A pair of homotextual lovers: Bhansali's Ram-Leela and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Singh’s subject of study is the song-and-dance routines in Bollywood Shakespeare which, he contests, are met with both ‘derision or fascination’ in the West and either ‘compel the critic to offer an apology or demand accommodation’. In either case, he argues that these are characterized as something ‘strange’ to Western sensibilities and Shakespeare. Rebelling against this approach, his chapter uses queer theory and the concept of ‘homohistory’ (as nurtured by Goldberg and Menon) to argue that these are not as far removed as critics would have us believe. Offering a close reading of the song-and-dance sequences in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela along with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this chapter makes us see familiarity and sameness instead of strangeness and difference. In doing so, it asserts that we attune ourselves to the musicality of Bollywood Shakespeare and ‘recognize Bollywood as a part of rather than apart from a long tradition of musical renderings of Shakespeare’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecontextualizing Indian Shakespeare cinema in the West
Subtitle of host publicationfamiliar strangers
EditorsVarsha Panjwani, Koel Chatterjee
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherArden Shakespeare
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781350168671, 9781350168688
ISBN (Print)9781350168664
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023

Publication series

NameGlobal Shakespeare inverted


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