the outbreak of  agrarian unrest: agricultural recession, crop failures,  decreasing emigration, rising expectations of  tenant farmers,  and the alliance between the parliamentary nationalism of  Parnell and the physical force  republicanism of  the Clan  na Gael under the banner of  the New Departure. In the 1880s, Martyn had been opposed to the Land League and the Irish Parliamentary Party (Gwynn 56; Fitzpatrick 178-81; Vaughan; 208-16). 2 8 In 1899, Patrick Pearse was severely critical of  Yeats, Martyn, Moore, and Gregory for  establishing the Irish Literary Theatre as he wrote in a letter that the new theatre was "more dangerous, because glaringly anti-national, than Trinity College.. ..Let us strangle it at its birth. Against Mr. Yeats personally we have nothing to object. He is a mere English poet of  the third of  fourth  rank, and as such he is harmless. But when he attempts to run an 'Irish Literary Theatre', it is time for  him to be crushed" (O Buachalla, Letters 9). However, Pearse later cozied up to Martyn in 1908, soliciting financial  support for  St. Enda's through a series of  letters (O Buachalla, Letters  121-4). of  plays should be produced? Which representations of  Irishness  would be most efficacious  in developing a cultural renaissance as the country increasingly assumed a distinct national consciousness? A stalwart champion of  the dramatic realism of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, Martyn opposed Yeats's vision of  producing only heroic, folk,  or peasant pieces for  the new theatre informed  as it was by Yeats's inveterate rejection of  the emerging bourgeois Catholic culture; conversely, Yeats was hostile to Ibsen's social politics and disliked modern drama (Nolan, Jerry 90, 92). Common ground lay in the belief  that "authentic Irish experience might be cast as vision, the dream of  an alternative reality," finding  expression in both Yeats's and Martyn's symbolist-poetic dramas (Murray 3). Politically, both nationalists and constructive unionists agreed that "an Irish national theatre was a highly desirable sign of  modernization" (Pilkington 9), which addressed the need for  Ireland to demonstrate the existence of  a civilized public sphere associated with a respectable theatre and an opportunity to present the Irish character in a popular and favourable  light (Pilkington 15-6). In contrast to his public persona, Martyn's personal life  involved a celibacy practised with an ascetic vigour, displaying an aversion to physical comforts.  The playwright's bedroom resembled a bare white-washed cell with a narrow bed and no upholstery according to Moore (Hail  186); more significantly,  however, commentators register the fact  that Martyn was afflicted  lifelong  with some unexplained psychological anguish (Ellis-Fermor 118; Courtney 49; Gwynn 83-4). Martyn's perplexing and enigmatic personality persuades Yeats to posit a conflict  between the man's spiritual life and his bodily desires. In his memoirs, Yeats observes that Martyn has a good intellect, moderate and sensible, but it seems to me that this intellect has been always thwarted by its lack of  interest in life, religious caution having kept him always on the brink of  the world in a half-unwilling  virginity of  the feelings  imaging the virginity of  his body. He had no interest in women, and Moore would accuse him of  a frustrated passion for  his own sex. 'I believe,' he said to him once, 'you think sexual intercourse between men more natural than between women.' I wonder if  Moore invented the answer, 'Well, at any rate it is not so disgusting.' {Memoirs  118-9) Well-known as a misogynist and critic of  marriage, Martyn "hat[ed] all women with an instinctive, almost perverted antipathy" as his biographer Gwynn phrases it (18), steadfastly  refusing  female  company in spite of  his mother, Annie Martyn's {nee  Smyth) attempts to find  a wife  for  her son by inviting young women to the Tillyra estate.30 Out of  Martyn's voluminous lifetime  correspondence, he preserved only one woman's letters belonging to his cousin, a Benedictine nun living in Worcestershire, who wondered where he had inherited his "monastic tastes" (Gwynn 51-2). Given Martyn's privileged position, his celibacy is not easily explained away as yet another instance of  Irish Catholic familism  that circumscribed the life  of  tenant farmers.  His socio-economic status allowed Martyn the freedom  to marry whichever 31 woman he had wished, but he consciously chose not to, preferring  the company of  men --to what degree exactly will probably never be known. For Martyn's private unpublished papers, accumulated over thirty years and arranged prior to his death, to which he had given the prospective title "Paragraphs for  the Perverse", were entrusted to the Carmelite Order in Clarendon Street and allegedly have been lost or destroyed during the Nazi 2 9 The typescript version of  Yeats's Dramatis Personae includes the following  additional sentence in this passage on Martyn: "He once said the majority of  lost souls are lost through sexuality, had his father's  instincts through repression or through some accident of  birth turned, as Moore thought, into an always resisted homosexuality" (Yeats, Memoirs  118-9 n.3.). 3 0 In her distress, Martyn's mother turned to the local priest to persuade Edward to marry and to continue the family  name. Martyn responded by declaring that he would rather become a monk than marry. "And you know well," he added, "how much I would hate to be one" (Gwynn 84). During this period of  maternal matchmaking, Martyn, in a possible case of  sublimation, threw himself  into the hiring of  architects—sparing no expense—to design a spacious modern mansion adjoining Norman-built Tillyra Castle (Gwynn 49). 3 1 "What is sufficiently  interesting and worthy of  study," suggests Frazier, "is the way in which Martyn took pleasure in travelling with men, in having men of  a certain kind pay long visits to Tillyra, in listening to opera with men, [and] in collaborating with men on plays about his own frustration  of  desire" (37n.63). blitzkrieg  of  London (Courtney 167; Gwynn 30). Before  this, the Order had Gwynn, to date Martyn's only biographer, write a biography published in 1930, "sanitized of  names, dates, and, as much as possible, facts"  (Frazier 12). Gwynn portrays Martyn's early life  as being decidedly unhappy, characterized by psychological anxiety but also by an "intense love of  boyhood" (325) illustrated in some of  Martyn's untitled poetry: He passes, like an apparition, white, And stepless through the sanctuary's space, As if  he came from  statelier spheres. Such grace Of  shape and movement haunts this acolyte. And while he wafts  the thurible, its bright Embers alight and colour his pale face Pink, as a flaming  angel's limners trace In minster lancet jewelled to joy our sight. 'Child of  the earth or heaven, mysterious child, Oh would thou could'st live on undefiled! Gross manhood with such angel genius wars. Thou'lt change—alas! Yet thy boy memory Fair-haired and white, will flutter  to the sky— A beauty among the children of  the stars!' and: 'Oft  in the sad and wayward youth of  man Come moments full  of  pure unearthly peace, Like frankincense  in stillness sweet! Who can Describe its short, yet exquisite release From mental anguish luring to despair The heart for  all the troubles that attend Toiling youth thwarted from  each wished-for  end, And make it loathe this fair  earth, sea and air?' 'It is as if  some all-defying  charm, Seizing possession of  the human soul, Strips it stark naked of  this writhing swarm Of  cares, then calmeth anger's fierce  control, And leaveth longing for  some lonely life, Mayhap by peak or cave or fragrant  shore, Where thunders of  the sea through mountains roar, And Nature healeth souls in spirit strife.'  (quoted in Gwynn 323, 325) The idealization of  the young male figure  with its concomitant homoerotic undertones haunts the speaker of  the first  poem, who expresses interest in the boy's bodily purity and laments the advent of  his entry into sexual knowledge, echoing the fin  de  siecle Uranian school of  poetry. Sister Marie-Therese Courtney designates Martyn's chronic struggle as a conflict between what she terms his religious faith  and his Hellenic aesthetic theories acquired at Oxford—a  site of  the "uncanny convergence of  Catholic and homosexual interests late in the century" (Morgan 133). During Martyn's time there, the presence of  Walter Pater was keenly felt  through his admiration for  Catholic ritual and "the celebration of  Greek ideals of  male beauty and Greek relations between men" (Frazier 23). At Oxford,  Martyn also began a close friendship  with Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock, an Estonian homosexual and fellow  student, which lasted until Stenbock's death in 1895. Martyn toured Greece, collecting replicas of  Greek statuary, and waxed lyrically that Greek was the most beautiful  of  the world's languages (Frazier 23, 24). In 1885 Martyn burnt his collection of  poems fashioned  after  Greek models and written over a period of  years because the writer considered them "dangerous to faith  and morals" (Frazier 25). Martyn's ensuing cancellation of  newspapers and magazines that possibly contained material contrary to Catholic teachings and his application to his bishop to read works banned under the Index  Expurgatorius  indicated his new adherence to doctrine (Courtney 46-7). As Martyn remarks to Moore in Hail  and  Farewell  (1911), "If  it hadn't been for  the Church, I don't know what would have happened to me" (596); 32One year after  Martyn left  Oxford  in 1879, a pamphlet entitled Boy Worship  by Charles E. Hutchinson was published in April 1880, generating a scandal in the Oxford  and  Cambridge  Undergraduate  Journal  for  over three weeks before  the university intervened (Ellmann, Wilde  58). nonetheless, Frazier interprets the incineration of  the poems virtually as evidence "he tried to burn himself  at the stake: the good celibate Catholic punished the bad homosexual pagan" (25). Five years after  burning his poetry, Martyn published his only novel Morgante The  Lesser: His  Notorious  Life  and  Wonderful  Deeds  (1890) under the pseudonym 'Sirius'. Wayne Hall views the novel as a satirical stab aimed at Moore because Morgante's philosophy is admired most in Paris, especially among those artists who patronize the Cafe  de  la Nouvelle  Athenes (116). Martyn contrives his own personal vision of  a Catholic Utopia: the island-city of  Agathopolis, "a country without women," modelled after  Greek and Byzantine civilization {Morgante  269). Regarding the subject of  literature in Agathopolis, Martyn writes: ...our books are completely free  from  that abominable lewdness, which pollutes the work of  some of  the greatest writers, and which smaller men are apt to consider the essence of  literary excellence. Nor are our authors, on the other hand, affected  by a false  modesty which hinders their approaching, when necessary, certain moral questions in the outside world, through fear  of  endangering the purity of  the young. For in Agathopolis, as you know, there are happily no young girls to create difficulties  of  this and other kinds; and the character and education of  the youths are such as to prevent their being corrupted by works which are in no way immoral. Thus I may boast with perfect  truth, that our literature is, in the very highest sense, strong, healthy and pure. {Morgante  175) The novel's narrator foregrounds  the issues of  sexual purity and the corruption of  youth in this all-male environment. Martyn's repeated anxiety over abomination, which circulates in his texts, evokes the Biblical prohibition against male-male relations in Leviticus. In Courtney's criticism of  Martyn's novel, she remarks, "Edward's ideal world,—to George Moore, magnificent;  to Sir William Geary, nonsense—is a suppression not a solution of  problems and as such is unhealthy and unsound" (27). Not surprisingly, as a Catholic nun, Courtney repeatedly avoids directly engaging with the sexual subtexts of  Martyn's words and imagery, preferring  to circumvent the whole issue. Throughout Moore's career, his various statements concerning homosexuality and his portraits of  his cousin construct Martyn's sexual abstinence as an index of  repression. Numerous critics link Moore's and Martyn's fictional  creations to biographical and autobiographical materials, a practice common to the writers involved in the Irish Revival.33 The veracity of  the portraits of  Martyn and Moore in each other's work remains problematic, and they cannot represent the authors themselves without qualification.  As Moore tell us in his ruminations on bachelorhood, "there is a tendency in us all to look askance at the man who likes to spend the evening alone with his book and his cat" {Hail  144), instead of  pursuing the charms of  women. Frazier asserts, however, that "Moore was famously  indiscreet: he left  behind confession  after confession,  in which he outed himself,  then outed Martyn, and finally  made intriguing insinuations about Yeats" (11). The relationship amongst Moore, Yeats, and Martyn is one of  homosocial and homoerotic desire according to Frazier, where artistic rivalries and 33See Patricia McFate, "The  Bending  of  the Bough and The  Heather  Field:  Two Portraits of  the Artists." Eire-Ireland?,A  (Spring 1973): 52-61; Ann Saddlemyer,'"All Art Is Collaboration'? George Moore and Edward Martyn." The  World  of  W.  B. Yeats:  Essays in Perspective.  Eds. Robin Skelton and Ann Saddlemyer. Adelphi Bookshop, (1965), 169-88; Helmut E. Gerber, ed., George Moore  in Transition.  Wayne State UP, (1968), 44-5; and W. B. Yeats, "Dramatis Personae."  The  Autobiography  of  William  Butler  Yeats.  Macmillan, (1953), 251. jealousies surface  as an imitation of  each other's texts and an emulation of  each writer's "male" style; "[l]ove of  the man led to imitation of  the work: the imitation revealed to the beloved one's love" (22). Martyn, for  instance, collects Degas and Corot as Moore had done, and then composes plays after  Moore has written for  the stage; conversely, Martyn reciprocates by teaching his cousin about music and taking him to his first Wagner concert (Frazier 21). In Moore's satirical masterpiece Hail  and  Farewell  (1911), Martyn declares, "as you well know, my interests are in public life.  I have no private life,"  to which Moore quips, "Oh yes, you have, Edward; I'm your private life"  (336). Apparently, one of Martyn's favourite  long-standing jokes with Moore involved the repeated uttering of  the French pun "Mon  ami Moore,  Mon  ami Moore!"  (337). The life  of  "dear Edward," as Moore affectionately  and condescendingly refers  to Martyn throughout Hail  and Farewell,  is too ripe an opportunity for  Moore not to tacitly question Martyn's sexuality: The oddest of  all animals is man; in him, as in all other animals, the sexual interest is the strongest; yet the desire is inveterate in him to reject it; and I am sure that Christ's words that in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage have taken a great weight off  Edward's mind, and must have inspired in him many prayers for  a small stool in heaven. If  by any chance he should not get one (which is, of  course, unthinkable) and finds himself  among the damned, his plight will be worse than ever, for  I suppose he will have no opportunity for  correcting his natural disinclination, and I believe no theologian has yet decided that the damned do not continue to commit the sins in hell which they were damned for committing on earth. (160-1) Since celibacy is not considered sinful  nor a "natural disinclination," Moore, thus, strongly insinuates that the cross Martyn must bear pertains to homosexuality. One of Moore's early biographers, Susan L. Mitchell, is critical of  what she terms Moore's "malicious portrait" of  Martyn, fashioning  him into a "scapegoat for  his own personal antipathies, castigating him for  sins he never sinned" (94). No doubt Moore's satirical treatment of  his cousin is highly prejudiced, but Mitchell's assurances aside, Moore introduced Martyn to his decadent circle of  erotically-ambiguous artists living in London and Paris: personalities including Arthur Symons, Max Beerbohm, Villiers de l'lsle Adam, Henry James, Walter Pater, and Aubrey Beardsley. Moore's sketch of  Annie Martyn and her relationship with her son reveals a compassionate side to the narrator in Hail  and  Farewell.  The topic of  discussion here involves the expansion of  Tillyra Castle and Mrs. Martyn's hope that, once finished, Edward will marry: This hope often  transpired in her talks about Edward, and she continued to cherish it during the building of  the house, in spite of  her suspicions that Edward's celibacy was something more than the whim of  a young man who thinks that a woman might rob him of  his ideals. She could not admit to herself  any more than you can, reader, or myself,  that we come into the world made as it were to order, contrived so that we shall run down certain lines of  conduct....Edward was a bachelor before  he left  his mother's womb. But how was his mother to know such a thing—or sympathise with such an idea?....[B]ecause Edward never tried to hide his real self,  wearing always his aversion on his sleeve....[Mrs. Martyn] has begun to understand that there are certain natures which cannot be changed....She understands in her subconscious nature already, soon she will understand with her intellect, that he, who lies in that bed by choice, will never leave it for  a bridal chamber, (//a/7 185-6) In this rather extraordinary passage Moore not only suggests a biological origin for  sexual orientation, but also the operation of  an open secret which Mrs. Martyn enters into with silence, graduated denial, and illusions about her son. Moore signifies  the active participation by Mrs. Martyn and his own narration in the necessary maintenance of Martyn's open secret. This secret, as the lives of  Wilde, Pearse, and Casement clearly corroborate, remains an epistemological structure germane to the maintenance of homoeros's  suppression within Irish and British cultures. Yeats further  incorporates this notion of  a circulating open secret when he imputes a degree of  psychosexual irregularity between the two cousins in his allusion to Moore and Martyn in The  Cat  and  the Moon  (1924). In the notes accompanying Yeats's revised 1926 version of  the play, he explicitly states the two beggars' discussion of  the voyeuristic connection shared by the holy man and the old lecher was "meant for  Edward Martyn and George Moore, both of  whom were living when the play was written" (Cat 808): Blind Beggar. Do you mind what the beggar told you about the holy man in the big house at Laban?34 3 4 In alternative dialogue listed in the variorum edition of  the play, the Blind Beggar asks the Lame Beggar: "Did you ever know a holy man but had a wicked man for  his comrade and his heart's darling?" (Cat  797). Lame Beggar. Nothing stays in my head, Blind Man. Blind Beggar. What does he do but go knocking about the roads with an old lecher from  the county of  Mayo, and he a woman-hater from  the day of  his birth! And what do they talk of  by candle-light and by daylight? The old lecher does be telling over all the sins he committed, or maybe never committed at all, and the man of  Laban does be trying to head him off  and quiet him down that he may quit telling them. Lame Beggar. Maybe it is converting him he is. Blind Beggar. If  you were a blind man you wouldn't say a foolish  thing the like of  that. He wouldn't have him different,  no, not if  he was to get all Ireland. If  he was different,  what would they find  to talk about, will you me that now? (Cat  797) The beggars' dialogue, situated within a framework  of  gossip, implies that the lecher and the holy man remain dependent upon each other for  their own abnormal functioning  and are duplicitous in constructing one another's ineffectual  camouflage  of  both the pious abstainer and of  the Don Juanesque paramour. Several of  Moore's characters, who bear a striking resemblance to Martyn, are either clearly homosexual or suspected of  being so. Moore's story of  John Norton in A Mere  Accident  (1887) "provides a clue to the psychological riddle of  Edward" (Courtney 49). In the text, John Norton is a young aristocrat, a misogynist, an ardent Catholic, a • 35 collector of  Impressionist paintings, an admirer of  Pater, Wagner, and Palestrina , and 3 5 In 1900 Martyn launched a campaign in the Leader  to eliminate all female  choir members from  the Catholic churches in Dublin. Martyn considered the inclusion of  women as "unecclesiastical and unaesthetic"; "only boys had that 'short-lived,' 'evanescent' beauty in their voices that gives the listener 'cerebral fervour  exalted above earth'" (qtd. in Frazier 27). Martyn received full  support from  Archbishop one who is beset with psychological anxiety in connection to his sexuality. Norton's obsessive celibacy breaks his mother's heart as she discloses her worries to a priest: "Why does he not take up his position in the county?...Why does he not get married?...He is the last; there is no one to follow  him. But he never thinks of  that—he is afraid  that a woman might prove a disturbing influence  in his life"  (Accident  36). Addressing his mother's apprehensions and his own desire for  personal physical purity, John Norton asserts I don't think I could live with a woman; there is something very degrading, something very gross in such relations. There is a better and purer life  to lead...an inner life,  coloured and permeated with feelings  and tones that are, oh, how intensely our own....To keep oneself  unspotted, to feel  conscious of  no sense of  stain, to know, yes, to hear the heart repeat that this self—hands,  face,  mouth, skin—is free  from  all befouling  touch, is all one's own. (Accident  103-4) Moral and sexual virtue manifests  itself  as the search for  an ideal state of  cleanliness, free from  the contamination of  bodily appetites. But John Norton's emphasis upon his own body underscores the theoretical construction of  the ideal as never sexually neutral but gendered as masculine in not only Moore's texts but also repeatedly in Martyn's plays. John Norton is not an anomaly in Moore's fiction,  either, for  similarly sexually enigmatic eccentrics inhabit his pages as the author returns to the question of  how sexual identity moulds personality. Between 1885 and 1927 Moore sympathetically depicts at William Walsh in this endeavour. By November 1901, Martyn had set up a £10,000 trust for  a Palestrina choir in Dublin with the stipulation that "on no occasion shall females  be employed" (qtd. in Frazier 27). Unhappy parishioners, in response, withheld donations from  the weekly collection plate (Frazier 27; Morgan 132-3). least ten major characters who are either celibate, homosexual, or heterosexually promiscuous; John Norton, Hugh Monfert,  and Albert Nobbs remain stifled  and oppressed by social mores (Grubgeld 65, 68). The figure  of  John Norton metamorphoses into Hugh Monfert  in Moore's 1922 collection In  Single  Strictness  republished in 1927 as Celibate  Lives. Courtney accuses Moore of  decadence in his having written a story that probes the "remoter corners of  pathology in stigmatising] the hero with homosexuality" (61). "I know, I feel  all the time, that I am different  from  other men," claims Hugh Monfert  (Strictness  113). Monfert's  fixation  upon celibacy and the recurring refrain  of  a life  doomed to isolation and loneliness parallel Martyn's personal circumstance: I prayed God might put the world back and that I might live again as a knight, riding in the lists, and of  all, practising chastity. Chastity has always been the centre of  my thoughts....On those nights I was Sir Galahad, and Sir Galahad was I, and a something more than an earthly chastity was our quest together....Loneliness perhaps tells the story of  my life  better than any other word. (Strictness  74) Moore's realistic and, for  his time, subversive handling of  sexual repression across his oeuvre, underscores another concern—power—which arguably eclipses his authentic empathy for  Others: "[t]he battle between authority and desire, which is one of  Moore's master themes, is that between the false  and realized self'  (Foster, Fictions  275). The clash between Irish Catholicism and sexuality incorporated into Moore's writing is motivated by, as one critic states, Moore's "desire to shock, to cause an explosion. The sexual method was the surest....George Moore was an Irishman ahead of  his nation in that respect," paving the way for  the treatment of  sexuality in the literary achievements of Joyce and Yeats's later poetry (Howarth 52). Helmut Gerber, editor of  a collection of  Moore's letters George Moore  in Transition  (1968), notes that like Martyn, Moore fixates  on the subject of  celibacy. Gerber then problematizes Moore's own personal mythology: His relations with women always seemed to be carried on at a distance, often  by correspondence, or he chose as his objects of  affection  women who were for  various reasons unattainable. When they became attainable or when the relationship threatened to become permanent and demanding, as perhaps was the case with Mrs. Craige, then he seemed always to find  a way to bring it to an end. ( I l l ) Provocatively, Moore offers  contradictory descriptions of  his own sexuality both in and out of  print, circulating stories of  his own impotence and rumours of  his preposterous affairs  with women36 (Grubgeld 130). "I never believed that your life  is anything else but pure; it is only your mind that is indecent," asserts Martyn (Moore, Hail  309), puncturing his cousin's inflated  reputation as a ladies' man. Moore's fiction  repeatedly insinuates that Martyn's obesity, his misogyny, his 36In a hilarious exchange in Oliver St. John Gogarty's memoir As I  Was  Going Down Sackville  Street  (1937), Yeats and Gogarty discuss Moore's alleged love affairs.  "Do you think George Moore is impotent," asks Yeats? Gogarty responds "He had the pelvis of  a woman, as artists are said to have." Yeats prods, "Well, go on." "Take the evidence of  women," says Gogarty, "Susan Mitchell sensed something lacking. Women are like that. She wrote 'Some men kiss and do not tell, some kiss and tell; but George Moore told and did not kiss.' Kiss may mean...Well she was hardly likely to say more" (Gogarty 110). Moreover, in the 1889 French edition of  Confessions  d'un  Jeune  Anglais,  Moore, describing his interest in women, writes I wanted to be with this sex, like a shadow with its object. Never previously had the soul of  a man been so intermingled with that of  woman; and to explain the abnormality of  this sexual sympathy, I can only imagine that before  my birth there had been some hesitation as to my sex. Nevertheless, I was a joyful  boy, enamoured with adventure and an excellent sportsman; once I had a horse between my legs or a gun in my hands, I gave up all such morbid fantasies,  all strange desires to dress up like women, to wear their little boots and dressing gowns, (qtd. in and trans, by Grubgeld 87-8) This passage was edited from  all subsequent editions and translations of  Moore's book. denial of  physical comforts,  remain "traceable to a severely repressed homosexuality and an inconsistency basic to Catholicism's rejection of  the world it nevertheless seeks to govern" (Grubgeld 122). Gwynn records that in the playwright's last will and testament, Martyn stipulated that upon his death he was to be dissected by medical authorities, and his remains were to be buried in an anonymous pauper's grave. Gwynn interprets such an eccentric request as a "supreme gesture of  indifference  to the vanities of  human life, the last act of  relentless discipline over his body which he had rigorously controlled....Martyn had been determined that his last action, even after  death, should bring his body into absolute subjection" (343). This extreme determination to control the flesh,  the body, desire and self-expression  is a psychological indicator of  a man at war with himself. Turning to Martyn's dramatic work, one senses that a private conversation operates underneath the dialogue between the men on-stage: a language striving to settle some unarticulated dilemma, or a palimpsest where Martyn's encoding of  psychosexual relations remains overlaid with Irish nationalist themes and rhetoric. Martyn's plays attempt to elucidate the life  of  the bachelor by rending its problematic status from  any suspicion of  deviance as a technique of  interpreting his own experience. Granted the sexually repressive streak within Catholicism, masculinist nationalism's own homosociality, the Revival's fascination  with hypermasculine heroes; all combined with the formidable  psychological mechanisms of  denial, shame, and projection, a more plausible reading of  the unconventional features  of  Martyn's writing necessitates an understanding informed  by the dynamic operations of  the closet. This idea of  passion held in check accounts for  the indirection, the coded subtexts, and the layers of  sexual suggestion within many scenes. Although none of  Martyn's characters is explicitly construed as a dandy, his representation of  male relationships remains reminiscent of those in Wilde's The  Importance  of  Being Earnest  (1895) and The  Picture of  Dorian Gray (1891); furthermore,  Gothic elements tint Martyn's texts including madness, remote overpowering landscapes, mystery, obsession, the supernatural, ghosts, and hints of  incest in the unsettling homosocial triangulation amongst Kit, Miles, and Ussher, revealed in Carden Tyrell's melding of  their identities (Martyn, Heather  25-6, 39, 63).37 The charged emotional dynamics between Martyn's men predictably produce a tragic melancholic atmosphere. The writer's desire to depict psychological realism, dramatizing to varying degrees the battles within the male psyche, poignantly results in revelations of  weakness, vulnerability, despair with the material world, and emotional disturbance; in other words, the male protagonists suffer  from  symptoms strikingly similar to late nineteenth-century conceptions of  "feminine"  hysteria. In these diagnoses, the apparent reversal of  gender inscription suggests that repressed erotic desire is an avenue to understanding the characters' self-destruction,  melancholy, and alleged charges of  madness. Along with Yeats's The  Countess  Cathleen,  Martyn's The  Heather  Field inaugurated the first  season of  the Irish Literary Theatre in the Antient Concert Rooms in Dublin on 9 May 1899. Because of  his technical and practical experience in the theatre, Moore had overseen the rehearsals of  both plays, changing cast members and stage managers (Hail  92-6). Taking cues from  Ibsen's dramaturgy, Martyn eschews spectacle but instead crafts  scenes where the subtle problems of  characters' psychology, 3 7 Hereafter,  all citations to The  Heather  Field  will be specified  by page number only. emblematic of  the contest between illusion and reality, are explored on-stage. The playwright essentially situates The  Heather  Field  within the world of  realism, the standard genre that dominates twentieth-century Irish drama, rather than modernist or more experimental modes. Generally, the realist form  tends to be "ideologically restrictive" in maintaining notions of  fixed  identity and preventing a more far-reaching interrogation of  nationality and gender although Martyn's plays demonstrate some resistance to this tendency in the inversion of  gender stereotypes (Jones 117). As Martyn exercised relentless discipline over his own body, he rigorously controlled how he wished his plays to be performed  through his writing. In the published introduction to the play, Moore claims Martyn wrote plays that are "perfectly constructed; they could be acted as they are written"; furthermore,  Martyn composed "with strict regard for  the stage, because it is impossible to write good plays without the actors and actresses who will never interpret them" (xxvii). Moore points out the "strange irony...that the plays which lend themselves to interpretation are the plays which are neglected on the stage and cherished in the study" ("Introduction" xxviii). Moore's counter-intuitive comments overturn the notion that more literary closet dramas are failures  on the stage in comparison to dramatic texts which lend themselves to performative  interpretation. Martyn saturates The  Heather  Field's  script with precise stage directions explaining how the actors are to punctuate their lines with the frequent  action of 'looking', which is a substitution for  all that is not being articulated: "with  a frightened look"  (19),  "with  a baffled  look"  (19),  "averts  his look"  (20), "with dejection"  (20), "with a swift  shy glance"  (21), "with  anxious intensity" (26), "with  a penetrating  look"  (30), "looking  at her with a sort of  wonder"  (31), illooks  significantly"  (44), "with  suppressed anger'''  (50), "looks  at her for  a moment with vague alarm" (51), "a quick look  at TyrelV (54), "looks  out in reverie" (56), and "with  a look  of  humiliation and  despair'''  (60). What's more, Tyrell frequently  stares out the glass doors at the field  in the distance (27, 56). All of  this "eye-play" remains indicative of  the intense emotional barriers between the performers  within their roles and is symptomatic of  hieratic homoeros. Martyn's friends  felt  The  Heather  Field  was an original drawing-room drama, even exotic, very unlike plays then being produced in London (Setterquist 28-40; Gwynn 119, 142-4). Theatre reviews and the reaction to The  Heather  Field  were generally laudatory. The play was well received in the nationalist Freeman's  Journal,  Independent, and United  Irishman,  and there were no objections from  the audience to the drama's preoccupations with the troubles of  the Ascendancy class (Pilkington 19). While watching the play, Yeats curiously claims to have thought of  Martyn's personal life; "Mrs. Martyn's attempts to find  a wife  for  her son came into my head," notes the poet (Dramatis  253). James Joyce also liked The  Heather  Field  for  its unique Ibsenesque qualities and, later in March 1919, Zurich's English Players would revive it (Critical  68, 251-2; Feeney, "Martyn" 207). Joseph Holloway, Dublin's eccentric theatre commentator, wrote in his journal an enthusiastic review of  the performance: A more absorbing play...I have not witnessed for  a long time....One cannot give any idea of  the amount of  pathos and tenderness the dramatist has worked round the incidents leading up to the tragedy of  this dreamer whose mind gives way....His love for  his brother, son, and friend  were beautifully  indicated, and his utter hopelessness in trying to make his wife understand him one little bit was also admirably hit off.  (8, 9) In an unsigned review of  another one of  Martyn's plays in Sinn Fein  (3 February 1912), this pathos which Holloway refers  to comes under criticism: "We tire...of  Mr. Martyn's weak men and strong women....Martyn can do large things in drama, and does not do them because he lets a little devil compounded of  perversity and sentimentality run away with him" (qtd. in Feeney, Drama 171). Courtney comments that Ussher's "reprehensible" inability to dedicate himself  to idealistic philosophy indicates that "something evil, therefore,  must be at the heart of  it, an evil of  which he is aware, and this idea was not lost on spectators outside of  Ireland, some of  whom sensed that 'a certain sort of  unhealthy pathos pervades the whole'" (86). The day after  the premiere The  Freeman's  Journal  mentioned, "here...is a play that reveals a tragedy of  social and domestic life  although there is not the remotest  suggestion in it from  beginning to end  of  the disordered  eroticism which is responsible for  so many stage successes in London and Paris during recent years" (Hogan and Kilroy 46; emphasis mine). The rhetorical strategy of  containment with this manoeuvre of indubitably asserting what is not suggested on-stage remains even more suspect, while ostensibly assuaging any hint of  sexual "immorality"; after  all, this production remains part of  the launching of  an Irish  theatre for  an Irish  people. Martyn utilizes a single setting throughout the production—Tyrell's library/study situated in the West of  Ireland in 1890. The setting generates an atmosphere of increasing confinement,  metaphorically similar to that of  the closet, as Tyrell's world falls  apart in the course of  events, especially in Act Three where Tyrell is imprisoned inside his home because of  the threat of  angry evictees (56). Act One, however, opens with a visit from  bachelor and close companion, Barry Ussher, to Tyrell's estate; 38 ostensibly he has come to discuss Tyrell's land reclamation project and to offer financial  advice (18). On the surface  this visit remains entirely comprehensible, but the bulk of  the act is a prolonged discourse by the players on the subject of  Tyrell's estranged marriage and nostalgia for  days as a bachelor. This extensive digression, as it were, achieves a stereotypical gender reversal where Ussher and Tyrell's younger brother, Miles, gossip about the personal affairs  of  another man in contradistinction to the male world of  politics, sport, and other subjects associated with public life: USS. ...[Grace] would probably have made an excellent wife  for  almost any other man; but for  your brother—well, it might have been better if  he had never thought of  marriage at all. MIL. What? Surely he might have found  some one to suit him. Why should you say such a thing? USS. [with  a frightened  look]  Why? MIL. Yes, Ussher. But what is the matter with you? USS. [quickly  recovering himself]  Oh, nothing, Miles, nothing. I merely meant to say that it would be very difficult  for  anyone to suit Tyrell. He is a person so much of  himself,  you know. 3 8 According to Katie Trumpener in Bardic  Nationalism:  The  Romantic Novel  and  the British Empire (1997), experiments in irrigation, bog reclamation, and cultivation techniques utilizing tenant labour were believed the best route to economic progess that would alleviate agrarian discontent and produce peaceful relations between classes. "Bog drainage synecdochically represents the project of  Enlightment land reform:  the creation of  arable, profitable  soil out of  its former  uselessness, by bringing it into the light of day, out of  primeval ooze that now covers it," writes Trumpener (42). Landlords attempted to secure their hold on the land by transforming  the surface  of  Ireland into their own image; however, for  nationalists, the bog was significant  as a material and discursive site (43, 46). On account of  the outlines of  the past embedded within the landscape that denoted historical memory—the scars of  conflict  and the remains of Gaelic civilization—nationalists wished the topography to remain unmolested; subsequently, agrarian resistance to reclamation schemes was common (52-3). MIL. Ah, it is certainly a great misfortune  he ever met Grace. And their estrangement is so extraordinary, for  he once used to be so fond  of  her. USS. Yes, they generally begin that way. I remember just before  he became engaged he told me that he thought till then he should never marry, but that at last he had found  real happiness. They all say that, you know. (18-9) This odd exchange between Miles and Ussher produces various questions: Why is it that Ussher believes Tyrell should never marry anyone? Why does Miles consistently express surprise to Ussher's statements? Are Miles's questions most likely shared by the audience, and are they a case of  clarifying  an appropriate answer from  Ussher that would bar any suggestion of  sexual ambiguity; or, does the Socratic nature of  the dialogue between the men open up the possibility for  speculation about the state of  Tyrell's mind? What is the purpose or importance of  Ussher's frightened  reaction in the context of  the scene and of  the play which appears out of  character for  a man initially presented as a man of  means, intellect, and action? What is not being said by way of  the stage directions? What is the source of  Ussher's marked cynicism of  marriage? Does an open secret operate within the play? The scene proceeds with the revelation that ten years prior to the opening of  Act One, Ussher attempted to convince his friend  not to marry, suspecting that Tyrell's feelings  were not genuine nor lasting. Ussher defends  his interference  by claiming, "Tyrell and I have been intimate so long...I understood him better than anyone. The sudden overturning of  all his ideas at the time seemed to me strange and unnatural. He was like one bewitched. A man's whole nature somehow does not change in a moment" (19). Ussher sets himself  up as the informed  insider who is privy to the inner most workings of  his friend's  heart; for  example, in Act III Ussher tells Tyrell that he knows the "pain of  loss" (57) but also seems to express a certain amount of  jealousy in criticizing Grace's influence: Oh, he always did so fascinate  and interest me. What poetry he put into those days of  my youth—the days that are dead, [pause]  Then to see him suddenly changed, grown even prosy under the power of  her influence—it made it impossible for  me to consider this attachment of  his genuine or likely to endure. (19) Ussher proceeds to characterize Tyrell, synonymous with the heather field,  as possessing a disposition "too eerie, too ethereal, too untamable for  good, steady, domestic cultivation...whose latent, untamable nature was not to be subdued" (20); furthermore,  the "first  sign of  revolt against suppression" (20) involves Tyrell's reclamation scheme. Ussher's diction echoes the Freudian lexicon that was emerging in the 1890s, for,  in effect,  Ussher theorizes sublimation, in this case—the massive undertaking of  land reclamation that dominates Tyrell's waking life. Afterward,  Tyrell and Miles discuss Ussher's advice against marriage, the incompatibility of  the couple, and Grace's efforts  to fashion  Tyrell into a typical member of  his social class. Tyrell's musings veer philosophically to the subject of  idealism so central to Martyn's own intellectual and artistic interests: TYR. Ah, Miles, I have simply found  [Grace] to be absolutely different from  what I had imagined her. I was very young then, very inexperienced. I longed for  sympathy, and thought it was easy to find.  I idealised women in those days. I believed that they were idealists. Ah, that was my fatal error. MIL. But surely you don't mean to deny that some are? TYR. I don't believe any are, really. They may be on an average more fanciful  than man, but your true idealist can only be a man. Alas! Had I known that then, my fate  would have been different.  I thought others were easy to find,  in whom I could confide  as in Ussher. MIL. Do you consider him an idealist? TYR. I should think so indeed—a true idealist—only he is in a way so drilled and careful,  that he will never let himself  go. But he is such a friend,  and understands everything! Isolation only began with my marriage, which led me out into a lonely world. Oh, it was a great misfortune.  And I have no one to blame but myself. MIL. And yet—and yet were you really so much to blame? She was so beautiful. TYR. Ah, you have said it. There you have found  the cause of  all my trouble. But Ussher would never have wavered. MIL. Oh, he is a hardened philosopher whom no beauty could soften. TYR. That is because, unlike most people, he can see the truly beautiful, and so is heedless of  shams. (24-5) Overtly gendered as masculine, Tyrell's idealism, nonetheless, simultaneously disavows the flesh  and blood of  this philosophy. Tyrell briefly  associates