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Stephen Fry praises ancient Greek mythology for portraying same-sex love as being ‘just part of the joy of life’

Patrick Kelleher May 25, 2020
Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry Neil Mockford/Getty)

Stephen Fry has praised ancient Greek culture for portraying same-sex love as being “just part of the joy of life”.

The actor and writer made the comments during a live broadcast as part of the digital Hay Festival and said Greek myth presented same-sex love as nothing special.

“We are aware that Hollywood is unlikely to spend too much time over that nature of things, and yes that is a pity, but on the other hand, the beauty of Greek culture is that it didn’t make anything particularly special about LGBT+ relationships,” Fry said during his digital appearance at the festival.

“What was special was love – physical love and spiritual love, all the different types of Greek word for love. But it didn’t make them ‘the story’ because it was natural.”

Stephen Fry praised the ancient Greeks for not making ‘a thing’ out of same-sex love.

He added: “And that very ease with which Greeks talked about male-male and female-female love is what is so glorious. It didn’t make a thing of it.”

“We need to make a thing of it because we have grown up in a culture of suppression and dislike and so on – homophobia. We make a thing of it.

“The glory of the Greek civilisation is just that it is nothing, it’s just part of the joy of life.”

That very ease with which Greeks talked about male-male and female-female love is what is so glorious. It didn’t make a thing of it.

He concluded: “It almost sounds almost if I am betraying my own people here. I think LGBT+ people, we also have a habit of overstating, if you like, the absolute fact of this character’s queerness and so on.”

Fry recently revealed that listening to Beethoven helped him through his depression.

Fry married his partner Elliott Spencer in 2015 and has been a vocal advocate for LGBT+ rights and equality throughout his storied career.

Just weeks ago, he opened up about the “guilt and shame” he felt following his three suicide attempts.

Speaking on The Art of Change: Nothing Concrete podcast, Fry said he once became so depressed that he could not see “the point of anything”.

“Nothing has flavour or savour,” the actor and writer said. “Nothing has any meaning. Everything is just hopeless.”

He added: “There’s no future. There’s no sense of anything ahead of you. And you have to hope something will stop you.

“In my case it was just failed attempts and waking up in a hospital.”

In the same interview, he spoke of the healing quality of music, and revealed that listening to Beethoven helped pull him through that difficult time.

 

 

More: ancient greece, greek mythology, LGBT, same-sex love, Stephen Fry

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