Scientific article analysis

The article Franz Schubert and the Peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini by Maynard Solomon put into perspective the life of Schubert and the possibilities of him being a homosexual. Schubert is portrayed to have a strange life that no one quite understood it. Solomon includes the views of other individuals in regards to Schubert’s behavior whereby they viewed him to be immoral and engaging in lots of drinking. He also mentions his life as a teacher where Schubert engaged in an intimate relationship with one of his classmates but later left her for somebody completely different from her. In regards to his sexuality, Solomon analyzes the letters and written diaries that were shared between Schubert and some of his closest male friends including Johann Mayrhofer and Franz Von Schober. The letters that Solomon makes reference to illustrate love and care among the men who appear to exhibit more affection when compared to the normal relationship among men. The piece organized by Mayrhofer and Franz, which was a dedication to Schubert is a good example of such affection. In the lyrics Mayrhofer states; “Thou lov’st me! Deeply have I felt it, Thou faithful youth, so gentle and fair; then let us steel ourselves, already united. In noble, youthful valor”. 

To make his sexuality clearer, Solomon analyzes the type of parties that Schubert and his male companions attended. A good example is an invite to an event filled with erotic behavior from an individual identified as Nina. The men are promised a night full of enjoyment and fun with “peacocks.” The “peacocks” refer to young men who are dressed in feminine clothing such that they exhibit female characters. 

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Solomon further includes memoirs from Schubert’s closest friends that appear to present opposite views regarding Schubert’s life. A good example is a quote by Eduard von Bauernfeld that states, “Schubert are out of sorts (he needs ‘young peacocks,’ like Benvenuto Cellini).”  According to the article, Cellini was jailed for two terms because of engaging in sodomy in addition to facing numerous accusations on sodomy. He also puts into perspective Schubert’s experience with Syphilis after engaging with one of Cellini’s peacocks such that it made him stay away from his circle. Nonetheless, his friends kept associating with him by writing encouraging letters and making inquiries on his health condition. Solomon also mentions that the basic sexual orientation among the men in Schubert’s circle was homosexuality such that it made them feel closer as they could relate to each other.  He explains that the sexual proclamation that the men found with anonymous partners enabled them to form passionate associations such that they formed stable friendships or bonds. Also, the adults or rather men that dominate the relationships were referred to as queens. The article included the women that interacted with Schubert when he was still young. The women include Karoline Esterhazy who was a countess and whose relationship was one-sided and Therese Grob whom he dated for two years. Solomon includes the fact that Schubert was in a constant refusal of marriage despite his respect for social values.  I reference to his homosexuality, Solomon quotes Schubert who in his diary entry stated, “Take people as they are, not as they should be”  to show the need for acceptance despite the differences in sexual orientation.

In synopsis its worth for Solomon to ponder the issues relating to sexuality orientation, as this will make other musicologists what else might have been overlooked. In this perspective, Solomon ought not to have to initiate Schubert's sexuality by placing stereotypes on sexual preference, but rather liberate Schubert's and experience his music.

 Bibliography

Solomon, Maynard. "Franz Schubert and the Peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini." 19th-Century Music 12, no. 3 (1989): 193-206. doi:10.2307/746501.