Oct 31, 2010

Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Plato's Theory of Bisexuality

image credit: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Freud uses the myth of the three human figures (taken from Plato’s Symposium) to illustrate the human instinct to need to return to a former state, which he calls the death drive, which, as can be seen by the myth, is fueled by the libido of desire.
“‘The original human nature was not like the present, but different. In the first place, the sexes were originally three in number, not two as they are now; there was man, woman, and the union of the two.’ Everything about these primaeval men was double: they had four hands and four feet, two faces, two privy parts, and so on. Eventually Zeus decided to cut these men in two .... After the division had been made, ‘the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and threw their arms about one another eager to grow into one.’” (Freud Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 69-70).

In the film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hedwig uses the same myth to inspire a song she calls, “The Origin of Love.”


Lyrics from “Origins of Love”
When the earth was still flat

And the clouds made of fire

And mountains stretched up to the sky

Sometimes higher

Folks roamed the earth

Like big rolling kegs

They had two sets of arms

They had two sets of legs

They had two faces peering

Out of one giant head

So they could watch all around them

As they talked while they read

And they never knew nothing of love

It was before...

The origin of love

The origin of love


And there were three sexes then

One that looked like two men

Glued up back to back

Called the children of the sun

And similar in shape and girth

Were the children of the earth

They looked like

Two girls rolled up in one

And the children of the moon

Was like a fork shoved on a spoon

They were part sun, part earth

Part daughter, part son


The origin of love


Now the gods grew quite scared

Of our strength and defiance

And Thor said,

"I'm gonna kill them all with my hammer,

Like I killed the giants"

But Zeus said, "No-

You better let me

Use my lightning like scissors

Like I cut the legs off the whales

Dinosaurs into lizards"

Then he grabbed up some bolts

He let out a laugh

Said, "I'll split them right down the middle

Gonna cut them right up in half"

And then storm clouds gathered above

Into great balls of fire


And then fire shot down

From the sky in bolts

Like shining blades of a knife

And it ripped right through the flesh

Of the children of the sun and the moon and the earth

And some Indian god

Sewed the up into a hole

Pulled it round to our belly

To remind us of the price we pay

And Osiris and the gods of the Nile

Gathered up a big storm

To blow a hurricane

To scatter us away

In a flood of wind and rain

A sea of tidal waves

To wash us all away

And if we don't behave

They'll cut us down again

And we'll be hopping 'round on one foot

And looking through one eye


Last time I saw you

We had just split in two

You were looking at me

I was looking at you

You had a way so familiar

But I could not recognize

'Cause you had blood on your face

I had blood in my eyes

But I could swear by your expression

That the pain down in your soul

Was the same as the one down in mine

That's the pain

That cuts a straight line down through the heart

We call it love

We wrapped our arms around each other

Tried to shove ourselves back together

We were making love

Making love

It was a cold, dark evening

Such a long time ago

When by the mighty hand of Jove

It was the sad story how we became

Lonely two-legged creatures

It's the story of the origin of love

That's the origin of love


The origin of love

The origin of love

The origin of love



Subscribe to stones of erasmus by Email

Search This Blog