"man of sorrows": neil perry as a christlike martyr in "dead poets society"
"this is how he wants to be remembered, how he wants to go out; with nothing on of substance but a memento of the moment he felt most alive."
hi hi hi hi. so this is the first piece i’m choosing to publish here, simply because i just finished it this morning.
this stemmed from a thought i’ve had for years. i’ve seen dead poets dozens and dozens of times, and every time, manage to find something new to analyze. last year, i happened to realize that the crown neil perry (played by robert sean leonard) looks eerily similar to jesus’ crown of thorns (i blame this on my childhood catholic education). promptly, i began to make connections between his story and that of christ.
looking at “catholic lore” as someone who is no longer religious is really interesting. this piece made me dive back into what i once knew and connect it to something i know far too well. neil perry & i are similar in many ways and this process brought so much more of that out.
what’s discussed in this piece?
puck’s crown of thorns
history of the depiction of jesus’ suffering/crown of thorns in art
why i think neil’s "puck” crown = jesus’ crown
the queer martyrdom of neil perry
historical analysis of 1950’s queerness / neil’s plotline
neil perry & todd anderson’s relationship
why is neil like jesus?
fyi: future pieces won’t be pdf files (or 10+ pages), it’s just that i put so much time and effort specifically into this piece and footnotes and citations that it’d be a betrayal of myself not to. so it’s linked below!
all the love,
♫ song i associate with this piece: “matilda” by harry styles ♫
(“nothing ‘bout the way that you were treated ever seemed especially alarming ‘til now / so you tie up your hair and you smile like it’s no big deal")